The concept of Men’s health has come a long way in the last generation or two. Gone are many of the stigmas associated with mental health, gone is the ‘provider at all costs’ mentality and gone is the ‘me caveman, me stroooong’ stereotype… mostly.
These and a few other stereotypes that have overall brought down the health prospects of men and are probably the reason why the life expectancy of males is 4 years less than females (81 vs 85)1.
So let’s take a look at the obvious things that help improve health;
Now on the fun things, the reasons why, in my clinical experience, men suck at looking after themselves.
Number 1 – Time. We’re all so busy; doing things, watching things, working things, family things that we forget about important things like, you know, looking after ourselves right. Well it’s pretty easy to fix this problem. Prioritise + multitask. It takes me 3 minutes to drive to work (I love Ballarat), or it takes me 10 minutes to walk. 7 minutes difference isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but if I walk each shift, 7 shifts total, to and from work… Bam, that’s 2 hours of walking done and most of my moderate exercise a week. If you can’t walk to work, park 10 minutes from work and walk the rest, it’s also amazing for headspace; being able to clear your mind on the way home so you can enjoy home life when you’re home, rather than taking work home with you!
Number 2 – Planning. This one also trumps point number 1. If you plan your week, actually do yourself a timetable of what a ‘normal’ week looks like, divide it up into work time, me time, exercise time and family time, you can always find extra blocks of time for being active and looking after yourself. Hint, set your alarm a teensie bit earlier and go to bed 30 mins earlier. Changes your life.
Number 3 – Focusing on physical health, neglecting the other 2. Mental and chemical health is really important. Like…REALLY important. There’s not a lot of point going to the gym, smashing out an awesome HIT workout then coming home, eating 2 large pizzas and staying up to 4am watching shows that scare the **** out of you. While you’re setting up your timetable, find out where you can fit in food prep for the week and in your ‘bedtime routine,’ find that watching just 1 less episode of Squid Game means you can do 15 minutes on the posture pole and do some proper breathing exercises.
Number 4 – Lack of interconnectedness. Ever heard the saying ‘no man is an island?’ Well duh, you’re a man, not an island. But you don’t have to be alone, like an island is. Go for a run with a friend, invite a group over for board games, choose multiplayer over single player. It just works better. We’ve all become FAR too accustomed to doing it solo during lockdowns. It’s time to reconnect with mates. Back in the day it was the done thing to knock off work on Friday, head to the pub and spend hours with mates. That’s not so common any more, and whilst the pub + drinking bit isn’t the worst thing that could have been dropped, the social aspect has been sorely missed in general. So organise a regular catch up, make a messenger group and keep dropping the ‘who’s free next weekend for some hiking/lunch/card games?’ It’s REALLY important!
Number 5 – It sounds like hard work! I get this a lot. Seriously, a LOT. And it’s really frustrating, because if you look at points 1-4, it doesn’t have to be. Plan your week, find the time that works for you, plan around friends + family and don’t forget about eating right and looking after head space.
And there you go. The easy things and the things that we perceive as difficult.
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At Ballarat and District Chiropractic we know you want to be empowered when it comes your health so we want to help you by sharing all our knowledge about Chiropractic.