HEALTHY: Three simple key things men can do to improve their overall health.
HEALTHY: Three simple key things men can do to improve their overall health. svetikd

Health is taking the back seat

HAVE you ever noticed that personal health often takes a back seat when it comes to men?

Did you know that males in Australia have a four-year lower life expectancy than females?

Statistics show that men visit their GP 50 per cent less than women do, and are more likely put off health checks and downplay symptoms.

Further research shows that men are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol and lead less healthy lifestyles, compared to women.

But poor health for men is not inevitable.

Fact one

MEN who drink less than 10 alcoholic drinks a week have a 50 per cent lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes than those who drink 10 or more drinks a week.

Tip: Limit the number of standard drinks you have a week to less than 10.

Do this by keeping track of how much you are drinking, know the standard drink size and stick to it, allocate alcohol free nights every week, and/or don't drink on an empty stomach.

Fact two

MEN who climb 50 stairs or walk the equivalent of five city blocks a day lower their risk of heart attack by 25 per cent.

And active men are 60 per cent less likely to suffer from depression than inactive men.

Tip: Get active by setting a timer on your phone at work to get up and walk around the block or up and down the stairs, join a gym or sports team, get off the bus/train/ferry a few stops before your destination and walk the rest of the way.

Remember, any movement is better than no movement - even standing up and doing a few stretches boosts your mood.

Fact three

HAVING seven hours or more of sleep a night reduces the risk of fatal heart attack by 60 per cent in men, compared to those who sleep five hours or less.

Tip: Limit stimulating foods and drinks before bed (coffee, teas with caffeine, sugary desserts and drinks, alcohol), get into a routine of going to bed at the same time, avoid looking at a computer, phone or TV screen in the 20 minutes before bed and/or put a blue light filter on your phone, take time to relax in the evenings and unwind before hitting the pillow.

The bottom line is that you don't need to overhaul your current lifestyle to be healthy.

Small and simple behaviour modifications to your eating habits and lifestyle choices, one step at a time, will have a significant impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.

And don't forget to chat with your GP about your health.