Even tough guys should vist the doctor

An annual physical can increase your life expectancy

Many men play the tough guy. But sometimes being tough can be bad for their health.

Studies show men over the age of 25 hardly visit a doctor.

If men don't get blood work or cholesterol checks regularly, they're more likely to develop potentially severe illnesses later on in life.

Andrew Kovar is a Quincy resident who rarely visits the doctor.

"I only go in if I get really sick," Kovar said.

At 36-years-old, he hasn't had blood work or a physical done in about two years.

However, men like Kovar who skip doctor's visits put themselves at risk.

In fact, it can lead to severe medical issues going undiagnosed.

Jimmi Raj is a Sport and Family Medicine Physician with the Quincy Medical Group in Canton, Missouri.

Raj said doctors see and examine more woman than men.

"Men are much less likely to come in for routine physical things versus woman. Therefore, you see more chronic disease issue in men, Raj said. "For example, high blood pressure or cholesterol issues or things like that."

He said men typically ignore going to the doctor when they don't feel good or are sick.

"When we look at studies, it's about 33 percent to 40 percent of men actually will come in for a physical, Raj said. Which means the majority of men don't do that."

In order to start living a healthier life, Dr. Raj suggests men like Andrew adopt a certain routine.

"The recommendations are, you know, between 20 and say 35; once every year to two years as far as that goes," Raj said. Once you hit 35, depending on what kind of health issues that we're dealing with or working with, every year to two years and then once you hit about 40, about every year is kind of the current recommendations."

Raj also said a couple changes to your diet could prevent many illnesses from developing.

"We know that exercise helps to lower your blood sugar. Exercise helps to lower your blood pressure. It's been shown to help with memory, dementia things like that," Raj said.

Raj said it's never too late to make changes for the better.

It's a message Kovar said he'll take seriously.

"I'm always good for learning how I can be healthier and take care of myself, so yeah," Kovar said.

According to Dr. Raj, women typically live five to seven years longer than men.