Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

What Men Should Know About Staying Healthy


Am Fam Physician. 2012 May 15;85(10):972.

  See related article on the adult well male examination.

What should I talk about with my doctor?

Talk to your doctor about your diet, exercise, and risk factors for diseases and cancer. You can talk about ways to keep yourself healthy, and make sure you are up to date on vaccinations and screening tests. Keep your doctor updated on your family and personal health history.

What can I do to have a healthy diet?

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.

  • Avoid large portions.

  • Fill about half of your plate with fruit and vegetables.

  • Drink skim or low-fat (1 percent) milk.

  • Compare the amounts of sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Choose foods with lower amounts.

  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

How much exercise should I get?

Adults need at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of exercise each week. It's fine to break it up into intervals as short as 10 minutes. Any type of activity counts, as long as it gets your heart rate up.

How much alcohol can I drink?

If you choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation. This means no more than two drinks per day or 14 drinks per week. A drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (one shot) of liquor.

What tests do I need?

You can create a customized list of recommended tests based on your age and other risk factors at (

Where can I get more information?

American Heart Association

Web site:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Web site:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Web sites: and

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Web site:

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions

More in AFP

Editor's Collections


Nov 2021

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article