Men's Health - How to Guard Against Preventable Illness
October 04, 20223 min read
This week is Men’s Health Week, and it's the time again to really focus on the health of our men folk.
Did you know that men have a lower life expectancy than women, and are at higher risk of preventable illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and suicide? 😲 Experts say this can be caused by a culmination of unhealthy diets, lack of proper exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption, to name a few.
And unfortunately, men are 3 times less likely to go to the doctor or do anything about their health than women are.
So today I want to share with you 5 lifestyle changes that you and your loved ones can make now that are preventative actions to guard against preventable illnesses, rather than reactive actions which are often too little too late.
These are changes that can be made immediately and don't require a trip to the doctor 👍
5 Lifestyle Changes to Help Guard Against Preventable Illnesses
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
- Avoid sugar which increases blood sugar and insulin levels and may lead to diabetes over time. Check the labels, e.g breakfast cereals are notoriously high in sugar, ideally you should aim for less than 10-15g of sugar per 100g.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates e.g. white bread, pastries, and many breakfast cereals. Instead choose complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits.
- Eat plenty of fibre such as wholemeal or whole grain bread, brown rice, fruit, vegetables, peas, beans, nuts, seeds and potatoes with skins.
- Drink plenty of water instead of other beverages that may be high in sugar and preservatives, and limit alcohol intake.
- Watch you portion size! Try to have smaller portions and eat more slowly. My Grandmother always said 'chew your food' and now I know why as it starts the digestive process with enzymes that are only in your mouth. It also allows your gut to feel full as it takes about 20 minutes for the signal to reach the brain.
- Snack on things like Brazil nuts that contain good fats and oils as well as Selenium which is lacking in our soil.
2. Get plenty of exercise
- Regular, daily physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day is recommended to keep the heart healthy, control weight, and reduce the chances of preventable diseases.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be an intense workout, it could be simple things such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs or walking the dog.
3. Sleep more, Stress less
- Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Read or listen to a podcast before bed instead of t.v. or other screens, this will help to relax the mind.
- Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure, and when left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and IBS.
- High stress levels also contribute to a loss in gut bacteria as it makes your body more acidic.
- Take some time to relax, spend time with family and friends and share the load of the pressures you may feel - talking is the number one way to help ease that intense 'weight of the world' off your shoulders.
4. Don’t smoke
- Quitting smoking is the number one thing you can do for your health. If you don’t smoke, great, you are one step ahead!
5. Get your Gut Health Sorted
- Gut health is the key to overall health, so ensure you have a healthy balance of good bacteria to support a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion.