Boca Raton primary care physician Carlos Ballestas (1001 N.W. 13th St., Suite 201, 561/955-5742) explains why men need to take responsibility for their health sooner rather than later.

Man Up: Men aren’t nearly as diligent as women about scheduling regular checkups—and that can lead to trouble.

“[Men hit] 60, and they’ll have problems,” Ballestas says. “That’s when they go [to the doctor].”

Guys, don’t wait. Get your annual physical. Start in your 30s, before health problems start. Know your cholesterol. Know your blood sugar. Know your kidney and liver function. The list goes on. The point is that men can prevent their top health challenges—heart disease and cancer—if they screen for warning signs early on.

Weighty Issues: Weight loss is a challenge for both sexes. For men, the biggest problem is getting rid of belly fat (women tend to carry the bulge around the hips), which places an added burden on the heart. Men can fix that problem with a combination of weight and cardiovascular exercises.

For the first six months or so, men have an advantage over women when it comes to weight loss. “They pack more muscle than women, so they get results a lot quicker than women do,” Ballestas says.

In the Bedroom: Sexual health for men speaks directly to testosterone production, which varies from person to person and throughout life, according to Ballestas.

“Testosterone is [increased] by muscle,” he says. “So, weight-bearing exercise and cardiovascular exercise are going to boost your testosterone production.”

To continue reading, please pick up a copy ofthe November Boca Raton magazine.