In a society obsessed with health, it's almost impossible to escape health-related horror stories. From news of impending pandemics to symptoms of horrific diseases, health news is often tinged with a touch of fear.
We spend so much time worrying about disease that we rarely ever question the flip side: What does it mean to be healthy? Thankfully, that's a question that AM can help answer.
Check out the following signs to see if you are a healthy guy.
1. You have firm pink nails
While their probably not the first item you'd expect to see on a man's checklist of healthy markers, fingernails certainly can reveal a lot about someone's health. Generally, a healthy individual's nails will be pink, firm and smooth. Although subtle variations are common — a touch of white here or a few ripples there — any major changes in the nails should ring the alarm. Thick yellow nails that grow slowly may indicate a respiratory disease like chronic bronchitis. Indentations across the nails, called Beau's lines, might point to diabetes, while spoon-like nails that curve outwards might be a sign of low iron. Although changes in the nails are rarely the first clue to an illness, if your nails don't appear healthy, it's best to raise this with your family doctor.
2. Your urine is the color of a manila folder
Ever think of checking your pee to see if you're healthy? If not, perhaps it's time you start since your urine may reveal important clues about your health. Preferably, your urine should be the color of a manila file folder — a pale yellow. You can take that as a sign that you’re a healthy guy. However, normal urine can vary in shades of yellow depending on how much water you drink. If you drink a lot of fluids your urine will likely be clear (and medically, that's no problem).
If, however, you're dehydrated, your urine will have a dark, brownish tinge like ice tea. Beyond simple shades, be keen to notice any other major changes. A sweet smell, odd odor, a drop of red, or some other color change that seems unrelated to any food, medication or supplement you've recently consumed should not be ignored.
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3. You ejaculate a tablespoon of semen
A healthy, middle-age man should ejaculate anywhere from 2 to 5 milliliters of semen. While semen load decreases as a man ages, a load less than 2 ml is indicative of hypospermia, a condition that may affect male fertility (this 2 ml cut-off is even supported by the World Health Organization!).
Aside from volume, the color and consistency of a man’s semen can also give clues to his health. Without getting into too much detail, a healthy guy should have white or gray, sticky semen. Semen that’s tinged with blood or overly runny might be a sign of a health problem and should be discussed with a doctor.
4. You have a resting heart rate around 70 beats per minute
Resting heart rate (RHR), or the number of times the heart beats per minute at rest, is a great indicator of your overall fitness level. Although an RHR will vary with age, for the average healthy male, an RHR between 70 and 75 beats per minute (bpm) is a reasonable target. In fact, an RHR between 60 and 100 bpm is generally considered normal for adults. Heart rates outside of this range can cause serious health problems and may indicate an underlying health issue. To measure your pulse, simply place two fingers on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, look at your watch and count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to get your heart rate per minute.
5. Your skin is elastic
Skin elasticity, or turgor, is commonly used to assess the degree of dehydration. If you’ve been battling bouts of diarrhea or have been praying to the porcelain gods (i.e., vomiting) chances are that you’ve lost quite a bit of fluid. Healthy skin retains elasticity and will return to normal if you try to manipulate it. To test your skin’s elasticity, simply pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Dehydrated skin will remain elevated and will return slowly to its normal position while healthy skin will snap back into place.
Are You a Healthy Guy?
Day in and day out we’re flooded with information of disease, but rarely do we ever hear what it means to be in good health. Although the above list is by no means complete, paying attention to signs of good health might help you spot real problems before they take hold. Be healthy. Be proactive!