OK, before we get ready to shave off our moustaches as Movember draws to a close, let’s not forget – amid all the fun and frolics – that men’s health is a serious issue.
Men are notoriously bad at asking for help, yet seeking timely advice and treatment can make all the difference between heartbreak and a long and happy life. And, of course, a healthy lifestyle goes a long way towards preventing problems and increasing our wellbeing and quality of life.
So what should we be doing to keep ourselves fit and healthy? The Movember website is a good place to start.
Then, why not take a look at our website where you’ll find all sorts of useful fitness equipment, ranging from inexpensive heart-rate monitors to complete home gyms.
Here are some key tips for understanding your health
and staying fit and healthy.
This is one of the most powerful tools to understanding your health. The genes you inherit can affect your level of risk for some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, among other illnesses. Talk to your family and find out if there are any issues.
Know your numbers
Tracking your health numbers and keeping them within a healthy range will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.
- Body Mass Index/weight
- Waist line
- Blood pressure
- HDL Cholesterol (healthy cholesterol)
- LDL Cholesterol (unhealthy cholesterol)
- Blood glucose (sugar)
Stay at a healthy weight
Your BMI is calculated from your height and weight. For men with a waistline over 37 inches, the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and general health problems, greatly increases. Balance calories from foods and drinks with calories you burn off by physical activities. Only 36% of adults are at a normal weight for their height.
Numbers not quite as good as they should be? Here’s what you can do to make them better.
If you’re not already taking some form of exercise, start small and work up to 20-30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. If you are overweight or want to lose weight, then 60 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended. Although it is difficult with modern lifestyles, especially desk jobs, try to stay on the move throughout the day. Every little bit counts – take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a walk during your lunch break, stand instead of sit.
If you do smoke, try to stop!
The quality of our sleep can dictate how much we eat, how fast our metabolism runs, how fat or thin we are, how well we can fight off infections and how well we can cope with stress. Keep a regular pattern of sleep, going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time, is key. Have a look at our blog post to see some other benefits of a good night’s sleep – Don’t Don't be dozy - 8 Reasons to get some sleep!
Staying mentally healthy
We can work on our mental wellbeing by staying physically healthy, enjoying a good diet, cutting down on alcohol, taking regular exercise, and having time out for fun and relaxation.
Try to manage stress
Stress, particularly long-term stress, can be the factor in the onset or worsening of ill health. Take ‘time out’ each day and go for a walk or do something you find relaxing.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Many of us enjoy a drink after work to wind down. Alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, but only if consumed in moderation. US Guidelines recommend that men should not regularly have more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day and that women should only consume 1 alcoholic drink a day. This equates to 12-ounces of beer or 8-ounces of malt liquor or 5-ounces of wine or 1.5-ounces or a 'shot' of 80 proof distilled spirits of liquor (i.e. gin, rum, vodka or whiskey)*
Healthy fresh foods (unprocessed) can seem expensive but they’re worth it! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins such as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts should be top of our menu choices.
Try to eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
Drink water - here’s our blog post giving the scientific facts – Health Myth: How Many Glasses of Water should we Drink?
Avoid sugary drinks – including fruit juice and sports drinks. Moderation and variety is the key. Healthy people probably don’t need supplements, as the best source of vitamins is from food.
When you’re enjoying life in the sun, remember to wear sunscreen. Check regularly for changes to your skin with an emphasis on moles. If you’re concerned about any skin changes see your doctor. Check out our useful blog post: Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen.
If you’d like a helpful reminder of what to look out for, you can download a handy poster from the Movember web site here: http://bit.ly/1fgWf2K
Thanks to our wonderful Product Manager, Terry Russell, for being our model in the photo at the start of this blog post.