Men’s Health Maintenance Checklist
Most men make it a priority to maintain their car, their house and their lawn, but they often don’t do the same for their health. If you happen to be one who puts your health on the back burner, it may be time to shift your priorities and focus on yourself.
As a man, it’s easy to feel like you’re still as healthy as you were in your 20s, but once you hit your 30s — and especially your 40s and beyond — it’s important to pay attention to your body and be proactive about maintaining your health.
Here’s a practical checklist for you to help maintain your health:
1. Check your blood pressure – even if you’re in your 20s, you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. Men 40 or older should get it checked at least once a year.
Ideally, you want the top number (systolic number) to be less than 120 and the bottom number (diastolic number) to be less than 80. If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
2. Check your cholesterol – men are recommended to get a cholesterol screening starting between 20 and 35. Those with normal cholesterol levels do not need to have the test repeated for five years.
If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or certain other conditions, you’ll need to have it checked more often.
3. Screen for diabetes – If your blood pressure is 140/80 mm Hg or higher, your doctor may test your blood sugar level for diabetes. If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened.
If you have other risk factors, like a first-degree relative with diabetes or a history of heart disease, your doctor will likely screen you for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and in good health, you should be screened every three years.
4. Colorectal/colon cancer screening – If you are under age 50, ask your health care provider if you should get screened. You should be screened if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps. Screening may also be considered if you have risk factors such as a history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps.
You should get screened for colorectal cancer if you are aged 45 to 75. Several screening test options available to choose from include:
- A fecal occult blood (stool-based) test done every year
- A fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
- A stool DNA test every three years
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
- Double contrast barium enema every five years
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer
- A history of growths called adenomatous polyps
5. Check for lung cancer – the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults ages 55 to 80 years who:
- Have a 30 pack-year smoking history AND
- Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
6. Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening – if you are between ages 65 and 75 and have smoked, you should have an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Men who have not smoked should discuss this screening with their doctor.
Sources: U.S. National Library of Medicine, retrieved from –