20 October 2021
Men’s Wellness: It’s Time to Talk About It
Although predominately geared towards women, wellness is in no way a gender-specific arena. In light of International Men’s Day happening on November 19th, we wanted to write something special for all the men out there.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that men have a relatively long track record of not taking the best care of themselves. Between the low rates of doctor’s visits complied with more risky behavior than many of their female counterparts, men are falling behind in the wellness race, and they’re far from being unscathed by this reality.
In fact, more and more studies show that men are experiencing an all-time high of physical and mental collapse. Depression among men in their 20’s and 30’s is skyrocketing. Men lead women in all the major causes of death, except for Alzheimer’s disease, and die on average five years earlier than women.
It’s common for men to think that if they’re living up to their roles in society, then they’re “healthy.” Unfortunately, when men do finally make it to see a doctor, they’re much more likely to have a more severe condition, which, with earlier attention, could have been prevented.
So, what are men doing about these staggering statistics?
Simple answer: not a lot. Following the trend, men are much less likely to talk about their grievances with their partners and remain aloof to seeking outside help.
Men have much at stake by not taking their health and wellness seriously. Not only do they put themselves personally at risk and have to deal with feeling miserable, but many men have family’s; children to raise, wives to love, and potentially ageing parents that need caring for.
Taking their wellness seriously doesn’t mean they need to completely check out of their life and check-in to some extravagant retreat (although, of course, this wouldn’t hurt!), but they need to do something, that’s for sure.
Why do so many men resist taking better care of themselves?
Not many would argue that wellness therapies and habits are more of a feminine thing to do. Unlike women who talk more openly about their health concerns among friends and family and who are much more likely to book in to see a doctor if they think something is wrong, men tend to view health concerns as some form of weakness, like if they just toughen-up and push through everything will be ok.
Sadly, we know this thinking has many men putting off routine doctor check-ups. Check-ups, we might add, that ultimately could mean the difference between a longer quality of life and, well, death. This sounds like an extreme statement, and it is, but the stats tell us this is precisely what’s happening.
So, what advice do we offer to the men out there?
Instead of harping on men for not being more proactive in their pursuit of wellness, we’d like to offer some practical tips, and of course, that work!
Probably the biggest offender for men seeking help with their health is the stigma around it. Men see themselves as “weak” or as a “failure” if they need professional help. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth, but if we’re to help the men of this world, they need to know it’s ok to be vulnerable and not afraid to ask for the help they so desperately need.
Besides the obvious annual routine check-ups, which all men over the age of 40 should be doing, and even starting sooner, there are three main areas to focus their wellness endeavors: nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health.
You are what you eat, and what you eat ate! The sad state of the majority of the food readily available to us is appalling at best. Laden with chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, sugar, and lacking any real nutritional value, it’s not surprising to witness what’s happening not only to men but to the general population at large. Our advice: eat real food and primarily plants, doing your best to avoid mass-produced and highly sprayed produce.
Many people, men included, believe eating healthy is time-consuming and laboursome, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips:
- Take some time out once a week to plan, prepare, and cook meals for the rest of the week. This way, your meals are ready when you are, and you don’t even need to think about it.
- Choose organic when possible, especially if the food is on the dirty dozen list.
- When you do eat meat, be sure it’s high quality and hormone-free.
- Get a decent blender. Nutrient-dense smoothies are a great way to ensure proper nutritional requirements are being met. Plus, they’re quick and easy to make.
- Daily intermittent fasting with longer fasts of 24-48 hours, one time per week, can be a complete gamechanger. Regularly doing longer fasts has been shown to naturally boost testosterone levels, decrease insulin resistance, increase mental clarity, strengthen the immune system, and more! Find out more here.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking at least two liters of water each day.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
Specific foods good for men’s health include:
- Pumpkin seeds: the phytochemicals in pumpkin seeds have been shown to benefit the prostate gland.
- Spinach: high in folate, which is known to increase blood flow. Low folate levels have been linked to erectile dysfunction.
- Avocados: rich in vitamin E, helping to improve sperm quality.
- Tomatoes: contain lycopene which has been linked to healthier sperm production and a healthier prostate.
- Almonds: Having a small handful of almonds daily has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease and aid the body in ridding unwanted cholesterol.
- Broccoli: great supply of iron, fiber, calcium, and vitamin C, making them great for your bones, circulation, and immunity.
We all know the importance of keeping our bodies moving and in good shape. Anything that speeds up your heart and breathing rate comes with physical rewards. If physical fitness is new to you, start where you’re at now, start slow and progressively work your way up.
Walk more! A simple stroll at lunch or choosing stairs over the elevator can work wonders when done consistently. If you’ve been working on your physical fitness for a while, perhaps it’s time to switch up your routine or do more of it.
Working out regularly doesn’t mean you need to go out and get a gym membership. There are endless apps and YouTube videos that can help you reach your goals.
Mental health is a vast topic. This blog is not to be used in place of getting professional help. Should you, or someone you love, be struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health syndrome, please reach out to someone qualified to assist you.
When it comes to differences between the genders, studies from around the world indicate that men’s mental health issues are experiencing a substantial increase in numbers.
- A World Health Organisation report from 2018 determined that men are three times more likely than women to die from suicide in high-income countries.
- Mental Health America data indicates more than 6 million men in the USA experience depressive symptoms, and 3 million more experience an anxiety disorder.
Men’s depressive symptoms can also differ from women’s. While women seem to get sad, men tend to get angry, irritable, or aggressive.
There are many ways to nurture your mental health, including the nutrition and exercise mentioned above, that works equally well for men and women. On top of these, here are some more recommendations:
- Meditation: Everyone can meditate, and there is no right or wrong way to do so. What matters is you slow down, relax and become aware of the present moment. There are, of course, environments that are more conducive to meditating. However, with practice, mediation can be done anywhere, simply by becoming present. The science behind the benefits of meditation cannot be disputed. This one practice, done consistently, can offer you a magnitude of health benefits.
- Be kind: Many studies have found that the mental health of people who volunteer regularly experience a decrease in depressive symptoms, increased happiness, and enhanced well-being. Don’t have time to volunteer regularly? No problem, try practicing random acts of kindness towards strangers and see how it affects your mental health.
Because October 10th, 2021, was World Mental Health Day, our last months’ blog titled, Top 10 Ways to Nurture Your Mental Health can offer you even more tips in this area. You can find it here.
REVĪVŌ Supports You!
We understand that making changes to your routine can sometimes be a daunting feat. If you find yourself wanting or needing more of a helping hand, we’d be honored to see you at REVIVO Resort in Bali, where we can customize a retreat program explicitly made around your needs. If you have any questions or want to book a complimentary 15 minute consultation with one of our health coaches, you can do so <> link to the website.
Blog written by Kimberly Rose