Health & Wellbeing Resources

Mens Health Checks

Which Men's Health Checks and When? – Vital Checks for Longevity and Wellness

‘Prevention is better than cure’ is especially true when it comes to your health. But we humans are pretty good at avoiding things until they become problems. And knowing which checks to have and when, can be a bit confusing.

That’s why we've created this guide to help men (or the man in your life) stay on top of their health and manage conditions before they become serious.

The Importance of Regular Health Checks for Men: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's fast-paced world, men's health often takes a backseat to the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities.

This is why we conduct our Truckie Check-ins at rest stops where Transport workers can have a quick heart and lung check ‘on the go’.

Because prioritising regular health checks is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and catching potential health issues early. This comprehensive guide explores the importance of regular health checks for men, the key screenings and tests recommended at different life stages, and practical tips for integrating these checks into a busy lifestyle.

Mens Health Checks

Why Regular Health Checks Matter

Just like we want the oil light in our car to light up and warn us we need to add more oil before the engine seizes up, it’s a good idea to be made aware of health issues before our engine ‘seizes up’.

Regular health checks can:

Identify Risk Factors Early
: Many health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, develop gradually without noticeable symptoms. Early detection through regular screenings allows for timely intervention and management before they become more serious health issues.

Improve Treatment Outcomes
: Conditions detected in their early stages are often more treatable and manageable (with fewer side effects). For example, early-stage cancer has a significantly higher survival rate compared to advanced stages.

Encourage Healthier Lifestyle Choices:
Truck drivers whose employers require routine medical examinations have said the checks make them more aware of their health and lifestyle choices. Regular checks with healthcare providers can reinforce the importance of healthy habits such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, and avoiding harmful behaviors like smoking and excessive drinking.

Provide Peace of Mind
: Knowing that you are monitoring your health proactively can reduce anxiety and provide the reassurance you are on the right track, allowing you to enjoy life.

Key Health Checks for Men at Different Ages

In Your 20s

1. General Physical Exam:

Frequency: Annually

Purpose: Establish a health baseline, monitor weight, blood pressure, and overall physical health.

2. Blood Pressure Check:

Frequency: Every 2 years if normal; annually if elevated

Purpose: Detect hypertension early, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

3. Cholesterol Test:

Frequency: Every 4-6 years

Purpose: Identify high cholesterol levels that can lead to cardiovascular diseases.

4. Testicular Exam:

Frequency: Monthly self-exams; periodic clinical exams

Purpose: Detect testicular cancer, most common in younger men.

5. Dental Checks:

Frequency: Annual

Purpose: Your oral health is linked to your physical and mental health. Look after your teeth and gums to look after your overall health and wellbeing.

In Your 30s

1. Continued Checks from Your 20s:

Maintain regular physical exams, blood pressure, and cholesterol checks.

2. Blood Glucose Test:

Frequency: Every 3 years starting at age 35

Purpose: Screen for type 2 diabetes, especially if you have risk factors like obesity or a family history.

3. Skin Exam:

Frequency: Annually

Purpose: Check for signs of skin cancer, including melanoma, which is more common in men.

In Your 40s

1. Eye Exam:

Frequency: Every 2-4 years

Purpose: Detect vision changes and early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma.

2. Prostate Exam:

Frequency: Discuss with your doctor; typically begins at age 50 unless high-risk.

Purpose: Screen for prostate cancer through a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam.

3. Hearing Test:

Frequency: Every 10 years

Purpose: Detect early signs of hearing loss.

4. Heart Health Screening:

Frequency: Every 5 years

Purpose: Assess risk factors for heart disease, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) if needed.

In Your 50s and Beyond

1. Bowel Cancer – Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)

Frequency: At least every 2 years according to the Cancer Council

Purpose: Detect and prevent colorectal cancer, which is more common in older adults.

2. Bone Density Test:

Frequency: At least once, more often if risk factors are present

Purpose: Screen for osteoporosis, particularly if you have a history of fractures or low body weight.

3. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening:

Frequency: Once for men aged 65-75 who have ever smoked

Purpose: Detect aneurysms that could lead to life-threatening ruptures.

4. Vaccinations:

Frequency: Follow CDC guidelines for flu, shingles, pneumonia, and other vaccinations

Purpose: Prevent common infections that can have serious complications in older adults.

Mens Health Checks 4

Integrating Health Checks into Your Life

It may feel unnecessary to take the time for regular checks (especially if you feel fine), and perhaps a little daunting, but just as you take your car in for a regular service, with a little planning, they can become a seamless part of your routine. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

Schedule Appointments
in Advance: Book your annual check-ups and screenings ahead of time and mark them on your calendar. This reduces the likelihood of forgetting or procrastinating.

Use Technology
: Leverage apps and online tools to set reminders for appointments and track your health metrics.

Stay Informed:
Educate yourself about the recommended screenings for your age group and any specific health concerns you may have. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about your health.

Partner with Your Doctor: Develop a good relationship with your primary care physician. Be open about your health concerns and family medical history. Regular communication helps your doctor provide personalised care.

Make Healthy
Living a Priority: Regular health checks are most effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and avoid harmful habits like smoking.

In conclusion

No more excuses. It’s time to make health checks a regular part of your routine. By staying proactive and informed, you can catch potential health issues early, improve treatment outcomes, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Remember, taking care of your health is not just about adding years to your life—it's about adding life to your years. Your future self will thank you.