June 10 through June 16 is Men’s Health Week to bring awareness to how you can protect your health. And, that’s how you turn your health savings account (HSA) into a retirement fund. Here are six ways to do that.
Tip #1 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation says only one in 10,000 men under age 40 are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Yet, studies show that detecting it before then leads to much better prognoses than detecting it in later years. Here are the Foundation’s early warning signs:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Painful urination or ejaculation, sometimes accompanied by bleeding
- Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
- Difficulty starting or stopping urine flow.
Tip #2 – Men’s Health recommends an exercise that not only lowers blood pressure and slows your heart rate, but also improves flexibility. While jogging or basketball only helps with a limited range of motion, yoga puts you through a full range of motion. More flexibility also protects you from injury in other sports, and yoga is great at relieving stress.
Tip #3 – The Mayo Clinic advocates against super-sizing. You know if you pay for it, you’re going to want to eat it whether you’re hungry or getting full. Building out your waistline is the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to boost your health and your HSA balance. Obesity is linked to the diseases that cut most lives prematurely short. It’s also a leading contributor to forcing people to live with disabilities and restrictions that make life unhappy.
Tip #4 – The American Heart Association warns that obesity is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. Some of the foods that make us fat directly raise blood pressure and build up cholesterol on artery walls. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is your main defense, and interval training is a very helpful way of exercising.
Men’s Health explains that intense, short bursts of exercise followed by brief periods of recovery get your heart rate up without overwhelming you. For how to feel great in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond, check out http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/build-strength-at-any-age/printer.php.
Tip #5 – You may not realize that an annual check-up before you experience a problem is important. That’s when you can establish baseline measurements to help show when something changes in the beginning stages. A baseline EKG can help gauge your heart health and a lipid profile can help monitor cholesterol levels.
For inexpensive lab work that your health insurance doesn’t cover, HSA for America helps you get discounts of up to 80 percent. Just click www.HSAforAmerica.com/member-benefits-lab.htm to find out how.
Tip #6 – The most common kind of cancer men have between age 15 and 35 is testicular cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. While that’s scary, the survival rate is over 95 percent for the least aggressive type, seminoma.
Here are signs the Mayo Clinic says to watch for:
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache centered in the abdomen or groin
- Pain in either testicle or scrotum
- A testicular enlargement or lump
- Enlargement or tenderness in the breast area
- Feeling generally fatigued.
Long after Men’s Health Week, you can keep safeguarding your health, your future and the HSA money you’ll have to safeguard your retirement years with these tips. I’m a big believer in taking personal responsibility, for both your health and your financial future.