7 Men's Health Numbers You Should Know

When you hear “health check,” do you think of a trip to the doctor? That’s good because annual checkups are essential! 

But do you know about a health check at home and how seven numbers can make you healthier and help minimize serious health risks?

We’ve compiled a “men’s health check” list from #1 to #7 to help you reach better physical, mental, and sexual health. Look for the bolded numbers under each point and what they mean for you.

These numbers include keeping a healthy weight, many units of alcohol are safe to drink per week if your health permits, and how to prevent a potentially fatal hypertensive crisis.

Let’s get started!

Men’s Health Check List 

#1: a BMI of Approximately 20

Keeping your body mass index (BMI) at a healthy range of 20 can help avoid heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. 

It’s easy to figure out what your BMI is. Use this formula:

  • Your weight (lbs) ÷ your height (in) x 703 (conversion number) = your BMI

For comparison, a BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight. A BMI of 25–30 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. A healthy BMI falls between 18.5–24, and 20 is a good average. You can also find out your BMI online using a calculator.

A high BMI doesn’t necessarily guarantee health problems. Still, many healthcare providers will perform further tests like skinfold thickness measurements, as well as diet and exercise evaluations, and a review of your family health history to determine if you’re at greater risk.

#2: 150 Minutes of Physical Activity a Week to Improve Health

Physical Activity to Improve Men's Health

You may not think you can do 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as any skeletal or muscular movement that burns energy in a body. Physical activity doesn’t simply mean vigorous exercise!

Physical activity can improve your mental and physical health and quality of life. It can also help prevent or control heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and forms of cancer.

Here’s what medical professionals have to say about physical activity according to your age group.

Adults 18 to 64 

Any energy that your body burns can be called physical activity, and healthy people of any skill level can become physically active. The most important thing you can do is decrease the amount of time you’re inactive or sedentary. 

The following guidelines use 150 minutes of physical activity as a weekly average, but you can adjust your exercise output according to your health and physical limits:

  • 150–300 minutes of light-to-moderate physical activity like walking, golfing or swimming per week, especially if you’re starting an exercise program.
  • 75-150 minutes of more vigorous activity with aerobic benefits, including running or cycling as you get stronger. Very active adults will benefit from more than 300 minutes of physical activity per week.
  • Weight training provides excellent benefits to your bones and muscles and should be done at least twice a week.

Adults 65 and Older

Depending on their current physical health and limits, older adults may continue to follow the same guidelines for weekly physical activity.

In addition, older adults benefit from strength and balance training at least three days a week to help maintain bone density and prevent age-related issues like bone breaks due to falls.  

#3: A Healthy Blood Pressure of 120/80

Health Blood Pressure

Did you know that there are five blood pressure “ranges” recognized by worldwide medical organizations like the American Heart Association, including a “normal range” of 120/80? 

Your blood pressure (120/80 as an example) gets measured this way:

  • 120 is your systolic blood pressure or how much pressure is exerted in your arterial walls with each heartbeat.
  • 80 is your diastolic blood pressure or how much pressure is exerted in your arterial walls when your heart rests between beats.

Blood pressure in the normal range generally means the numbers are 120/80 or lower. Let’s discuss the four abnormal ranges, including hypertensive crisis:

Elevated blood pressure means that systolic readings rise from 120 to 129. People in this range may develop high blood pressure problems unless they make lifestyle changes. 

Stage 1 Hypertension means that systolic blood pressure is between 130 to 139 and diastolic is 80 to 89. At this range, doctors generally recommend lifestyle changes. They may also prescribe blood pressure medications to those at risk of heart attack or stroke.

Stage 2 Hypertension is blood pressure that measures 140/90 or higher. Patients in this range are generally prescribed blood pressure medications and advised to make lifestyle changes immediately.

What Is Hypertensive Crisis?

This stage of abnormal blood pressure is the most severe and generally requires urgent medical attention. 

A hypertensive blood pressure reading is 180/120 or more. When a person’s blood pressure reading goes this high, they should seek medical advice immediately. They may test their blood pressure again to see if it lowers, but people should always take a hypertensive crisis seriously.

#4: 5 Portions of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

5 Portions of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

When it comes to healthy eating habits, your ideal number is 5. You may think it’s because there are five food groups: 

  • Group one is fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates for maximum energy
  • Group two is starchy foods like bread, potatoes, and pasta with simple carbohydrates offering limited bursts of energy
  • Group three is protein-rich meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans for bone health 
  • Group four is milk and dairy products. The lower the bad (saturated) fats in this group, the better
  • Group five is fats and sugars offering little dietary value

#5: Are 14 Units of Alcohol Per Week Healthy?

We’ve found some health guidelines that suggest 14 units of alcohol per week is a relatively safe limit. 

One unit of alcohol is precisely 10 ml (or one-hundredth of a litre), but most drinks aren’t measured this way. When considering the alcohol content in light to heavier beers, a 14 unit measurement equals roughly six pints.

But is that a healthy average number of drinks for you?

Testing Your Safe Limit for Alcohol

The long-term effects of excessive drinking often include heart problems, nerve damage, liver diseases, depression, eating problems or being overweight, and erectile dysfunction. If that sounds scary, it can be!

To help determine how much alcohol (if any) is suitable for you, here’s a quick test:

  • How often (if ever) do you drink more than average per week?
  • Do you need a drink every day?
  • Do you ever drink to cheer yourself up?
  • Has your drinking affected your work or your personal life?
  • Do you think about drinking before you have a drink?

There is no shame in answering “yes” to any of these questions. It’s an excellent way to determine how alcohol may be affecting your life. Here’s another question:

  • Can you stop drinking for three days?

If you don’t think you can, it may be an ideal time to ask for some help from registered medical professionals. Telehealth Ontario is a free and confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-797-0000.

#6: 21% Of Deaths in a Decade Caused by Smoking

Smoking and ED

Statistics Canada paints a startling picture of how many Canadians die from smoking. That’s because tobacco is toxic—the tar in it contains arsenic, cyanide, formaldehyde, and benzene, and the carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces blood oxygen considerably. 

If you’re having problems quitting smoking, remember the 21%. The best age to quit is before 30, but when you stop smoking at any age, you reap huge benefits:

  • You’ll smell better!
  • You’ll get more fit!
  • Your sense of taste and smell improve! 
  • You’ll have more money…smoking is expensive!
  • It’s proven that smoking reduces blood flow which often causes erectile issues and damages your sperm… so quitting improves your sex life!

#7: Almost 50% of Men Experienced Erectile Dysfunction Before Heart Disease

A study of erective dysfunction found that 49.4% of men experienced erectile dysfunction (ED) three years before being diagnosed with coronary artery disease, heart disease, or stroke.

The researchers determined that plaque buildup in the body can affect blood flow to the penis and cause erectile dysfunction before any heart disease or stroke symptoms occur.

If you are experiencing ED, your doctor or specialist may check to see if you’re at a greater risk of sudden cardiac arrest or stroke.

Remember, Erectile Dysfunction Is Treatable!

As we’ve discussed, getting treated for ED now could help prevent heart disease or stroke in the future. So when you look at it that way, it’s a significant step to take for your health.

At Oakwood Health Network, we specialize in men’s health checks, and our focus is always a customized plan for you. You owe it to yourself. Book your free consultation today!

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Who.int. 2020. Physical activity. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity> [Accessed 15 February 2022].

www.heart.org. n.d. Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. [online] Available at: <https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings> [Accessed 15 February 2022].

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