If you look at surveys and polls, you don’t have to be an expert in data analysis to deduce that men are less comfortable talking about health issues than women. Men’s health is a subject few want to approach, but it’s really important to make your health your priority. If you’re on a mission to be healthier, here are some helpful hacks to take on board.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Men tend to gain weight around their middle, and this is particularly dangerous for type 2 diabetes. If you have a larger waist circumference, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes will be significantly higher than those with a healthy waist measurement. Being overweight can also put you at risk of heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer. It can also affect your fertility and your self-esteem. If it’s been a while since you last weighed yourself, be brave, and step onto the scales. If you are overweight, it’s best to take action as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of complications. Once you know your weight, you can use an online BMI calculator to ascertain your BMI, and this will help you to determine if you need to lose weight. The BMI uses your height and weight, and it is accurate in most cases. If you’re very muscly, the figure may be misleading.
If you are eager to lose weight, the best way to do this sustainably is to alter your diet and increase the amount of exercise you do. Follow a healthy eating plan rather than a fad diet, and start doing more exercise. You don’t need to hit the gym every day, but make an effort to walk more, go to classes or sign up to join a team or a club.
Being aware of male cancers
Be honest. If somebody asked you to list the symptoms of testicular or prostate cancer would you be able to without using a search engine? Male cancers are common, but often, awareness is much lower than female cancers. If you’re not aware of the warning signs, it’s a good idea to do some research. Symptoms of testicular cancer include pain in the testicle, abnormal lumps or swelling and a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. Signs of prostate cancer may include urinating more frequently, needing to urinate very suddenly and pain or a burning sensation when you urinate. If you do come across potential warning signs, don’t wait and hope that they’ll go away. Call and make an appointment with your GP. There’s every chance that there will be nothing to worry about, but it’s always best to get checked out as early as possible.
Many men are anxious about losing their hair. Hair loss is part of the ageing process for most men, but it can affect some men much earlier than others. The most common type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness. In most cases, the hairline will start to recede, and this will be followed by thinning on the crown. Male pattern baldness is caused by the male sex hormones, and there is also a genetic element. If you are starting to lose your hair, there are treatments available. Propecia tablets are used in men with male pattern baldness. Some men embrace losing their hair, but for others, it can be very distressing, so don’t hesitate to seek advice if you are struggling. Other causes of hair loss may include scalp infections, stress, and illness. In most cases, these causes relate to temporary hair loss.
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Heart disease is one of the most common killers in the UK. Every year, more than 160,000 people die from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease used to be much more common in men than women, but the gap has been closing in recent years. Nevertheless, heart disease remains a very potent threat to male health and life expectancy. Most cases of heart disease could be prevented. If you’re keen to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, it’s important to pay attention to the main risk factors.
High blood pressure is one of the most significant contributors to strokes and heart attacks. The trouble with high blood pressure is that there are often no obvious signs or symptoms. High blood pressure is usually flagged up during routine tests or tests for other illnesses or conditions. If you haven’t had your blood pressure tested for a long time, it’s advisable to book an appointment or visit your local pharmacy. If the reading is too high, you may be advised to make lifestyle changes or to take medication.
Inactivity is more damaging to your health than obesity, research claims. If you’re not active enough, start making changes to your daily routine now. Cycle or walk to work, make time for a swim or a jog in the morning or evening or try some exercise classes or a team sport. Swap weekends in front of the TV for outdoor adventures and make an effort to move more. Even if you have a desk job, you can hit your recommended daily step count or fit daily exercise into your regime.
Diet is really important when it comes to heart health. Try and avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar and salt, and moderate your intake of saturated fats. Swap white bread and pasta for whole grain versions and increase your intake of fruit and vegetables. Make sure your diet is balanced. Many crash diets will encourage you to cut down on or even cut out certain food groups, but this isn’t good for you. Stick to a healthy eating plan, and you should soon notice positive changes.
Many men don’t feel comfortable talking about health, especially if things aren’t quite as they should be. If you want to make your health your priority, follow these steps and start putting your health and wellbeing first. Focus on your diet and your activity levels and don’t be afraid to seek help if you develop symptoms, you don’t feel yourself, or you need advice.