The reason of men die too young

The average life expectancy for men is 5 years shorter than it is for women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The stat is sobering, but it can also be a wake-up call to take better care of yourself.

In light of Movember—the movement that encourages men to grow mustaches in November and has raised more than $700 million for men’s health since 2003—consider taking action.

Growing a ‘stache or donating is a great first step, but change can start closer to home, too.

Read on for five of the most important things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic.

QUIT SMOKING ALREADY

Smoking rates are at an all time low, but men continue to smoke more than women do.

In the U.S., 19 percent of men still light up, compared to 15 percent of women, according to the CDC.

The global disparity is even greater: Forty percent of men smoke worldwide compared to only 9 percent of women, the World Health Organization estimates.

It’s no secret that cigarettes are bad for your health. In fact, smoking can slash up to 15 years off your life, says Jessica Cook, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

The good news, though, is that quitting now can greatly reduce your risk: Fifteen years after kicking the habit, your risk for heart disease mirrors that of a nonsmoker, according to the American Cancer Society.

Want to quit for good? The Cold Turkey Method Is the Most Effective Way to Quit Smoking, research from the University of Oxford finds.

CUT BACK ON BOOZE

Men are twice as likely to binge drink—downing 5 or more drinks in 2 hours—as women are, according to the CDC.

They’re also twice as likely to drive drunk, which puts them at greater risk for alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations.

Heavy drinking can make you more likely to get cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and colon.

Related: This Is Your Body On Booze

The best thing you can do is control your intake. If you don’t want to forgo booze completely, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting yourself to a max of 2 drinks—a couple of 12-ounce beers, for example—per day.

SEE YOUR DAMN DOCTOR

Men notoriously avoid the doctor’s office. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 guys haven’t seen a physician in over a year, a report from the National Center for Health Statistics found.