Men's Health Week runs this year from 10th-16th June 2019 and their aim this year is make men aware of the key numbers they need to know to keep healthy and live long.
What numbers should men know (and aim for) to get healthy?
Blood pressure: 120/80 mmHg
Blood pressure counts as high if it's over 140/90 (mm Hg). The first number is your systolic pressure - the pressure when your heart is pumping blood. The second number measures your diastolic pressure, which is when your heart is between beats.
High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney disease (BHF)
Reach Your Goal:
- Regular physical activity - Try to do some moderate-intensity activity every day and build up to at least 150 minutes per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more
- Keep to a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Cut down on salt
- Don't drink too much
- Take your medicines as prescribed
Waist Size: Less than 37 Inches
Your risk of some health problems is affected by where your body fat is stored, as well as by your weight. Carrying too much fat around your middle (waist) can increase your risk of developing conditions such as:
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
(Taken from NHS Choices)
Reach Your Goal: if you are trying to lose weight, it's a good idea to eat less and burn more calories
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet
- Exercise 150mins per week
Regular Physical Activity: 150 minutes per week
Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.
As a man, you have a:
- HIGHER risk of health problems if your waist size is more than 94cm (37 inches) and an
- EVEN HIGHER risk if your waist size is more than 102cm (40 inches)
Reach Your Goal: Time to tie your shoelaces and move! This means exercise that makes you slightly breathless - fast walking, cycling, jogging, mowing the lawn, swimming, playing sport. If you have a serious heart or lung condition, you may want to consult a healthcare professional first.
Limit Alcohol Intake
The type of illnesses you can develop after 10 to 20 years of regularly drinking more than 14 units a week include:
- cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
- heart disease
- liver disease
- brain damage
- damage to the nervous system
(Taken from NHS Choices)
Reach Your Goal: The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The less you drink, the lower the health risks.
The first step is to be honest with yourself about how much you're actually drinking.
Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day
Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
The 5 A Day campaign is based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
Quit Smoking - cigarette smokers die 10 years younger on average than non-smokers (Action on Smoking & Health – Fact Sheet)
Stopping smoking will almost certainly increase the length of your life and you will definitely:
- feel fitter and perform better (including in the bedroom, because smoking even reduces the quality and, because of reduced blood flow, the size of your erections and damages your sperm);
- look and smell better;
- be able to taste good food and smell sweet smells again;
- be richer - a 20-a-day cigarette habit costs well over £1,000 a year;
(Taken from menshealthforum.org.uk)
75% of suicides are by men
- 3 out of 4 suicides are by men
- Men in unskilled work are 3 times more likely to take their own lives than men in senior management
Reach Your Goal: Get Help
Many people who have had suicidal thoughts say they were so overwhelmed by negative feelings they felt they had no other option. However, with support and treatment they were able to allow the negative feelings to pass.
If you are feeling suicidal, there are people you can talk to who want to help:
- speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust as they may be able to help you calm down and find some breathing space
- call the Samaritans 24-hour support service on 116 123
- go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
- contact the NHS 24 '111' service
- make an urgent appointment to see your GP
Suranjit's background is in community pharmacy where she has undertaken several Pharmacy Manager, and Relief Pharmacist roles. After completing her clinical diploma she worked as a Prescribing Support Advisor for GP surgeries and continues to locum for independent pharmacies.