As we head into "Movember" we are reminded of the importance of men having regular check-ups and healthy lifestyles. Men are over-represented in the stats of heart disease; suicide; diabetes; prostate, bowel and skin cancer. But, these trends are reversible, here are 6 ways to improve your health:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Enjoy a healthy diet, rich in fruit, veggies, whole grains and lean meats. Eat colourful foods to get high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and replace animal fats with healthy oils. Just think of an old car that has been cleaned and serviced regularly with the best oils and lubricants. It is still as good as the day it rolled off the assembly line. Try deep sea fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna), avocados, nuts and olive or grapeseed oil.
2. Stay at a healthy weight
Eating well, in moderation and avoiding high sugar foods will help to maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight reduces your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
3. See your doctor regularly
Your doctor can test your blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels as well as making sure that your regular screening tests are kept up to date. If you experience unpleasant symptoms, get them checked out by your pharmacist or doctor – early diagnosis is often a key to good health. Your pharmacist can offer many solutions to health problems, including products for erectile dysfunction after a private consultation.
4. Be a non-smoker and drink in moderation
5. Stay active
Moderate physical activity for 30 min/day 2-3 times a week, even in 10 minute chunks, is enough to ensure you reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and keep fit.
6. Manage your stress
Some ideas to cope with life’s challenges include taking one step at a time, practice positive self-talk, connect with others, do a little something that you enjoy every day and get help when you need it.
It is worth taking a minute to have a think about prostate cancer, firstly because it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New Zealand men, with over 3000 diagnoses each year. Secondly, because early detection leads to better outcomes, with a 98% chance of survival beyond 5 years if it is detected early, compared to only 26% if detected late. And thirdly, because many men won't notice any symptoms of prostate cancer.
A PSA test is a blood test that your doctor can use to measure the concentration of Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood to test for the presence of prostate cancer. From 50 years, talk to your doctor about having your PSA tested annually (45 years if you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a family history). If symptoms do occur, it is important to talk to your doctor about them. They may happen with an infection, inflammation or enlargement of the prostate (BPH) which can be a normal part of ageing, but look out for:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
It is time NZ men reversed the health trends to live long, happy lives with their families. To support our sons, fathers, brothers, husbands and raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand, buy a wrist band today and take a quick quiz to see how your health is tracking.