Changing the face of men’s health begins with starting a simple conversation
Let’s face it – men are known to be a little more indifferent towards their health, especially when compared to the efforts of women, who proactively and publicly address their health issues in a way you don’t typically see with men. As a result the levels of awareness, understanding, funding and support of male health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind causes such as breast cancer.
The reasons for the poor state of men’s health in the Canada and around the world are numerous and complex and this is primarily due to a lack of awareness of the health issues men face. This can largely be attributed to the reluctance of men to openly discuss the subject, the old ‘it’ll be alright’ attitude. Men are less likely to schedule doctors’ appointments when they feel ill or to go for an annual physical, thereby denying them the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.
Studies show that many men don’t get regular health checks for the following reasons:
Statistics show that, on average, men die at a younger age than women – the average life expectancy for men is five years less than women (presently 78 compared to 83). That said, despite trailing behind the women’s health movement, things are beginning to look brighter, but much more progress needs to be made to close the gap between the state of men and women’s health. Established taboos and barriers relating to men’s health are gradually being broken down.
Movember aims to change the face of men’s health and reverse this way of thinking by putting a twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, we want to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health more openly.
Movember’s primary campaign objective is to raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically cancers affecting men. We want everyone to know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages – including prostate and testicular cancer. Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, as this will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer. It’s time men face the startling health facts.
It’s not all bad news! Maintaining a good diet, smart lifestyle choices and getting regular medical check-ups and screening tests can dramatically influence your health, Regardless of age, stay on top of your game by doing the following:
HAVE AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL.
Find a doctor and make a yearly appointment each Movember for a general health check. Getting annual check-ups, preventative screening tests, and immunizations are among the most important things you can do to stay healthy.
If you do smoke, stop! Compared to non-smokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer death in men.
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
If you are not already doing some form of exercise, start small and work up to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
EAT A HEART HEALTHY DIET.
Fill up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains; include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and eat foods low in saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT.
Balance calories from foods and beverages with calories you burn off by physical activities.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS.
Chill out! Stress, particularly long-term stress, can be the factor in the onset or worsening of ill health. Managing your stress is essential to your health & well being and should be practiced daily.
DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION.
Alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced diet, but only if it’s in moderation, which means no more than two drinks a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
KNOW YOUR FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY.
Start a discussion with your relatives about the health issues they’ve had in the past. Make sure you learn about relatives that are deceased too.