The average life expectancy for men is 5 years shorter than it is for women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC ).
The stat is sobering, but it can also be a wake-up call to take better care of yourself.
In light of Movemberthe movement that encourages humen to develop mustaches in November and has raised more than $700 million for mens health since 2003 consider taking action.
Growing a stache or donating is a great first step, but change can start closer together, too.
Read on for five of the most important things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic.
Related : The Better Man Project From Mens Health 2,000+ Awesome Tips On How to Live Your Healthiest Life
QUIT SMOKING ALREADY
Smoking rates are at an all period low, but humen continue to smoke more than women do.
In the U.S ., 19 percent of men still light up, compared to 15 percent of women, according to the CDC.
The world disparity is even greater: Forty percent of men smoke worldwide compared to only 9 percent of women, the World Health Organization estimates.
Its no secret that cigarettes are bad for your health. In fact, smoking can slash up to 15 years off their own lives, tells Jessica Cook, Ph.D ., an associate professor at the University of Wisconsins School of Medicine and Public Health.
The good news, though, is that ceasing now can greatly reduce your risk: Fifteen times after kicking the habit, your risk for heart disease reflects that of a nonsmoker, according to the American Cancer Society.
Want to quit for good? The Cold Turkey Method Is the Most Effective Way to Quit Smoking, research from the University of Oxford finds.
CUT BACK ON BOOZE
Men are twice as likely to orgy drinkdowning 5 or more beverages in 2 hoursas women are, according to the CDC.
Theyre likewise twice as likely to drive drunk, which sets them at greater danger for alcohol-related fatalities and hospitalizations.
Heavy drinking can induce you more likely to get cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and colon.
Related : This Is Your Torso On Booze
The best thing you can do is control your uptake. If you dont want to forgo booze entirely, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest restriction yourself to a max of 2 drinksa couple of 12 -ounce brews, for exampleper day.
SEE YOUR DAMN DOCTOR
Men notoriously avoid the doctors office. In fact, virtually 1 in 4 guys havent ensure a physician in over a year, a report from the National Center for Health Statistics observed.
The Top Excuses Men Use to Throw Off the Doctor include being too busy, seeming awkward during quizs, and dreading what a doctor might find during the appointment.
But putting off the doctor is a big problem: Catching circumstances like prediabetes or high blood pressure early can help you prevent them from developing into even more serious health issues like diabetes or heart disease.
Plus, keeping up with your checkups will make sure you get the health screenings you need to stay safe: For instance, all men ages 50 and older should get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, which affects about 1 in 21 guys, according to the American Cancer Society.
Seeing your doctor can also help you determine whether you should get the PSA test to screen for prostate cancer, a condition that affects 1 in 7 humen.
Related : Who Really Needs a PSA Test For Prostate Cancer ?
So man up and see your doctor. Not having period isnt an forgive anymore: Many offices give extended hours on weekdays or weekends, so it wont have to cut into your hectic workday.
FIND A WAY TO RELAX
Stress degrees are rising: Virtually a third of men say theyre more stressed out than they were last year, a survey from the American Psychological Association( APA) found.
Plus, humen are less likely than women to report that stress has a strong impact on your health, according to a separate report from the APA.
But thats dead incorrect: When youre constantly on edge, your torso pumps out high sums of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Too much of those hormones can cause your blood pressure and cholesterol to spike, putting you at higher danger for coronary artery illnes, heart attack, and stroke down the road.
Related : 5 Weird Things Stress Does To Your Body
Whats more, consistently high cortisol degrees have been associated with higher rates of stroke, heart attack and heart failure, tells John Higgins, M.D ., a sports cardiologist in Texas.
So if you want to live longer, fighting stress is a good place to start. Try these 52 Lanes to Chase Stress Away.
TAKE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH SERIOUSLY
Men make up virtually 80 percent of all suicides, according to the CDC. Its The 7th Most Common Cause Of Death For Men.
One possible underlying factor is that humen tend to avoid talking about mental health issues like depression and anxietyboth of which put you at risk for suicideand are more resistant than women are to get professional aid, proposes the APA.
Men often tell themselves they can soldier through those issues on their own, tells Christine Moutier, M.D ., the chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
But reaching out to otherswhether its people in their own lives for social support, or professionals in the mental health fieldis crucial, she says.
Related : Why Are Suicide Rates Rising For Middle-Aged Men ?
Make an appointment with your doctor if youre experiencing symptoms of depression, even if they go forth and come back randomly. He or she will be able to recommend treatment through medication or counseling.
But if youre having distressed imagines, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Additional reporting by Melissa Romero, Christa Sgobba, and Michelle Malia
This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com .