Organised by the Men’s Health Forum in England and Wales, Men’s Health Week aims to highlight prominent issues affecting men in the UK. Taking place from 15th – 21st June, this year’s theme is centred around healthy living.
At first glance, it might seem like a generic theme to focus on, but with one in five men dying before they reach 65, it’s clear there’s still a great need for education and support. It’s reported that men have 67% higher chance of dying from cancers that affect both men and women, while 75% of premature deaths from coronary heart diseases are male. We’ve assembled a short, easy to diges guidet that tackles some of the key areas to unlocking a lasting healthy lifestyle. Some of the following my seem like common sense, but it’s always worth reminding yourself on the basics. While it may be Men’s Health Week, naturally this advice can be followed by both men and women alike.
The benefits of improving your diet:
- Aides and increases memory function, mood and concentration levels
- Helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
- Reduces the risk of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity and stroke
What can be done: To start with, try keeping a food diary for anything from a few days to a week. Using this information, you can assess what needs to change. Maybe you keep skipping breakfast, or you’re not quite getting your ‘five a day’. First decide on the changes/improvements you want to make and then start to action them step by step.
The benefits of being fitter and getting more exercise:
- As above, the risk of chronic diseases can be greatly reduced
- Improvements to your sex life and self-esteem
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety can be reduced – for more information about this, please read our Mental Health Awareness Week post
What you can do: Aim for 30 minutes exercise, five times a week. That doesn’t mean push yourself to breaking point by sprinting on the treadmill, or deadlifting double your bodyweight. Moderate-intensity exercise is all you need to start feeling the effects. Brisk walking, cycling, anything that increases your heart rate and gets you out of breath will work wonders.
The dangers of excessive drinking:
- With nearly 200 calories in an average pint of beer, the risk of weight-gain is significant with excessive drinking
- Impotence and infertility
- Heart problems and digestive problems, liver disease and cancers are all very serious risks
How you can cut down: Begin by tracking how much you drink in units during a week, it can act a serious wake up call. When you’re out for a drink with friends, family or work colleagues, avoid getting into rounds. It will also help to space out your drinks, say no more than one an hour, and always drink plenty of water in-between.