In general, men have a shorter life span than women, more cases of mental illness and a suicide rate three times higher than their female counterparts.
This is why Movember exists and this is why understanding and being aware of the key health issues in men and what can be done to avoid them, is vital.
Men in their 20s
There is a common misconception that life for men in their 20s is care-free. While big responsibilities are not as common at this age, general health, lifestyle and mental well-being are incredibly important.
Issue #1: Injuries
Sports injuries, work-related injuries, car or motorcycle accidents, and drink-driving accidents are impacting too many men in their 20s.
- Your body is not indestructible, so take it easy
- If you’re injured, rest up and let your body heal before diving back into physical activity
- Pay attention to the health and safety warnings at work – they’re there to help, not hinder, your workspace
- Watch your speed on the roads
- Watch your alcohol consumption. The amount you drink in your youth can cause a detrimental effect on your health later in life too
Issue #2: Testicular Cancer
Unfortunately, this is one type of cancer that can affect younger men, with a higher rate of incidence in men between the ages of 15 and 49.
- Do regular self-exams so that you’re aware of any changes. If you’re unsure about what to look for, consult your GP – don’t be shy, they’ve seen it all before!
- Try to eat a balanced, healthy diet, incorporating lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, and low GI carbs like sweet potato, pumpkin and brown rice or pasta.
Issue #3: Mental Illness
Depression is a major contributor and men in their 20s and 30s are particularly at risk.
- If you feel depressed, talk to someone you trust; whether it’s a friend, work colleague, family member, counsellor or GP. You are never alone
- If necessary, discuss the prospect of anti-depressants with your GP. Everyone is different, but there are a number of natural supplements you can explore if you want to avoid pharmaceuticals
- Exercise releases natural endorphins, helping you to feel good
Men in their 30s
For a lot of men, their 30s are when they decide to ‘settle down’. Often they are well into their careers by this point, buying a house might be on the cards and marriage and kids become a real possibility.
Issue #1: Decreased Fertility
For many men, the way they live in their 30s will shape their reproductive health.
- Quit smoking – it’s not good for you or your swimmers
- Eat a healthy diet. Excessive alcohol and takeaway consumption can chip away at your sperm count. On the other hand, vegetables, lean protein and essential nutrients like selenium (found in Brazil nuts) will make a big difference
- Tight is not always right. Beware of the restrictions of your underwear – if they’re too tight, this may decrease your sperm count
Men in their 40s
It’s at this turning point in many men’s lives where a lot of physical changes occur, responsibilities (both at work and at home) are at an all-time-high and cardiovascular health becomes increasingly important.
Issue #1: Stress
Prolonged stress plays a big role in men’s overall health, affecting their heart and nervous system as well as their mental health.
- Take time to discover what helps you to relieve your stress. It might be going for a run, playing a sport, reading, or even cooking. Whatever it is, do it as often as possible.
- Have a clear financial plan. This will help you to feel more in control of your expenses, particularly the stressful ones, like mortgages and kids!
Issue #2: Weight Gain
It’s often around this age where men start to notice they’re carrying a little bit extra around the middle. Unfortunately, with weight gain comes an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, so it’s really important to keep a healthy BMI (25 or less is ideal for a man in his 40s).
- Keep an eye on your diet. Vegetables, protein andhealthy fats are key.
- Restrict your alcohol consumption.
- Exercise regularly.
Issue #3: Andropause
Often attributed to a “mid-life crisis”, men can experience a gradual drop in testosterone levels, affecting self-esteem, sexual performance and libido, energy levels, concentration, memory and sleep.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. Your testosterone levels adapt to your body’s needs. When you’re inactive, you brain sends the message that you don’t need as much of the hormone because you’re not building muscle. When you’re physically active, your brain does the opposite, signalling for more testosterone.
- Maintain a healthy weight – men who are overweight often have low testosterone levels.
- In extreme cases, testosterone replacement therapy can help. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor to explore your options.
Men in their 50s
Preventative health strategies start to become really important at this age due to an increased risk of chronic health issues.
Issue #1: Prostate & Bowel Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand’s men and our country has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Every year, The Movember Foundation works hard to spread the word and raise money for those affected.
- Visiting your GP for regular blood tests and physical examinations is imperative to preventing both of these cancers.
- Live a healthy lifestyle by minimising alcohol and junk food while increasing exercise, water intake, and sleep can do wonders for your body.
- Lose weight if you’re packing a little bit extra.
- Up your antioxidants.
- . Calcium is essential for nervous system and muscle function and is vital for strong bones and teeth adding Hi Cal to you vitamin intake will help support your bone density and calcium absorbtion.
Men in their 60s (and beyond)
While retirement may be on the horizon, this is not the only lifestyle change senior men can expect. With the risk of illness increasing with age, health needs to be a big priority.
Issue #1: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP)
BHP occurs when the prostate gland enlarges and affects 80% of men over the age of 80. While the condition is not cancerous, the symptoms can be very uncomfortable, affecting your ability to urinate properly. If not kept under close medical watch, the condition can become cancerous.
- Get regular check-ups.
- Introduce some natural, prostate-supporting supplements into your regime.
Issue #2: Erectile Dysfunction
It’s common for erectile difficulties to start before 60 but at this age, it can indicate a more serious issue. Diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening of arteries or disturbed blood flow are all possibilities.
- Go to your GP for regular check-ups
- Maintain normal cholesterol levels by consuming plenty of fibre, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, psyillum husks and oats
- Introduce a multi-vitamin into your diet
Issue #3: Osteoarthritis
This is a painful condition often associated with getting older. It’s caused by the wear and tear of joints, when the cushioning around them degrades and bone grinds on bone.
- Eat natural anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy vegetables, oily fish, turmeric, ginger and green tea.
- Introduce some natural supplements into your regime. There are many that can do wonders for joint and muscle pain.
- Take a daily intake of Red Super Krill + Glucosamine. Red super krill + glucosamine has three key benefits for joint health, comfort and mobility.
Mr Vitamins recommends
Good Health Red Super Krill + Glucosamine, Hi Cal, Men’s Multi
Too many men are letting their health take a back seat. Organisations like The Movember Foundation are tackling the issue head on, but as individuals and together as a community we also need to make it more of a priority. Encourage your friends and family members to look after themselves – it’s in everyone’s best interest.