Men's Health Week 2022 newsletter

Welcome to our Men's Health Week 2022 newsletter. You can also view an interactive version here.

You look after your car's bodywork and engine - now is the time to get your own checked out! Men's Health Week this year is all about getting your Man MOT!

Compared to women, men are less likely to visit a doctor or even talk about their health, particularly mental health. As a result of the pandemic, GP visits across the board fell, but make GP visits fell more than female visits.

While GP services are busy as a result of the backlog caused by the pandemic, they are there to see you if you have any owrrying symptoms, physical or mental.

Now it is more important than ever to get checked out.

 

TOP TIPS: Man MOT for the Mind

There is no health without mental health, which is why it is important to try things to improve your mental health.

  • Connect: Boost your connections with others
  • Active: Find ways you enjoy getting more active - it doesn't have to be five days in the gym - increasing your walking time is a great way to increase your fitness, and it helps to clear your mind
  • Notice: Enjoy greater awareness of your environment
  • Discover: Keep learning
  • Offer: give to others. Supporting and helping others, helps us too.

TOP TIPS: Man-ual MOT

Keeping your own number in check is really important in keeping you well. But what numbers are they?

TEST ONE: Is your engine tuned?

First, check your pulse. Place the finger of one hand on the thumb side of the tendons running through the opposite wrist. You should be able to feel your artery pumping. Count the beats over four 15 second periods - then add them up. This is your resting pulse – a good guide to the heart’s efficiency.

Then, check your recovery rate. Step on and off a step for three minutes (average a step every three seconds) and rest for 30 seconds before taking your pulse again. This is your pulse after exercise.

Average range:

AGE RESTING AFTER EXERCISE
Teens / 20s 60 - 85 76 - 101
30s 64 - 85 80 - 103
40s 66 - 89 82 - 105
50s+ 68 - 89 84 - 107

If your numbers exceed the average range, you may need to consider whether you're taking enough exercise. If you're older, very overweigh, or have an existing health problem, check with your GP before starting an exercise programme.

TEST TWO: Are you overloaded?

The simplest guide to whether you're carrying too much weight is your waist measurement. This gives you a fair idea of your risk, regardless of height.
Measure around your belly at the widest point - usually around your bellybutton.

  • Over 37 inches: you're probably overweight and at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Over 40 inches, you could be obee and at serious risk of the conditions mentioned. Talk to a GP or health professional.

If you're losing weight for no apparent reason, it may be a sign of something serious - see your GP.

TEST THREE: Look for dashboard "warning lights"

Remember to check yourself all over for:

  • moles changing shape,
  • unexplained lumps,
  • unexplained shortness of breath/breathing difficulties
  • unexplained pain (especially in the chest)
  • swelling or itching,
  • a cough that won’t go away,
  • blood where it shouldn’t be (in saliva or stools)
  • changes in bowel habits (such as blood in stools, diarrhoea or constipation for no reason, a feeling of bloating or of not having fully emptied your bowels or pain in your stomach or back passage)

If you have any of these - talk to your GP.

TEST FOUR: Wobbly gear stick?

Erection problems are common, and what we're talking about here are regular problems getting an erection or keeping one.

It’s not only your sex life that may be threatened. Erection problems can be an early warning sign of a number of serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. They could also be a sign of high cholesterol or low testosterone. Again, talk to your GP.

TEST FIVE: Check the water

Is there any change in how often you pee, or how easy it is? Do you get up more often at night?

Peeing more often, and less easily with a weaker flow can be signs of prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is not necessarily a sign of cancer but it needs to be checked. Peeing more often, especially at night, along with being overweight, tiredness and sores healing more slowly may all be signs of diabetes. Get your blood sugar tested.

TEST SIX: Check your pressure

You can take your blood pressure at the GP - or you can buy a home-tester. BP - as hthey say in the hospital dramas, is given as two figures:

  1. The first is when the heart is contracting (systolic)
  2. The second is when it is resting (diastolic)

120/70 would be fine for a young man. Once the systolic starts getting up towards 140 and / or the diastolic to 90, you need to monitor your BP more often.

Of course, any stress can raise your BP temporarily, but if you're getting regular readings of 140/90 more, see your GP.

TEST SEVEN: Day-to-day performance

how are you feeling? Are you motoring along smoothly?

If not, it's important to seek help - physical or mental support.

 

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