Men are notorious for neglecting their health. So to coincide with Men’s Health Week, we’ve put together our top tips for men on keeping healthy. From your eyes to your toes and everything in-between, here’s the lowdown on what you need to do to keep in tip-top condition.
1. Eye health
We rely on our eyes for almost every aspect of our lives – but may pay little attention to how well they’re working. It’s not always obvious if there’s a problem with your vision, so regular eye examinations are important. You should have an examination at least every two years, unless otherwise advised by your optometrist.
2. Tooth care
Make sure you have a smile to be proud of. Watch our animations below on how to brush and floss your teeth, and don’t delay those all-important dental check-ups. Your dentist will advise you how often you need to go, as this will differ for everyone. If you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist – get an appointment booked sooner rather than later.
If you’re a snorer, it’s not just a nuisance for your partner; it can also be a sign of a more serious condition, known as sleep apnoea. Although anyone can snore, it’s more common in men, especially if you’re overweight, drink alcohol or smoke. So, for the sake of your health as well as your relationship, it’s worth thinking about if there’s any lifestyle changes you can make.
4. Know your limits
You may like to have a drink now and then to unwind. But if you’re regularly overdoing it, it’s time to think about your drinking habits. Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease, being associated with various cancers, cardiovascular disease and liver disease. Make sure you’re drinking sensibly for the sake of your long-term health.
5. Know your blood pressure
Do you know your blood pressure? High blood pressure rarely causes any symptoms, and yet it accounts for around half of all deaths worldwide due to heart disease and stroke. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all adults should know their blood pressure. If you don’t know yours, ask your doctor or nurse to check.
6. Watch your weight
Obesity is an issue for both men and women alike. However, men tend to be more likely to carry extra fat around their middle (‘apple shape’) rather than their hips and thighs (‘pear shape’). This puts you at even greater risk of health problems. If it’s something you’ve been putting off, start thinking about what changes you can make to lose any excess weight.
7. Prostate health
Many men start to develop difficulty in passing urine as they get older, which can often be caused by an enlarged prostate. It’s worth seeing your doctor for advice, especially if your symptoms are starting to become more troublesome. Your doctor will assess your symptoms and carry out an examination to check the size of your prostate. You may also be offered a PSA test to check your risk of prostate cancer. There are pros and cons of taking this test, which you should discuss with your doctor. Learn more about your prostate.
8. Check your testicles
Fortunately, testicular cancer isn’t very common. However, unlike most other cancers, it usually affects younger and middle-aged men. Thankfully, the outlook is excellent, with most men making a full recovery. Being testicle aware by regularly checking your testicles (at least once a month) can help you spot any changes early on when cancer can be easily treated.
9. Toilet troubles
Have you noticed a change in your bowel habits? It’s something many men are embarrassed to talk about. But if you have blood in your faeces, need to go more frequently or have noticed any other changes, you should get it checked out with your doctor. These symptoms can often be due to a number of non-serious conditions such as piles and infections; but your doctor can carry out tests to check for signs of bowel cancer.
10. Athlete’s foot
Itchy, dry skin between your toes or on your feet? You could have a case of athlete’s foot. Men seem to be more susceptible to this fungal infection than women. You may be able to follow simple foot hygiene measures to get rid of athletes foot, such as regularly washing and drying. There are also products you can buy from a pharmacy to treat it. However, some men may need an antifungal medicine to help clear it up, which your doctor can prescribe.