15 Jun June: Men’s Health Month 2021
Men’s Health Month will roll during June, this month will aim to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage the early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Why have Men’s Health Week?
A boy today will live nearly four years less than a girl born in the room next door.
He will be 20% more likely to die of a heart attack, 30% more likely to develop diabetes.
Worse, he is three times more likely to die by suicide or in a motor vehicle accident.
Make health a priority
Many men only think about their health when there is a problem, but unfortunately in some cases this can be too late.
There are a lot of important reasons for men to make their health a priority – such as being able to work to support the family, increasing quality of life, seeing their children and grandchildren grow older, and being well enough to spend time with friends and family.
3 tips for men to look after their health
1.) Get active
Being active and moving more are key to having a healthy heart and improving mental health. A great goal is aiming to be active in as many ways as possible throughout the day and reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down.
Remember that mowing the lawns, getting out and about with the kids, or catching up with friends to kick the ball around all count as exercise. It doesn’t have to be pumping weights in the gym!
Doing just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you are starting out on an exercise regime, remember to:
• Start slowly, build your exercise routine up over weeks and months.
• Make it interesting and enjoyable, perhaps by working out with a friend or group.
• Set some achievable goals, try to stick to them and don’t give up if you have a setback.
2.) Get enough sleep
Many New Zealanders don’t get the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep helps to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep can affect how you think, react, work and learn.
Ongoing poor sleep can also increase your risk of some chronic health conditions.
3.) Mental health
Whether it’s feelings of being stressed, anxious or feeling down men don’t tend to talk about their mental health and can be slow to get help.
Stress or anxiety can be caused by a range of things such as relationship difficulties, major life changes, or problems at work. When we are stressed our body’s release chemicals which can be linked to a wide range of harmful health effects.
How to deal with stress?
• Talk to someone, whether it be family, friends, or even a work colleague, it always helps having someone to listen, help identify the cause of the stress and provide support.
• Look after yourself – keep a healthy routine of sleep, healthy eating and activity so that you are in good shape for dealing with life’s challenges.
• Find what relieves your stress – listen to music, going for a run or a walk, or read a book.
Making lifestyle changes
When it comes to introducing some lifestyle changes, many men will be doing well in some areas and perhaps less well in other areas. Start with small changes and keep them realistic, so you can sustain them over time.
You can find some useful diet and exercise advice on the Heart foundation website (www.heartfoundation.org.nz)