National Men’s Health Week comes around every year during the week that ends with Father’s Day. That makes June the perfect month for men (or the people who love them) to schedule a physical to help safeguard their health for another year.
This year National Men’s Health Week runs from June 15 through June 21. Here are some standard tests every man should have, whether it's that week or any time of the year, to protect his health:
Body Mass Index
This measurement checks more than just your weight. Your BMI measures your body fat, based on your height and weight.
You can use an online BMI calculator to find out where your BMI falls on a scale of underweight, normal, overweight or obese. Excess weight can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
High blood pressure can damage your heart as it has to work harder to pump blood. It can also cause serious damage to other vital organs, including the kidneys, and may increase your risk for stroke. High blood pressure may also be an indicator for diabetes.
All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years if it is in the normal range, which means a reading of 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
Get your blood pressure checked more frequently if it is high. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help control your high blood pressure.
All men age 35 and up should have blood drawn to check their cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Start this test at age 20 if you have risk factors for heart disease. With this test, you want high levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and low levels of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL is considered to be normal. High cholesterol and triglycerides can increase your risk for heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend changes to your diet and exercise plans, to improve your cholesterol levels.
Abnormally high blood sugar can indicate diabetes.