In a world where busy schedules and work commitments often take precedence, men's health tends to get pushed to the back burner. But it's time to break the cycle. Men, you may not realize it, but your health is just as important as anyone else's. In honor of Men's Health Week, we're here to give you five positive steps to kickstart your journey toward a healthier, happier life.
1. Get that Blood Pressure Down
High blood pressure might sound like a minor issue, but it's not something you can afford to ignore. Blood pressure is the force with which your heart pumps blood through your arteries, and when it's too high, it can lead to significant health problems. Ideally, your blood pressure should be around 120/80. If it's higher than 140/90, it's time to take action.
First things first, get checked regularly. Whether you visit your local health clinic or measure it at home, keeping tabs on your blood pressure is essential. Your doctor might prescribe medications, but you can also take charge yourself. Engage in moderate physical activity, consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, reduce salt and alcohol intake, and avoid processed meat and tobacco. These changes can significantly lower your blood pressure.
2. Help Your Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in New Zealand. The most common form is coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when your heart's blood vessels become narrowed and hardened due to the buildup of cholesterol and other materials. This can lead to angina, heart attacks, and even cardiac arrest.
You can reduce the risk of CAD by not smoking, controlling blood pressure, exercising regularly, and keeping cholesterol levels in check. A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is crucial. Taking these steps can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy and happy.
3. Get a Prostate Check
Prostate cancer is a common concern for Kiwi men. It's essential to stay vigilant, especially if you're over 50, have a family history of prostate cancer, or are overweight. Early detection is key, as symptoms are often related to urinary issues rather than cancer itself.
Annual tests, such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or a direct examination by your GP after the age of 50, can make all the difference. Detecting prostate cancer early greatly improves the chances of successful treatment.
4. Keep Your Mates Close
Mental health is not something to take lightly. While it might be more comfortable for Kiwi men to discuss physical ailments, we must prioritize our mental well-being too. Mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, are real, and it's crucial to address them.
Unfortunately, men are more likely to take their own lives. This is why it's vital to connect, talk, and ask for help when needed. If you're struggling, don't hesitate to reach out to a friend, and if you think your mate is in trouble, be there for them. Sometimes, all it takes is a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.
5. Pick Realistic Goals, Then Stick to Them
Weight management is a common concern for Kiwi men, with about one in three being overweight. Weight gain often occurs due to an energy imbalance—consuming more calories than you burn through physical activity.
Start by getting an Evolt Biometric Scan , a 60-second non-invasive scan telling you everything you need to know about you body. If you need to, make small lifestyle changes, like eating one healthier meal each week and cutting back on the number of drinks you consume. Remember, it's the small, consistent steps that lead to significant progress over time.
In conclusion, taking charge of your health doesn't mean making drastic changes overnight. Small, consistent efforts can lead to a healthier, happier life. Kiwi men do care about their health, but sometimes they need a little push in the right direction. By following these five steps, you can help yourself live a longer, more fulfilling life. Don't wait; start your journey to better health today.