How to get a quick snapshot of your current and future health with YouCheck
“Man, I really miss fax machines”…said no one ever. Same goes for payphones and TV rabbit ears. Many things that were once commonplace are now rare or have vanished completely — and nobody misses them!
These days, you can add “health confusion” and “old-school physical exams” to the list of celebrated extinctions. How have these two headaches been cured? Check it out:
The world’s first online health tool for guys
Clicking on over to YouCheck is an awesome first step in making small, easy health changes that lead to big-time benefits over the long haul. By answering YouCheck’s 20 questions, you get a unique snapshot of your current and future health. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete the survey and generate a free, customized report that shows you how to make health changes.
In short, YouCheck helps you know where you stand in terms of your health. Now that’s progress! Speaking of progress, it may involve seeing your doctor, which brings us to the second great disappearance…
What to check and when
Thanks to the “Men’s Maintenance Guide,” it’s really easy for YOU to take control of your health by checking some important stuff on your own. Download the free ebook right now to get the 411 on that. (If you don’t know what “the 411” is, no worries. No one dials 4-1-1 anymore either!)
Back in the day, every part of your body was examined during a doctor checkup. These days, the process is quicker, more efficient and more effective, with the list of things that get checked depending on your age.
Again, that’s where the “Men’s Maintenance Guide” comes in. It takes the hassle and confusion out of key medical questions you need to ask your doctor, and provides an awesome all-in-one checklist of essential screening tests and vaccinations.
How often should you get a blood test? The Guide can help. When do you need booster shots? The Guide can help. What can you do to stay healthy? The Guide also offers easy everyday tips that can help you look and feel like a superhero (minus the Spandex, unless that’s your thing). Where can I find a working payphone? Ummmm…good luck with that!
The importance of checkups
The expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” fits doctor checkups to a tee. While the Men’s Maintenance Guide and YouCheck are great tools for getting a handle on your health, they do not replace doctor checkups, which can detect health issues BEFORE they become problems. “Nip it in the bud,” as they say. Plus, checkups build a record of your health that can keep your body humming and tuned up.
When to go for health exams
According to the Men’s Maintenance Guide, guys aged 20 to 54 should go for periodic health exams every 3 to 5 years, or more frequently if you have a concern or question about your health. If you’re 55 or older, every 2 years is recommended. If you’re 115 or older, you must be doing a great job of making it to your check ups!
How to book a medical checkup
It’s easy! Call your doctor’s office to make an appointment for a checkup. If you don’t have a doctor, ask friends or family members about theirs, or use the Internet to search “find a doctor” and your province of residence. Another option: Call your nearest walk-in medical centre to let them know you would like a checkup.
You COULD try faxing them, but these days a simple phone call is a MUCH better bet…
Making the most of your doctor’s visit means going in with the right knowledge and a list of informed, sensible, constructive questions. Here, then, are 9 tips you can use to help your doctor help you. And just for fun, each tip comes with its “Bizarro World” counterpart: what you shouldn’t do!
1. DO: Ask your doc to check your waist size
No, it’s not your pant size. Waist size is measured around your belly button. If it’s higher than acceptable (generally over 38 inches) it is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke because it can show an accumulation of fat inside your belly or visceral fat, which is more dangerous than fat in other places.
DON’T: Try to guess your doctor’s waist size. Repeatedly.
2. DO: Ask about your blood pressure
Blood pressure is a partial measure of how stiff your blood vessels are, and is a changeable, lifestyle-related factor for heart and stroke. For many people with mild to moderate high blood pressure, losing as little as 5 or 10 pounds can normalize things.
DON’T: Attach the blood-pressure gauge’s velcro strap to your moustache. Trust me on this.
3. DO: Know your family history
If available, it’s incredibly valuable. There are a number of potentially life-shortening or altering conditions that doctors can screen for and prevent before they cause significant trouble — but only if they’re aware of what to watch for.
DON’T: Impersonate Peter Griffin from Family Guy.
4. DO: Discuss your alcohol intake
Guidelines suggest a maximum of three drinks per day for men, but don’t save them all up for the weekend. That’s a lot of calories, and if you drink in the evening it’s tough to burn them off. Try alternating each beverage with a big glass of water.
DON’T: Have those three drinks during the exam.
5. DO: Quit smoking!
While moderate drinking may have some health benefits, only bad things come from smoking. The good news: Your doctor has both prescription and non-prescription options that can help.
DON’T: Continue smoking!
6. DO: Ask about your Testosterone levels and PSA
Testosterone is the male hormone that contributes to strength, stamina, work and athletic performance, psycho-emotional health, cognitive function, sex drive and erectile function. It starts to decrease around the age of 40. Having a baseline test around this time isn’t a bad idea. If you’re not feeling yourself in any of these areas, it’s worth getting checked.
PSA is a chemical that is produced by your prostate. While there are a number of things that can elevate PSA, prostate cancer is one of them. Certain groups are at higher risk for prostate cancer, including men with a family history, Canadians of African descent, and men with an elevated PSA under age 50. Consider checking your PSA and your prostate, beginning at age 40, if you’re considered high risk, or at age 50 if not.
DON’T: Again, if a prostate exam is required, do not pull a Peter Griffin…
7. DO: Ask about your cholesterol and your Hemoglobin A1C
Cholesterol is a measure of the fats in your blood, and is one of the changeable, lifestyle-oriented factors relating to heart disease and stroke. Cutting down on fat in your diet — by choosing salad as a side dish instead of fries, for instance — is a good start. There are different types of cholesterol in your blood, some healthy, some unhealthy, and exercise can improve the ratio of good-to-bad. Another good start: Taking the Pledge!
Hemoglobin A1C, meanwhile, is a measure of how high your blood sugar has been over the past three months, and is used for diagnosing diabetes.
DON’T: Feel embarrassed about asking any of the questions on this list. It is a GP’s job to listen without judgement and offer solutions and treatment.
8. DO: Break a sweat getting to the clinic
Doctors recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week at a pace that makes you feel like you’re rushing to catch a bus.
DON’T: Prancercise to the clinic. Unless, of course, it really catches on…
9. DO: Take the YouCheck.ca Survey and print off your results to discuss with your GP
This innovative health awareness tool asks 18 questions about health history and lifestyle, and then assesses the risk of developing seven of the most common diseases and conditions among Canadian men. This provides the perfect starting point for asking questions that apply to your specific health profile.
DON’T: Take the “Which Kardashian Are You?” survey