Written by: Anne Marie Fogarty, RGN
5 General Health Tips for Men
Statistically, men worldwide have a shorter average lifespan than women. Sure, we’ve all seen memes and funny videos of men trying stupid stunts online with captions like ‘this is why women live longer than men’, and while humorous, men’s health is no laughing matter.
Regardless of our age, lifestyle, circumstances, or anything else, we all should do everything in our power to look after ourselves and keep ourselves as fit and healthy as possible.
As men grow older, they find themselves more prone and susceptible to illnesses and ailments though in reality, men in their 20s and 30s, and even their teens, should still be leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle whenever possible.
Being healthy isn’t just about prolonging your life and improving your quality of life; it’s about feeling better about yourself. To help you enjoy those perks and more besides, here’s a look at five general health tips for men.
Get a general health check
Men are notorious for putting off tasks, especially if those “tasks” involve visiting a doctor.
Regardless of age, it is always a good idea to visit a doctor and get a general health check, no matter how great you look or feel.
The idea behind a general health check isn’t necessarily to identify a problem there and then (although that itself can be lifesaving) but rather to identify any warning signs of potential problems and deal with them before they can progress.
A general health check will tell you things such as your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, hormone levels, and much more. Any problems will be identified during the check, and the necessary treatments and/or preventative measures can be implemented.
Get your prostate checked
Men aged 50 or older should ideally get their prostate gland checked every year or regularly at the very least.
1 in 8 men in the UK will have prostate cancer in their lifetime, and the earlier the disease can be detected, the far greater their chances of making a full and complete recovery.
Men aged 50 or older, black, and with a history of prostate cancer in their family are at a much greater risk of prostate cancer, which is why visiting the doctor regularly for a check-up is so important.
Check your skin
Men tend not to check their skin as regularly as women, and considering most men are hairier than women; it can sometimes be difficult to spot any changes or areas of concern.
Skin cancer amongst men is common here in the UK, affecting more than 8,400 men yearly. This is why it’s so important to check your skin regularly as a male.
Check your skin for any unusual markings, lumps, bumps, moles, or growths that you haven’t noticed before, that have changed shape, or look infected, inflamed, or aggressive.
If you notice any changes in moles, any new growths, or have any moles or markings giving you cause for concern, make sure to contact your GP and get them looked at.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
Yes, we know that a plate of vegetables or a bowl of fruit isn’t going to taste as nice as a bacon double cheeseburger and fries to a lot of people, but we also know how important fruits and vegetables are.
Health experts recommend that we consume five portions of fruit and veg per day, yet most men aren’t getting enough.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and other nutrients that give the body a world of good.
The nutrients in fruits and vegetables help boost the immune system, protect the cells from oxidation and ageing and can therefore help protect against cancer, make the skin look good, make you feel good, promote satiety, and much more besides.
Whether it’s extra veggies with your dinner or a superfood green smoothie in the morning, make sure you consume more fruits and vegetables daily.
Be more active
Exercise isn’t just beneficial for aesthetic purposes, it’s also essential for a man’s general health and well-being.
Exercise not only helps burn fat and control your weight, but it also promotes cardiovascular health. Worldwide, heart disease claims for lives than any other disease, and statistically, men are more prone to it than women. Aerobic exercise, just as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, are all fantastic for the heart.
Resistance exercise with weights is also beneficial, as it helps strengthen the muscles and bones, helps to burn fat, and can help increase overall strength levels. Each week, aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes in bouts of 10 minutes or longer. You can keep track of this with our weekly or monthly exercise trackers.
So there you have it, five small changes that will lead to large benefits. Minding your mental health and talking about emotions is also an integral part of overall wellness and something we will be discussing in our free resources soon!