What is Men's Health Awareness Month?
From the 1st to the 30th of November the world focuses on men's health for a month. Also known as Movember, men are encouraged to grow mustaches, a lighthearted way of showing your support of the movement (or should we say mou-vement!) Raising awareness about men's health issues is essential to gaining a wider understanding of them, so that we can contribute to them as a society and improve the wellbeing of people everywhere. This month provides a platform to discuss subjects that are often hard to tackle. Men's health is a taboo subject, yet looking after ourselves is a perfectly normal part of being human, so breaking down stigma about what health means for men will help us take steps toward living more fulfilling, healthful lives.
Beginning in 2003 with a group of friends deciding to grow moustaches, Movember was originally about early detection of health issues such as prostate cancer. It also deals with depression and suicide prevention. What started as a way of raising awareness, has developed into a whole movement. A movement that recognises that men's health issues need paying attention to. Men are significantly less likely to go to the doctor when there is something wrong even though mortality rates for common conditions are generally higher in men. Some men experience shame and difficulty when talking about their health issues. Vulnerability is something men are taught by society to evade, considered weak or not powerful, men become divorced from their ability to check in with their health, wellbeing, happiness and fulfillment. But suppressing the vast spectrum of human emotion isn't necessarily healthy when in extremes, and unfortunately, for men today and throughout history, expressing health concerns or emotional experiences is a challenge.
We wanted to revisit some ways in which you can pay more attention to your health. Health and wellbeing seems like a minefield, but if you cover your basics, the rest shouldn't be so complicated. Read on to learn more about taking care of your mental and physical health.
Get your basics covered:
Focus on food
We all know we need to eat more healthily. But what does this really mean? The general consensus is that eating a diet high in fruit and veg, with healthy amounts of protein and fat, and complex, slow release carbohydrates is a good baseline. Meals such as salmon and rice with a portion of greens is a pretty healthy-sounding meal, and saying no to sugar, processed foods, fizzy drinks will help you in the long run. There isn't anything wrong with an occasional treat, but beware of binge-eating and emotional eating too.
Limit your drinks
Alcohol is a fun, social thing to partake in in moderation, but it is also very common for it to spiral out of control. If you think you are having problems with alcohol, speak to a healthcare professional for support. Speaking to a close friend or relative can help you get the support you need as well. If you're drinking, eat well beforehand, try to keep it to the weekends and watch out for your friends. 'Low-risk drinking' is considered by the NHS to be no more than 14 units per week, which is approximately 6 pints of beer. Having a pint or two over the weekend isn't going to cause you too much harm, but if it becomes a habit, you may want to curb it.
Sleep, glorious sleep
Sleep is not the most glamourous way to take care of your health but, it certainly is one of the most important. Getting enough sleep allows your body to take care of itself properly, helps take care of your mental health, and allows you to be more productive. Taking care of your sleep hygiene will help get you a good night's kip so limit screen time, avoid caffeine after midday, and hit the hay at a reasonable hour for a refreshing start the next day!
Getting enough exercise seems like an impossible feat. Whether you are working full time, juggling parenting responsibilities or running your own business, exercise often comes last on our priorities list. Getting in just 3 workouts of an hour each per week is the bare minimum for ages 19-64, advised by the NHS. Try cycling or walking to work once a week, join the gym, and adding running or jogging can easily increase the minutes. Take the stairs, walk the long way, or even do the shopping outside rather than getting it delivered all count. We just introduced performance socks to help you reach these goals (and it would be remiss of us to not mention our pouch underwear here too!)
Taking care of your mental health can be a bit more complicated and nuanced, but thinking about whether you are satisfied with life, or are experiencing negative emotions can guide you toward the right way of thinking. If you are experiencing negative emotional patterns, speak to a close friend or relative about it. Life can be challenging for everyone at times, but developing your own resilience to this is essential to your long-term fulfillment. Speak to a doctor if you aren't managing your feelings on your own, or if they are negatively impacting your day-to-day life.
If you can get the above locked down, you should see some improvements to your well-being. Other things to consider would be regular health checks, spending time outside and with friends and family, as well as enjoying hobbies that you care about that give you a sense of fulfilment.
Share this with a friend or family member this Men's Health Awareness Month to show them you care. We know we do. At JustWears, comfort is king and everything we do is about increasing it. Shop our boxers and men's underwear to increase the comfort you're enjoying in your life.