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Get your MOT this Men’s Health Week

Are you ready for the CAN DO and body check challenge?

Home » Tradesman Insights » Get your MOT this Men’s Health Week

June 13-19th is Men’s Health Week. It’s a fantastic cause that highlights the pressures men face, and encourages men to talk about how they feel physically and mentally.
Each year Men’s Health Week has a different focus that aims to deal with issues that are currently impacting their lives.

This year it’s all about the MOT, which encourages men to do a series of self-checks to make sure they are in good health and maintain a positive mind.

It’s time for your MOT

This June is all about paying attention to your body. Aches, pains, and negative thinking all mean something, and most of the time pass without much notice. However, it’s the lingering issues that men need to be aware of. Because the issues that cling on are the issues that lead to something more serious.

In January 2022, it was revealed that there was a 28.9% reduction in prostate cancer diagnosis. When men did finally seek help they were diagnosed with the most advanced stage of cancer. Unfortunately, for a lot of men who did get checked, it was too late.

Early diagnosis is key, and it all starts with a men’s health MOT.

So, how does it work? What steps should men be taking to check they’re in tip-top condition?

It all starts with awareness. Literally scanning through your body from head to toe to pick up on anything that doesn’t feel quite right. And don’t forget your mental health too. That negative self-talk can turn into something a lot more serious. In fact, it’s often your mental wellbeing that contributes to how your body feels physically.

Research has suggested that people with mental health issues are more likely to have preventable physical health conditions, such as heart disease. So, the way you think impacts the way your body operates. If you’re stuck in a loop of negative self-talk, it’s time to speak to someone.

The Men’s Health Forum have offered the following actionable advice to make sure your mind is in the right place:

C.A.N.D.O

  • Connect

Boost your connection with others. Reach out and get involved in your community. You’re never alone and you’ll quickly find that someone is dealing with the same issues you are. Finding that support is crucial.

  • Active

A 20-minute walk can change the way you think and feel. So get out and about. Go for a run. Play sport with a friend, or join a club. The body and mind was designed to move. Make sure you’re giving yourself the attention it craves.

  • Notice

Take note of your environment. What can you do to make where you are more positive? If you sit in front of a screen all day, turn it off. Get outside. Find a park to sit in. A different location can help you see things from a new perspective.

  • Discover

Invest some time in learning something new. Keeping your mind active with a book or taking a course is a great way to focus the mind away from what’s troubling you.

  • Offer

Help someone else. Join a community group and offer to help with home maintenance, or volunteer at a local charity.

This C.A.N D.O challenge has been scientifically proven to help you feel better. So, give it a go and enjoy the difference it makes.

And here are some excellent tests you can do to make sure your physical health is as good as it can be:

Test 1: Check your pulse

You can find your pulse in your wrist or neck.

To find your pulse in your wrist:

  • hold out one of your hands, with your palm facing upwards
  • press the first (index) finger and middle finger of your other hand on the inside of your wrist, at the base of your thumb – don’t use your thumb as it has its own pulse
  • press your skin lightly until you can feel your pulse – if you can’t find it, try pressing a little harder or move your fingers around

To find your pulse in your neck:

  • press your first finger and middle finger to the side of your neck, just under your jaw and beside your windpipe – don’t use your thumb
  • press your skin lightly to feel your pulse – if you can’t find it, try pressing a bit harder or move your fingers around

Once you have found your pulse, you need to work out your resting pulse rate. Simply count the heartbeats over four 15-second periods, and add them up.

If you’re very fit, your heart rate will be:

If your fitness is average, your heart rate will be:

And if you’re unfit, your heart rate will be:

If you’re pulse is higher than it should be, talk to your GP and get some advice about activities that will improve your health.

Test 2: Check your weight

Those extra pounds around your waist could lead to serious conditions, and height doesn’t make a difference.

  • If your waist is over 37 inches you’re at risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • If you’re over 40 inches, you could be obese and at serious risk of the conditions mentioned above

Test 3: Do a body check

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 when you spit 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 are experiencing any of the above speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

Test 4: Erection problems

Something men find difficult to admit, but erection problems can be early warning signs that something is seriously wrong. If you’re finding it difficult to maintain an erection there maybe a link to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Seek medical advice if you’re having problems in the bedroom.

Test 5: How often do you urinate?

If there are any changes in the numbers times you urinate, during the day and night, then it may be a sign of an enlarged prostate. A weak flow when you urinate is also a sign to get checked out.

Test 6: Are you feeling ok?

Try the C.A.N.D.O steps above to make sure your mental health is as well as it can be.

Test 7: Check your blood pressure

It’s important to keep an eye on your blood pressure. This can be done with your GP or with a home test kit.

If your blood pressure is too high, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

If you’re experiencing:

  • light-headedness or dizziness
  • feeling sick
  • blurred vision
  • generally feeling weak
  • confusion
  • fainting

Your blood pressure may be too low. Get checked out.

Pick up the phone

Whatever you’re going through, one of the first and most important steps is to talk to someone. This could be a friend or a family member, or if it makes it easier to open up, a complete stranger.

There is loads of help and advice available, if you’re struggling with mental or physical health. Remember, men’s health isn’t just about one week a year; it should be a priority every day.

Here are a few places you can call, if you need to have a chat:

If you’re feeling unwell, then call NHS 111 for advice. When you speak to someone they will ask some personal details and a series of questions related to your concern.

Expect a call back from a professional within a few hours, who will talk you through the best course of action to take.

Don’t want to share your info? That’s fine. Here are a couple of numbers you can call in confidence.

An excellent option for tradespeople is the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity. They offer a text service, which you can reach by texting HARDHAT to 85258. Or you can contact them through their app.

The service is confidential and deals with issues related to the construction industry. If you want to speak to them, call 0345 605 1956 for support 24/7.

Mates in Mind is also an excellent charity that encourages awareness through education. They train employers to support staff and are always looking for volunteers to help out with health issues in the industry. You’ll find lots of useful advice on their website, and you can call them on 020 3510 5018.

If you’re a policyholder with Tradesman Saver, you receive counselling and financial advice as standard, at no extra cost. The lines are open 24/7 and are handled confidentially.

 

For free confidential advice and support, call the Staff Counselling Helpline on
0333 000 2082
For help with legal and tax issues, call the Legal and Tax Helpline on
0344 571 7978

Your Tradesman Saver policy also gives you access to free Business Support at www.araglegal.co.uk.

You will need your insurance policy number when you call, which you can find on your policy documents through your account.

 

Finally, if you want a better idea of what others are going through, or have your own story to share, check out the MYH Podcast. Each month they interview a tradesperson who shares their struggles in the industry.

Last month, MYH Podcast founder Rob Muldoon shared what inspired him to help others. And the June 2022 episode of the podcast is now available.

Again, get a check-up with a GP is something is worrying you, and find someone to talk to if your mind is not in the right place.

Stay safe, and reach out if you’re feeling unwell.

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