This month we celebrate International Men’s Health Week in which we are focusing heavily on the issues which affect men’s health. Being healthy is not just about fitness or diet; it’s about mental well-being and taking care of yourself. Here’s five ways in which you fellas can keep on top of your health in 2015.
It’s not about how much you can lift or how fast you can run; it’s about putting your body through its’ paces to improve the overall condition of your body and mind. Doing just 30 minutes of exercise a day, at least 3-4 times a week is said to improve mental and physical health as well as lengthen your lifespan. A good mix of strength and resistance training with both aerobic and cardio exercise is a great way to enhance your physical strength and stamina whilst team sports allow you to be part of a community and meet new people. You can now even enroll in fitness boot camps like those offered by this month’s competition collaborate Elite Physique Fitness. Excellent at diminishing the chance of injury and reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes or the possibility of a stroke; exercise is the number one way to take your health into your own hands. Whether its’ running you enjoy, cycling or circuits, feel safe in the knowledge that your workout could be improving heart and lung function, muscle strength, bone strength and mental happiness with every session.
Talk About What’s Bothering You
Statistics have shown that 75% of suicides recorded in the UK are men. Those who suffer from un-diagnosed yet incredibly common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are much more prone to attempt or commit suicide rather than seeking help first and this is a huge problem which Men’s Health Week works to raise awareness of. In addition there is also an incredibly large number of men suffering with eating disorders, addiction, un-diagnosed learning difficulties and long-standing mental health conditions who are too scared to open up. With increasing strains on our NHS mental health service, we understand why so many people feel lost when it comes to sharing however, the important thing to remember in overcoming these issues is to talk about it with someone you can trust and to find a safe place where you feel comfortable doing so. From mental health nurses and psychologists to counsellors and family members, many find that their male colleagues, patients and friends are less likely to discuss their feelings for fear of appearing emasculated; especially when these feelings stray into grief, anger, unhappiness, frustration, loss and helplessness. However, discussing these feelings is vital to mental well-being and finding ways to deal with this is the first step to recovery. There are support groups across the country, workshops available through communities, free helplines and GP’s who can refer you to a mental health professional if you feel you need to talk to someone, however sharing your feelings with a close friend or family member who will support you can also have a huge impact in helping when you really need it.
What we put into our bodies and how we feel on the inside also has wonderful effects on how we look on the outside. Whilst being muscular or trim might seem like the obvious benefit of eating healthier, the energy and endorphin’s you will have from improving your diet also goes a long way! Put it this way; if you can eat well for five out of seven days a week, you will greatly improve your health. Lean meat and plenty of fresh fruit and veg should be vital to your diet as well as drinking at least 6-8 litres of water to keep your body hydrated and well oiled. Healthy fats found in oily fish, nuts and avocado’s are great for balancing cholesterol whilst complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown pasta are excellent for stabilizing blood sugar and giving that extra energy boost needed for an evening run or long day at the office. If you struggle enjoying all of the above, why not ask a friend for a recipe or look online to see how you can make your meals more delicious as well as filling and satisfying. If you’re a keen athlete, remember that protein serves to nourish and replenish your muscles; strengthening them in the process, whilst fruit and veg contains the kinds of minerals and vitamins which cut your risk of cancer and heart disease as well as improve the overall function of your organs. Of course, everyone should be allowed a little treat now and then so save your cheat days, takeaways and guilty pleasures for every once in a while; you’ll certainly appreciate them more.
Get Checked Up
Another huge reason to support Men’s Health Week is because statistics show that men just aren’t going to the doctors when they need to. Keeping with the notion that a lot of men are apprehensive about seeking professional help when it comes to their health for fear of exposing their weaknesses, cancers in men such as prostate and testicular cancer are on the rise with over 2,200 men diagnosed in the UK alone according to figures from 2011. This fear is costing men their lives as they fail to report initial symptoms in the early stages of their cancer, leading to more severe consequences as their cancer reaches more advanced stages by the time of diagnosis. This is why we encourage all men to attend regular health check-ups whether it be with their dentist or their GP. Make sure you speak to a doctor should you experience any serious symptoms and check your testicles at least once a month so that you’re aware of any changes that could indicate cancer. A prostate exam might not be the most glamourous thing on your list to do this month but it could save your life!
Look After Your Eyes
Never underestimate the importance of your eye health. As a sunglasses retailer we are all too aware of the damage you can cause your eyes by not wearing sunglasses in harsh weather conditions. Many of these unpleasant health problems that can arise from not wearing appropriate sunglasses include glaucoma, blindness, sunburn to your cornea’s, cataracts in later life and macular degeneration which are all on the rise thanks to cheap sunglasses with improper UV filters. You can find out whether your sunglasses are up to EU standards by checking for the CE mark on the inner temples of your glasses and hopefully you can choose a pair which will keep you safe in the sun. However, we also recommend getting your eyes tested every 18 months. As we get older our eyes deteriorate; especially if there’s a family history of eyesight problems and ocular diseases. This is why it is important to have your eyes tested regularly at your local opticians and if you are already a glasses wearer, have your prescription checked frequently. That way you can choose lenses which are right for you and save yourself the inconvenience of eye strain and the potential for problems in the future.
Rest and Get Enough Sleep
In a world where we’re encouraged not to be lazy; B Sunglasses are advising quite the contrary! Sleep is incredibly important as its’ your bodies way of repairing itself after a long day. Whether you’re ill, have been on a tough work out or are exhausted after a hectic day at work, the best way to de-stress and recuperate is to simply sit back, relax and get your eight hours of sleep in. Ever suffered from after-burn, stiffness or muscle pain? A day of rest after exercise allows your muscles to repair themselves so that you don’t damage your muscles, joints or tissue the next time you exercise. Taking a few minutes to sit quietly and read or listen to music can also clear a busy mind. Meditating is quickly becoming one of the most recommended ways to prevent stress as it allows spiritual and mental clarity to prevail over those thoughts about a report you have to finish or DIY tasks you haven’t completed around the house. It also allows you to focus on your breathing and takes the sting out of anxiety and depression for sufferers. Of course, sleep is pivotal to both our physical and mental well being so make sure you plan to get the required full eight hours in order to feel refreshed and energized the next morning. If you have trouble sleeping try refrain from caffeine or sugary foods after 8pm and set a cut-off for all your technology (that means no phones, laptops, iPads or television!) so you can settle down and drift off to the land of nod.
Want to kick start your health in 2015?
Why not enter our competition with Elite Physique Fitness who are offering FREE unlimited fitness training along with a £100 B Sunglasses voucher!