Men count! Men by numbers…

Do you know your numbers?

This year’s Men’s Health Week, running from June 10-16th focuses on men's health by numbers.

Do you know your numbers?

10: the richest men in the UK live 10 years longer than the least well-off men. Why is this? If all men had access to the same services and lifestyles as the luckiest, there would be no men’s health problems.
10: cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than non-smokers on average. Why is this? Smoking damages every part of your body. Each cigarette is thought to take 11 minutes off your life.
14: men (and women) should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol week. Why is this? Drinking too much increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer and mental health problems.
5: we should try to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Why is this? They protect against diabetes, obesity and cancer and you cut down on sugar too.
150: you should aim to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Why is this? Being more active reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer and other health conditions.
34: 3 out of every 4 suicides are by men. Why is this? Men are at particular risk of suicide and may not feel they can talk to anyone. Reach out.
37: 37 inches is the danger sign for a hazardous waist. Why is this? being overweight increases your risk of heart disease , diabetes and cancer.

So let's look at some solutions...

Smoking: Stopping smoking can make a big difference to your health. It is never too late to stop smoking to greatly benefit your health:

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist You can find help at your local doctor’s surgery, chemist or speak to your OH provider
  • Find an NHS Stop Smoking Service. You can get face-to-face support to quit smoking free from the NHS. There’s more support than ever before
  • Get support online. The website provides information and support for quitters. It has an online community which gives you the chance to get support from other people who are quitting.

Alcohol: Men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Tips:

  • When consuming alcohol, it should be in moderate amounts over three or more days a week
  • A good way to help to cut down on your drinking is to have several drink-free days a week
  • Use this drinks calculator to see how many units you are drinking
  • Speak to your doctor or Alcoholics Anonymous if you feel you may have a problem. Our article may answer some questions.

Exercise TIPS:

  • T – TALK to people face to face rather than sending a text/email/call. Turn away from technology and be present with people and your life
  • I – INCLUDE your family or friends to motivate you to try different activities. Go to the park, walk the dog, jump on a trampoline, do some gardening. The more activities you try, the more likely you are to find something you enjoy and will want to keep doing it without even realising
  • P – PREPARE yourself for activity. Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go and make sure you drink it during the day. Or, prepare to walk that extra little bit by getting off the bus/train the stop before your destination
  • S – SUSTAIN, SURVIVE and STAY alive! Find what works for you and continue to practice this throughout your life. Variety is the key!

Healthy eating:

  • Plan regular meals to eat more healthily and stop you snacking in between meals
  • Make sure you eat breakfast
  • Portion control! It’s very easy to eat too much so check labels for recommended portion sizes and don’t go back for seconds
  • Keep healthy snacks like fruit and low-fat yoghurt nearby
  • Drinking enough liquid is an important part of keeping healthy, so aim for around six to eight drinks a day. Avoid fizzy, sugary drinks and remember too much alcohol can be harmful
  • Get more information.

Mental health: Men feel. Men get upset. Men feel happy and men feel depressed. Don’t bottle it all up or try and crush it by drinking or taking drugs. Talk to someone.

  • You’re not alone in feeling like this. Many people struggle to cope at some stage and experiencing a range of emotions during this time is common
  • When people feel like this they often feel very alone. Even if you don’t have family or friends close by, you are never alone. Speak to your occupational health provider, your GP or contact or 116 123. They’re available24/7/365 and they’ll listen
  • These feelings may not last forever. By talking you may put things into perspective and start to feel more positive about the future
  • Try to identify what is making you feel this way and see if there is something constructive you can do to change it
Sources: Men’s Health Forum, NHS, British Heart Foundation, Centre for Ageing Better, Public Health England, Alcohol Change, Samaritans, Mates in Mind.

Read more about Men's Health Week

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