Men’s Health Week is from 10th – 16th June.  I know this because I read it on Clive’s ‘Take It Easy’ blog recently.

Men, as far as I can tell, don’t really take their health very seriously, especially if they’re younger than 50.  Wives and girlfriends send them to work with salads and shredded tofu for instance, and they’ll chuck it away and buy a bacon sarnie or three.  Then it’s ‘let’s see if I can drink more pints than him’ down the pub in the evenings, and after that they’ll top it all off with kebab and chips before staggering home.  I’m talking generally here and I know there are exceptions, so please bear with me…

The exceptions are the grunters at the gym, like the hunk in the featured image.  Once they get the fitness bug they go all out and build up their muscles so much that they can’t put a sandwich to their mouth because their biceps are in the way.  They’ll run for miles and injure their knees, but they’ll still keep on running because they can’t give up the endorphin rush.

Once they get past 50, their excesses will start to catch up with them, but any mention of going to see the doctor brings laughter and derision.  Sam, for instance, thinks all doctors are pervs, and he hasn’t seen one since his vasectomy back in 1985!   However, now he’s 61 he has started to take his health more seriously.  He cycles with me at weekends, walks in the evenings, and has given up fizzy drinks, bread, dairy, tea and coffee, but alas not beer (he says he has to have something to live for!).

Do men think it’s unmanly to talk about their illnesses to doctors?  Would they rather not know what they’re suffering from?  When Sam and I reached 60, we were invited to undertake a free health check on the NHS.  I dragged Sam along, kicking and screaming to the nurse,  but we both passed the tests okay.  However, like many other 60 year olds, we were then asked whether we’d like a ‘do-it-yourself’ home test kit for bowel cancer.  I said yes and so did Sam, and the envelopes duly arrived in the post.  Would Sam take part when it came to the crunch?  No.  The envelope sat there for months until it reached its sell-by date.

My father died aged 49 from advanced prostate cancer which had spread throughout his body.  He left it too late to get treated.  Mum, on the other hand, went to the doctor straight away when she saw the first signs of uterine cancer.  It was treated, and she lived another 30 years and saw her grandchildren grow up and produce children of their own.  Dad didn’t live long enough to even walk me up the aisle on my wedding day.  Men, read, mark and inwardly digest those words and look after your health!  You cannot get away from yourself and you will end up living with the legacy of your excesses!

Lecture over.  Let’s see how many men respond to this…