Let’s be honest, men aren’t great at looking after their own bodies.

They’ll do their “due diligence” with meticulous precision when it comes to an important business deal or fine tuning their pride and joy – the one in the garage.

But when it comes to their own health, they leave a fair bit to be desired.

Men’s health really shouldn’t be that difficult or confronting.

If you take good care of your body, watch what goes into it and depending on your age, take the time for some very simple, non-invasive check-ups, you’ll get the most out of life.

That means:

  • getting enough sleep (at least 7 hours per night)
  • eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, fibre, lean meats and limiting processed foods and sugar intake.
  • exercising 3-4 times per week for at least 30 minutes
  • staying hydrated by drinking enough water
  • limiting alcohol intake
  • quitting smoking (90% of lung cancer occurs in smokers)

Once you’ve done that, there are just a few things you should have checked out regularly to keep yourself in tip top shape.

Heart health

Heart health will normally be the first point of investigation when it comes to men’s health.

It encompasses checks of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight.

Many sudden deaths from heart attack are the result of years of neglect of these indicators.

Cholesterol – Healthy cholesterol levels are generally regarded as less than 5.5mmol/L but may be lower for some people with higher risk factors. You should regularly monitor your levels and discuss them with your doctor who can interpret them and advise whether you need to consider some lifestyle changes.

Blood pressure – Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure is so easy to detect by a doctor but virtually impossible without one. It is a primary cause of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Weight – An unhealthy weight often goes hand in hand with higher cholesterol. Your body mass index (BMI) should be between 18.5-24.9. If yours is too high, be prepared to adopt the old adage “move more, eat less”.

Blood sugars

Also referred to as a “silent killer”, diabetes is another potentially deadly disease that is so easy to detect with a fasting blood test. 

Depending on your level of risk, it’s something you should consider every 1-3 years.

When caught early, diabetes is a condition that can be managed with careful maintenance.

If left untreated, diabetes causes heart and blood vessel disease, as well as potential damage to kidneys, eyes, nerves and feet.

It can also cause hearing impairment and may even increase the risk of dementia. 

Bowel cancer

Australians between the ages of 50-74 receive a free bowel cancer screening kit every two years as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

It’s important for men’s health and women’s too.

When detected early, nine out of 10 cases can be successfully treated.

That’s because bowel cancers usually grow for many years without spreading elsewhere in the body.

If you have a family history or other increased risk factors, your doctor may also advise a colonoscopy.

Prostate cancer

There is no national screening problem for the early detection of prostate cancer.

That is because there are different opinions among doctors about the risks and benefits of regular screening.

The problem is that the test used to screen for prostate cancer, the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, is not definitive.

The concern is that some men may suffer needless treatments or even harm, including potential erectile dysfunction, looking for a problem that isn’t serious or doesn’t exist.

An alternative method of searching for a problem is with a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE).

This is when a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum, searching for abnormalities.

The bottom line is, prostate health is a conversation all men should have with their doctor once aged 50, especially if there is any family history of disease. Your GP can then recommend the right steps for you.

Skin cancer

The Cancer Council of Australia anticipates more than 17,000 new melanomas will be detected in Australia in 2022.

Early detection is again key to preventing serious disease and death.

Many skin cancers are relatively harmless if caught early and can be simply and painlessly burned off.

Check for changes in moles every three months and see a doctor as soon as possible for any new moles or irritations which bleed or don’t heal.

A full body check is recommended annually, which can be booked at AHA.

Book an appointment

Your doctor is here to keep you in good health but they can’t do it without you!

Building a good relationship with your GP with regular check-ups is the first step to a long and healthy life.

You may also want to discuss your mental health as well as hearing an eyesight checks.

Talk openly and honestly with your doctor about how you feel and any concerns you may have so that potential problems can be nipped in the bud before they become big problems.

Your doctor can talk to you about how you can live a healthier lifestyle and help pick up any warning signs that need to be followed up.

Regular health checks should become more frequent with age.

Book one today at the Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or the Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.