Estimated reading time: 11 mins
Prioritise your health every day
Your health is something that often gets under medicated and taken for granted by many of us including myself. The “head in the sand” attitude of men towards their often suboptimal lifestyle means that a lack of discipline in the areas of a healthy diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and work/life balance, leads to less favourable health outcomes writes Arlie Woman’s Clinic.
I have a series of questions to ask yourself and you will likely say yes to one of these questions;
Do you find yourself taking on more work in your job and spending less time with your family and friends?
Do you find yourself binge-eating after a day at work?
Do you smoke or consume excessive amounts of alcohol?
Do you constantly stress about your finances and ongoing living costs?
Do you find yourself splurging on online shopping as a way to de-stress?
Have you been reluctant to see a health professional as you just want to keep soldiering on?
Maybe you have answered no to all of these questions great, good on you. It is time for us to learn about the FACTS and statistics surrounding Men’s Mental Health if we have answered yes.
3 in 4 suicides are men
4 in 5 heart disease deaths are men under 65
93% of workplace deaths are men
Men die 6 years younger than women
2 in 3 preventable deaths are men
Reading about these statistics sent a shiver down my spine of how men are not medicating properly, and we are constantly ignoring the signs we should seek help. If we can change just one person’s thoughts or perspective on mental health in this article, then we have made massive inroads.
With all this in mind, what can we do to change these stats and our attitude to our health?
You can probably guess the first topic up here it would be rude not to have it discussed first right? ;)
Exercise is good for your body and great for your mind
Whatever it may be, make an effort to be active daily. Going for a short walk changes everything according to Friedrich (2012). She reports that sitting for too long increases the risk of dying prematurely regardless of whether you exercise an or more at the gym each day." can it be changed to "Whatever it may be, make an effort to be active daily. Going for a short walk changes everything according to a study completed by the American Cancer Society. They found that sitting for too long increases the risk of dying prematurely regardless of whether you exercise an or more at the gym each day
Staying active is not only great for your cardiovascular health but it's great for your mental health too
Eat well to feel well
These tips might sound insignificant, but if you look closely at your diet I’m sure there is something you can do better.
Diets should include a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and fats. All of these should be achieved from as natural sources as possible. Diets rich in vegetable and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stoke prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check (Harvard School of Public Health).
An important takeaway for me is to change up your fruits and vegetables weekly. Try not to stick to the same fruits and vegetables every week, as you are missing out all the different nutrients on offer.
Then comes health supplements from Bulk Nutrients. Even eating a diet rich in fruit and veggies we can still miss a lot of vital ingredients. This is where supplementation comes in Shop our extensive range here and remember to use the discount code Diss5 to save $ off your order.
Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a wide spread of micronutrients
Keep an eye on your waistline
Something all of us are guilty of is not tracking our progress in the gym and one of those is checking your waistline not just to see if we are losing weight or not. Measuring your weight line can give you an indication whether you are at risk of obesity-related chronic diseases by measuring your waist circumference. See the chart below for at-risk measurements provided by the Australian Government Department of Health (2020)
Generally, the larger your waist circumference, the higher your risk of developing chronic diseases are. If you are over these numbers don’t panic, there is help available! Chat to your GP or seek a local nutritionist to find out more information and get help on where to start.
Keep your waistline measurement in check and stay within a healthy range to avoid obesity-related chronic diseases
Kill your bad habits! It’s not cool to smoke
I still don’t understand why people smoke these days. With all the education out there on how harmful it is and how many years it takes off your life seriously! Not to mention the massive financial cost it is to smoke! Please do yourself a favour and seek help to quit.
A very common misconception all of us see is that is cool to smoke. Young teenagers and adults getting seduced by their peers to engage in this activity. Don’t let others control you and more importantly your health!
“Oh but I use it as a coping mechanism for stress”
When you smoke, nicotine travels to your brain quickly, often in under 10 seconds. It then causes your brain to release adrenaline, which triggers your body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ response – your heart rate and blood pressure increases and blood flow to your heart slows down. You might also experience rapid, shallow breathing and the feeling of a racing heartbeat. All of these reactions can cause feelings of stress and anxiety, and make existing stress and anxiety worse. So, if you’re having a smoke to wind down at the end of the week, maybe its time to rethink your relaxing methods.
Just to empathise how bad smoking really is, every cigarette takes 11 minutes out of your life. That is a lot for an occasional smoker having just one here and there. I don’t need to go into the other side effects, but remember you are smoking rat poison and the materials made from the road outside your house, go figure.
Every cigarette you smoke takes 11 minutes off your life and can cause feelings of stress and anxiety too.
Let’s talk about blood and what are blood pressure means to our health
In America for an example, one in three people suffer from high blood pressure. This is a dangerous condition that can lead to heart disease or strokes. More alarmingly 54% of people don’t have their condition under control. It is recommended that if you have high blood pressure you monitor this from home.
So I don’t have high blood pressure I can ignore this issue? Absolutely not. If you are between the ages of 18 to 40 it is recommended that you should get tested every 3 to 5 years. A test at the doctor only takes a matter of minutes and it can save you a lot of further issues and heartache down the track!
Your blood pressure is a measure of two numbers that appear as one over the other. These measure two types of pressure including;
1. The pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat
2. The pressure when your heart is resting between beats.
Check your blood pressure regularly and if it's higher than what’s considered a normal reading, discuss what actions you should take with your GP
With this in mind, what is the ideal range you should be in?
If your blood pressure is 140/90 or more then you have high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure sits around 120/80 or lower.
If you just skipped through this whole section because it’s boring, leaving high blood pressure untreated can have serious and even life-threatening consequences. Make sure you book yourself in because more than likely, it’s been a long time since you last had it tested!
How can we improve our mental health?
So with all these points in mind in this blog how can we make reduce these rates of suicide and help out a mate?
I think a big one for me is having a purpose. Imagine not wanting to wake up every morning but also not wanting to go to sleep at night. No will to work, no excitement to spend, no friends company to enjoy, and no reason to continue living. A blank mind with nothing to think about. The lack of emotions either positive or negative. Nothing to look forward to. This all is part of a life living with depression. No one should have to face this but unfortunately, this is a reality for many of us but it doesn’t have to be this way!
So what gives us purpose in life?
Australian Men’s Health Forum (2020) discusses the key ways to keep your mental health in good shape.
Family and mates- Strong social connections keep men healthy and happy.
Work and money - your social and economic status shape your health. Enjoying your job and not experiencing excessive stress at work is important too.
Being an involved Dad- Dad’s that are involved in their community and family are good for their health.
Boys education- The better your education the better your health.
Male Friendly Services - Men using services that are great at helping men including;
It’s never too late or early to reach out for help. We all in this together. We are all one big family. Full of dreams. Education #KNOWYOURMANFACTS
If you’re feeling down, reach out to a family member or friend who you trust and have a chat.
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Arlie Woman’s Clinic (2018) “Men’s Health”. Retrieved on 15/11/2020 from https://www.airliewomensclinic.com.au/services/mens-health/
Australian Men’s Health Forum (2020) “Men’s Health Facts” Retrieved on 15/11/20 from https://www.amhf.org.au/
Australian Government Department of Health (2020) “Waist Circumference”. Retrieved on the 24th October 2020 from http://healthyweight.health.gov.au/wps/portal/Home/get-started/are-you-a-healthy-weight/waist-circumference
Queensland Government “9 things you need to know about social smoking”. Retrieved on the 24th October 2020 from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-social-smoking
Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source (2020) Retrieved on the 24th October 2020 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/
Cancer.org. 2020. Sitting Time Linked To Higher Risk Of Death From All Causes. [online] Available at: https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/sitting-time-linked-to-higher-risk-of-death-from-all-causes.html [Accessed 18 November 2020]
About the author
Ben Disseldorp lives and breathes health and fitness. He loves hitting up the gym for a PR and a pump and is dedicated to fuelling his body to keep reaching his goals in and out of the gym.
By prioritising good nutrition and putting in the hard yards at the gym, Ben has completely transformed his physique. Starting out as a typically skinny ectomorph kid, he’s now a bodybuilder who is stronger, fitter and happier.
Ben is passionate about Bulk Nutrients and we are lucky to have him on board! His role at Bulk Nutrients is writing fitness blogs and working at the many events Bulk sponsors throughout the year. If you are ever at an event, please come up and say hello!
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