Man Up To Men's Health
We all know achieving a sense of balance in our lives is easier said than done. Being healthy is more than just exercising and eating well - it’s also about making the time to pursue the activities we enjoy, whether that’s connecting with mates, going to the park with the dog or playing and watching sport.
While the Western definition of masculinity might often be characterised by a combination of both strength and silence where the idea of seeking help can be seen as a sign of weakness, we understand balance is key - men’s sheds and clubs, nights out, family events, sport. It’s about getting together with our mates because staying social is just as important for our health as exercising and visiting the doctor.
A report from the Men’s Health Initiative of British Columbia showed that only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by his genetics which means sorry fellas – having a Y chromosome is not an excuse for unhealthy lifestyle choices!
In Australia’s work hard play hard culture, we know many men can tell us how many catches Ricky Ponting tallied in his career (196 – still the current record, in case you didn’t know), quicker than they can remember the last time they voluntarily went to see their GP for a general health check-up. So, with the help of our Swisse Wellness Experts, we’ve rounded up some simple tips that may help you towards a healthier and happier path.
Prioritise your sleep
Sleep is not something you can replace with coffee or energy drinks. A good night sleep not only makes you feel refreshed it helps to manage stress & restore your body. While we all dream of achieving the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, try working with your body clock by getting up at the same time each day and aiming for a minimum of 7 hours at least of sleep per night, to rest your body for the day ahead!
Chill out, dude!
If you struggle falling and staying asleep, focus on developing a good sleep routine to help your body and mind relax properly. You can try actions as simple as dimming the lights early, avoiding the use of electronics an hour before bed or try drinking a relaxing herbal tea (avoid caffeine at night). Adequate levels of magnesium in your diet are also important during times of stress, to help support normal muscle relaxation and a healthy nervous system.
Be a mate
How well do you really know your mates? When was the last time you discussed some of the bigger things in life beyond the international soccer leagues and swapping Netflix series suggestions? You may not know what your friends are going through, so make it a mission to catch up with your mates away from the distractions of the footy or the pub every now and then. Sometimes we don’t need advice, we just need someone to listen.
Getting energized – the right way
Don’t rely on the temporary boosts of sugary energy drinks or caffeine to get you through the day. Fuel yourself with a wholesome breakfast, cereal, yogurt & wholegrain toast for longer lasting energy. B vitamins are also a great way to start the day as they can help support energy production, the body’s response to stress and contribute to a reduction in tiredness & fatigue.
Regular physical exercise can not only help to release those feel good hormones (better known as endorphins) it also has a positive impact on sleep quality. Set aside time to walk your dog, pump some iron, start up a social weeknight basketball team or try to swim a couple of laps before work at the local pool. Anything you can do will work towards helping your mind stay in check, as well as all the other health benefits that come with regular exercise!
Watching footy and cricket with friends, we can become creatures of habit snacking on junk food. Try introducing some healthier options like raw nuts and seeds, plain corn chips, dips and veggie sticks and popcorn or putting some seafood on the BBQ.
Support a healthy prostate
As men age their prostate also increases in size which may lead to urinary discomfort. Like many changes with your health, regular check-ups at the doctor are important, so take the time finding a doctor you feel comfortable to talk to and be honest with. Find out which health screenings are recommended for your age group as well as periodic health assessments such as vision, hearing and dental exams.