Call To Be Healthy

The Jamestown Area YMCA and Chautauqua County Health and Human Services are encouraging men to pay more attention to their health.

Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink, make unhealthy or risky choices, and put off regular checkups and medical care. Men are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests and are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure.

Staying active is the single most powerful way to remain healthy and live long enough to enjoy retirement years. Research proves that exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association’s physical activity guidelines recommend moderately intense aerobic exercise (like walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or vigorously intense aerobic exercise (like jogging) 20 minutes a day, three days a week. In addition to either plan, adults should complete eight to 10 strength-training exercises, with eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, twice a week.

Older adults (those over 65 or adults under 65 with chronic conditions) should engage in moderately intense aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week or vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, three days a week, also completing eight to 10 strength-training exercises, with 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, two to three times per week. They should also perform balance exercises and plan a physical fitness program with input from a healthcare professional.

No one is immune to illness and injury. But if you become ill or injured, having previously engaged in regular physical activity can play a big role in hastening recovery as well as ensuring the best possible outcome. Longtime YMCA member Joe DeAngelo can attest to the benefits of engaging in lifelong physical activity. Two years ago, DeAngelo suffered sepsis associated with liver biliary duct complications. It was a very dangerous time, one that a lesser fit individual may not have survived.

“My doctors credited my being in such good physical condition going into the surgery as instrumental to my successful outcome and recovery,” DeAngelo said.

Many of the major health risks that men face – like colon cancer or heart disease – can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Unless otherwise directed by a physician, men ages 20 to 39 should have a physical exam every three years, every two years for men ages 40 to 49, and every year for men ages 50 and above. The Chautauqua County Cancer Services Program offers colon cancer screening tests to men aged 50 and older who are uninsured, have high deductibles or their insurance doesn’t cover the cost of screening. Call 1-800-506-9185 for more information.

More than one-third of adults in the U.S have prediabetes. This means that their blood glucose level is not yet in the diagnostic range for diabetes but their risk for developing type 2 diabetes is four to 12 times higher than someone with a normal glucose level. Consequences of diabetes are cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, vision loss and peripheral vascular disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing at three-year intervals for diabetes or prediabetes in all adults with BMI =25 kg/m2 and one or more additional risk factors for diabetes such as: being 45 or older, a first-degree relative who has diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, or being in a high-risk ethnic or racial group (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, and Pacific Islanders). The National Diabetes Prevention Program has been proven to decrease the chance of developing diabetes from 5070 percent. Programs are being offered throughout Chautauqua County, for further information call the Chautauqua County Health Network at 338-0010.

Cholesterol levels should be checked regularly starting at age 35 or as early as age 20 for those who use tobacco, are overweight or obese, have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, or for those who have a family history of heart attack before the age of 50.

Other screenings that should be conducted regularly include: blood pressure at least every two years; colon cancer beginning at age 50 and continuing through age 75; prostate cancer for men ages 50 and older; lung cancer beginning at age 55 for anyone who has a 30-pack per year smoking history and currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years; abdominal aortic aneurism for men between the ages of 65 and 75 and have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in your lifetime; and hepatitis C for any adult who has ever injected drugs or received a blood transfusion before 1992 or that was born between 1945 and 1965. The Chautauqua County Health Department offers free rapid Hepatitis C screening tests to uninsured or under-insured adults. Call 866-604-6789 for an appointment.

The Jamestown Area YMCAs offer a broad range of group, team and individual health and wellbeing opportunities including Fit for Life phase 3 cardiac rehab, Moving for Better Balance, Zumba, water exercise, indoor cycling, tennis, basketball and much more. For more information regarding the many programs offered at the YMCA, visit or call 664-2802, ext. 0.