June 12-18 marks Men’s Health Week where we look at men’s health overall and the different ways men can keep healthy, physically and emotionally.
Men’s health facts:
- Men live 9 years in poor health – mostly preventable by making small lifestyle changes.
- Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active.
- Men who sleep 7-8 hours a night have about 60% less risk of a fatal heart attack than those who sleep 5 hours or less.
- Only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by his genetics. 70% is controllable through lifestyle
So what small lifestyle changes can you make to be healthier?
- Find an activity that you enjoy and commit to it regularly. Whether it’s a team sport, walking the dog, going to the gym, swimming, or physical activities such as gardening, it’s important that you enjoy the way you’re moving and to do a bit every day. Evidence suggests that exercise works on a dose-relationship response, meaning the more you do, the more positive health benefits occur. Regular exercise can release feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins) that improve mood and can also reduce immune system chemicals that increase depression.
- Get involved in the kitchen and cook healthy, nutritious meals. Eating more home cooked meals means you tend to eat smaller portions and ultimately consume less kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt. A recent survey found 66% of men regularly experiment with new recipes and 42% more are cooking more frequently at home. If you’re looking for inspiration check out our Dietitian approved recipes here.
- Use your down time to relax and take time for the things you enjoy. A healthy work-life balance can significantly reduce your stress. Being present and focused on what you are doing in the moment will help you to enjoy it and prevent guilt about things you ‘should’ be doing.
- Connect with someone and talk about how you’re feeling – it could be a friend, family member or a health professional. Alternatively, you can seek out professional help at diabetescounsellingonline.com.au, Black Dog Institute or BeyondBlue.
For more tips on healthy living take a look at our Mood, Food, Move and Me lifestyle articles here.
For more information on Men’s Health Week visit www.menshealthweek.org.au