The theme of Men’s Health Week 2023 is Healthy Habits – focusing on encouraging men to build healthier habits by identifying small changes they can make that benefit their health and wellbeing.
The focus is not just on physical health, but also men's mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Here are the Doc’s 3 tips to help you make small changes to build healthier habits:
1. Engage in some regular physical activity
We’ve heard it all before; do regular exercise, but there’s a reason why it’s so important especially for men.
Having regular daily habits so it doesn’t become a burden will help you be well so you can sleep well, think well and behave well the next day.
Incorporating physical activity especially resistance training exercises into your daily routine can help improve your cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, boost energy levels, improve your mental wellbeing and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
The Doctor’s weight loss program incorporates a daily set of resistance training exercises which have been put together by an exercise physiologist that you can do at home or outdoors using your own body weight.
Doc Tip: Change your routine by engaging in simple exercises such as walking or jogging and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your works to challenge your body and achieve greater fitness goals.
2. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
A healthy diet that is balanced and nutritious helps give you the energy you need to keep active throughout the day and also helps protect against the risk of developing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Eating a well balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups (vegetables, fruit, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes or beans, grain foods, milk or yoghurt mostly reduced fat), in the recommended amounts. It’s important to choose a variety of foods within each food group. As different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients, it's important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group to help keep your mind and body healthy.
The Doctor’s weight loss program incorporates calorie and portion controlled meals that contain a variety of ingredients to help you ensure you eat a balanced diet. These meals which are used on a short term basis will help you understand the types of foods you can eat as part of a balanced diet and the portion sizes that are appropriate for you.
Doc Tip: Limit your intake of processed foods like cakes, biscuits, soft drinks and alcohol which are examples of foods that are usually high in saturated fat, added salt or added sugars. If you feel hungry opt for a glass of water and then wait and see how you feel. These types of foods should be considered as extras to your usual diet and only eaten occasionally and in small amounts.
3. Prioritise stress management
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety pose significant risks for men’s health. This is often due to expectations of strength and hiding, or at least not showing or talking about emotions and feelings.
Chronic stress can have an effect on your physical and mental health and can come in many forms like financial pressure, relationships, family and friends, work or changes in your life.
Some key warnings include, changes in bowel or bladder habits, persistent constipation or diarrhoea, unexplained weight loss or gain, chronic fatigue, or changes in mood or wellbeing.
Doc Tip: Taking note of these warning signs is essential especially for men. If or when they occur, you should consult a Doctor to help. Also, regular check ups and open communication with health care professionals are a vital ingredient in good men’s health and wellbeing.
Men's health is important!
It’s the small healthy habits over time that can make a big difference to your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Incorporating more exercise to your weekends, and opting for healthier choices can make a world of difference to your long term health.