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MOVEMBER AND MEN’S HEALTH

Mya Care Guest Blogger 15 Sep 2020
MOVEMBER AND MEN’S HEALTH

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

November is also the start of of Movember where men around the world let their facial hair flow and grow a mustache or beard. If you are wondering what the purpose of Movember is, it’s simply to to raise awareness around men’s health.

With Winter just around the corner, you may be wondering how to keep your mustache looking great as well as what you can do to minimize your chances of getting the flu.

The below tips that will help keep your body in tip top shape and truly allow you to rock that mustache in style!

1. Exercise Frequently, But Don’t Be Boring About It

Most people have heard this before, but exercising on a daily basis is absolutely crucial to maintaining excellent health — especially for men. What you may not know about exercise though is that doing the same old boring routine every day is not the best thing. It’s much more healthy — and fun! — to vary the type of exercise you do[1].

  • According to Harvard Medical School[2], there are four main types of exercise that you can use to vary your routines and each one confers health benefits from a unique angle:
  • Aerobics gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow to all areas of the body. Examples include vigorous dancing, jogging, cycling, running and swimming.
  • Strength Training (also known as resistance training) builds healthy muscles and helps strengthen our bones. Examples include weight lifting, pushups, bench presses, elastic band workouts, etc.
  • Flexibility Workouts will improve your agility, posture, relax you and may help reduce muscle stiffness. Examples include any form of stretching.
  • Balance Exercises help to maintain our center balance and often help to build a good sense of motor control and coordination. Examples include some forms of martial arts, yoga, tai-chi and pilates or any exercises that allow you to practice balancing (like standing on one leg).

2. Get Your Nutrition Balance Right

Getting proper nutrition is really important for your entire well-being from head to toe. The logic is quite simple behind this one: you can’t drive a car without fuel in the tank! The body is designed to take all the nutrients in our food and convert them into everything we need to function. In this respect, eating a wholesome diet often contributes to our overall physique in rather flattering ways.

So what should you be eating? Experts will say that you can’t focus on isolated nutrients or rely on supplements to meet your nutritional requirements. Since we are all unique, each person’s requirements will also differ, making this especially tricky.

One thing that some of the world’s top dietetics experts can agree on is focusing on a variety of natural foods and cutting way down on processed foods. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, healthy vegetable fats, legumes, nuts and seeds; eat less processed meat, processed grains, processed sugars, salt, trans fats, fast food and any other junk! [3]

If you struggle to follow a healthier diet, consult with a healthcare professional that specializes in nutrition who can work a personalized plan unique to you.

3. Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

Less seems to be more on this one! While no consensus has been reached on whether drinking is healthy for you or not, doctors will generally advise everyone to moderate their alcohol consumption[4]. Drinking frequently in moderation is known to be healthier than binge drinking excessively once in a while.

For men, the typical advice is not more than two servings per day if they are going to consume alcohol at all.

The type of alcohol also appears to be something one could consider. Many will advocate that red wine confers protective benefits and may support heart health due to the tannins and plant compounds carried over from the grapes. Certain dark beers such as stout also appear to be rich in B vitamins and may be a healthier choice than their lighter counterparts.

4. Don’t Forget Vitamin Sunshine

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to various health issues. All too often, people are relying on supplements and medications to get their dose of health; ignoring some of the body’s most basic needs for optimal functioning! You would be surprised what some fresh air, sunshine and being out in nature will do for your well-being.

In fact, the Department of Psychology at Dresden Germany measured the effect of natural sunlight on hormone levels. The results showed that just as little as 15–30 minutes of sun exposure increased levels of hormones in the hair follicles as well as decreasing levels of hormones associated with stress.[5]

5. Keep Hydrated

Are you drinking enough water on a daily basis? The answer for most people is no. If you constantly feel tired, suffer from headaches and your dry complexion seems to be detracting from your Movember mojo, then you may be a little bit dehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking at least 6–8 glasses of water a day to help your kidneys eliminate properly and to give your skin a winning chance.

6. Sleep Like A Boss

Sleep is no joke and should be one of your number one priorities, especially if you want to look and feel your best all year round. According to the experts, you need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours a night of good quality sleep to truly benefit.

New data shows that there is no time outside of sleeping that the brain gets a chance to clean itself out. Every time we sleep deeply, cerebral spinal fluids drain out the brain, clearing away all the by-products it doesn’t need which would otherwise clog it up during the day! No wonder one can feel like a whole new man after getting a great night of sleep.

Here are a few pro tips to getting better sleep at night:

  • Disengage from electronic equipment (cellphones, computers, televisions) at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Dim the lights before bed to encourage melatonin production (the sleep chemical).
  • Aim to get to bed by 10pm and fall asleep no later than 11pm.
  • Don’t eat or drink right before going to sleep.
  • Do something calming in the hour before bed to unwind and tone your mind down.

7. Learn to Relax!

It doesn’t take a genius to know that stress is a real party pooper for both you and your body. Whether it is a stressful job or simply a difficult time, we all encounter stress at some point in our lives. The trick is to not let it get us down and to learn how to relax! Be man enough to take time out, insist on thinking positivity-inspiring thoughts and to do activities or hobbies in your spare time that take the tension out of your gut.

If you battle coping with stress, consider taking up some form of mindfulness training such as meditation or yoga, which are designed to calm down the mind and have helped many people cope with stress.

Some form of expression can also really help some to relax, channeling all that stressful, restless energy into a positive outlet. Writing in a diary, doing some form of art or playing a musical instrument are all very positive coping strategies for managing stress. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe!

8. Prioritize Self Care

Self care sounds a lot like a naive, overly-romanticized notion to many. Who has time to spend on… just what exactly? What is self care and why is it important?

According to some of the leading psychologists[6], self care is any activity we do to look after ourselves and our overall mental, emotional and physical well-being. It is also not something we should force upon ourselves, but rather be something we enjoy and want to do for ourselves. A lot of people feel that self care is a selfish act. Yet without looking after ourselves, we cannot look after others, and so the myth that self care is selfish actually falls pretty flat!

There is no rule for what to do about self care — even reading this article can constitute as caring for yourself! However, placing a focus on what makes you truly happy helps a lot — apply for your dream job, learn to apologize when you know you’re wrong, forgive yourself and keep matters light in your world. All of these things can have a positive influence on your health and well-being as well as profoundly transform your relationships with those who you truly care about.

Another important point to mention is a balanced routine. Often having and sticking to a routine helps to instil a sense of order in our worlds that sets the tone for our happiness. Setting time aside for both work and play allows us to feel more fulfilled and vastly improves our quality of life.

9. Stay Curious and Ask More Questions

The moment we stop learning, we can feel as though our lives become incredibly dull, swinging to a total standstill. This may contribute towards a depressing outlook on life and can dramatically impact on our overall well-being. On the other hand, learning new things, asking new questions and expanding on the way we see the world around us helps to enrich our experience and may even help keep our brains sharp well into our old age.

Neuroscientists have long been studying what happens to the brain when we learn new skills and information. It seems that we create new neurological connections and enhance the way our brains function. In this respect, you can view your brain like a muscle — the more you work it, the stronger it becomes. So just like with your bodily muscles, test your mind and vary up the exercises!

10. Spend Quality Time with the Boys

Social interaction and time well spent with close friends has been identified as a crucial part of our health, particularly mental health[7].

Isolation and social deprivation are often contributing factors to depression and some studies report that being alienated or feeling truly lonely can even impact our bodies in much the same way smoking an entire pack of cigarettes does!

So spend some quality time with the boys every now and then, say yes to friends in need and don’t forget to put into your loved ones at home too!

11. Look After Your Prostate

As men age, the prostate seems to become larger and is typically one of the main problem areas of the body. This little gland situated in the male genitals can be one of the greatest indicators of male health, or a lack thereof.

According to Rush University[9], there are a few things men can do to protect this import organ:

  • Eat foods high in zinc, such as oysters, nuts, beans and seeds.
  • Increase your bodily antioxidant intake with super foods such as maca root, blueberries and cacao.
  • Avoid a diet high in fats, particularly transfats.
  • Get screened regularly.

The last bullet point here is the most important and brings us into our next pro tip for maintaining your vitality.

12. Don’t Ignore the Signs! See A Doctor Frequently

The best way to stay on top of your health is to consult with an expert healthcare professional on a frequent basis. Don’t think ignoring any health complaints you might have is a “manly” thing to do and rather see a doctor about it.

There are certain screening tests doctors will perform commonly for men that one can actually request. These tests will be the most accurate indicators of your state of health and are the best ways for your doctor to catch the onset of a disease before it’s too late!Here is a list of screening tests[10] recommend by many healthcare professionals. as well as what men they are most appropriate for:

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm — A one-time ultrasound test of the heart and aorta blood vessel for smokers (or past smokers) between the ages of 65–75.
  • Blood Pressure — All men should test blood pressure once every two years if healthy or once a year if above normal.
  • Colorectal Cancer — Best for men aged 50–75. Talk to your doctor about which test to opt for.
  • Diabetes — Recommended for those with high blood pressure or who are on blood pressure medications.
  • Cholesterol Profile — Men with a high risk and all men above the age of 35 are encouraged to check their cholesterol levels regularly.
  • Lung Cancer — For those who have smoked a pack of cigarettes daily for 30 years and who fall between the ages 55–80.

It’s important to be regularly in touch with your doctor who may recommend a variety of other tests during your checkup. With the help of a platform like Mya Care, make checkup consultations a breeze by connecting with the world’s best healthcare professionals online!

Source:

  • [1] https://www.webmd.com/men/features/top-health-tips-men#1
  • [2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-secret-to-better-health-exercise
  • [3] https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/healthy-eating
  • [4] https://www.webmd.com/men/features/going-long-secrets-male-longevity#1
  • [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27494069
  • [6] https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/
  • [7] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/staying-sharp/looking-after-your-thinking-skills/social-connections-and-the-brain/
  • [8] https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/americas-loneliness-epidemic-is-more-lethal-than-smoking-heres-what-you-can-do-to-combat-isolation.html
  • [9] https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/protecting-prostate
  • [10] https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/screening-tests-for-men
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