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  • Writer's pictureNarelle

Just because you are a man doesn’t mean you can use that as an excuse to have an unhealthy lifestyle

There is a concept in health statistics called disease burden . Disease burden is used to describe the health and loss of health due to diseases, injuries and risk factors. It is estimated by adding the number of years of life a person loses as a consequence of dying early because of a disease, together with the number of years of life a person lives with a disability caused but the disease.

Now the technical definitions can be ignored but these statistic cannot. Men account for the majority of disease linked to poor diet. In fact males account for the majority of disease linked to diets low in fruit (68%), vegetables (62%), and wholegrain (74%) as well as 75% of disease burden linked to diets high in processed meat.

There is more…

71% of disease burden linked to alcohol uses is experienced by men and just over half (56%) of disease burden linked to physical activity. But, this proportion was higher for those with heart disease (69%). Finally, 60% of disease burden is due to high body mass.

The top 7 things you can do to improve your health as a man are:

Eat Veggies - 5 serves a day as a minimum

Eat Fruit - 2 to 3 pieces daily

Eat wholegrains - nothing white or processed

Exercise - 30 minutes at least 5 times a week to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Reduce Alcohol

Keep your waist below 94cm - measure just below your belly button. A waist above 94cm is linked with an increased risk of common chronic health problems such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes.

Connect - spend time with people, nurture your relationships.

And finally for those surrounded with men they love, here’s a tip someone told me when my boys were young - when you talk to your men stand side by side rather than face on. Shoulder shoulder listening or sideways listening is a well researched concept. Essentially men prefer to talk standing side by side. It enhances their comfort level, allows them to concentrate on the conversation and is more relaxing allowing that conversation to keep flowing.

So this week make sure you look after your men. Show them gratitude. Show them love. Talk and listen to them shoulder to shoulder. Then take them for a 30 minute walk, feed them a plate of veggies and wholegrain followed by some fruit for dessert, and l them wash it down with a glass of water. They will thank you eventually.

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