THE BLOG

Men's Health Month

06/06/2017 11:34

For many of us June is a significant month. In the UK it's the start of summer (that's if we get one!), in New Zealand (where I live) it's the official start of winter (which is pretty much a British summer) and most importantly it's a month closer to Game of Thrones returning to our lives (yes I am one of those people)! So, as you can see, June is a pretty important month. However, did you realize that June is also Men's Health Month?

What and why do we have Men's Health Month? The 'what' part will be answered later on and the why part is simple... Because men are crap at looking themselves and I have the facts to prove it.

Worldwide the average life expectancy of men is 68 years. However, that drops to worrying 58 years of age when looking at when a man's health will begin to decline. In comparison, the average life expectancy of women is 73 years who tend to see a decline in health around 65 years of age, that's almost 10 years' difference! The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that women on average are living longer and have a better-quality life when compared with men.

In the men's world health ratings (2015), the UK ranked a miserable 16th spot (79.4 years) when looking at the average male life expectancy and New Zealand rank 10th (80 years). Because all males are competitive, Switzerland are 1st, who boast a life expectancy of 81.3 years. Now personally, the living forever part doesn't bother me at all, we are mortal that's a fact. However, how men are dying and the healthy life expectancy catches my attention. Imagine knowing that at 58 years old your ability to lead a life without any major health complications is highly unlikely and I find it deeply disturbing. What I struggle to get is that we know more about the human body than ever before and our healthy expectancy is decreasing.

When breaking this down further I decided to find out just how exactly men were dying in the UK and New Zealand, the results I found were concerning and surprisingly similar.

Men in NZ (Not ranked in order)
• Heart disease or stroke
• Diabetes
• Lung cancer
• Bowel, Colon or Prostate cancer
• Suicide
• Motor accidents

Men in UK
• Heart disease or stroke
• Lung cancer
• Suicide
• Bronchitis
• Bowel, Colon or Prostate cancer
• Motor accidents

Now is it me or do most these causes of death seem to be preventable? It seems to me that lifestyle, mental factors, stress, lack of education and the good old fashioned masculinity/social perceptions are the primary culprits.

For example, the amount of times I have been referred to as a 'girl' or a weirdo who is an obsessed health nut is quite amazing, all because I choose not to drink alcohol, eat 'real food' and lead a healthy lifestyle. When I originally decided to change my health focus I was met with a lot of criticism from family, friends, and clients. They all declared that "real men don't act like this", even to the point where I struggled to have a social life because they saw me as 'boring' and they wanted the 'old Ben' back. So, just imagine what is like for other males who want to become healthy and not prepared to deal with the flack from their mates.

In comparison, females are miles ahead when it comes to being more in tune to their bodies. Females are prepared to visit the doctors if there is something wrong, talk to their friends and family about personal issues, learn about their bodies, seek alternative health practices, and tend to opt for a healthier lifestyle. Women understand the importance of being healthy but most importantly feeling good. This is demonstrated with the data between men and woman: this is why leading health specialists are devoting their careers on improving female's health and well-being, because women listen!

So, what is Men's Health Month?

It is a month where men come together and begin to talk and raise awareness of preventable health problems and diseases. To help educate men in disease prevention or early detection of illnesses for males of all ages. It's the perfect opportunity to share your story and pay it forward to allow men to be inspired and do something about their own health and well-being.

To help as many people as possible, I am doing my part by promoting this excellent cause all month. I will be posting weekly videos that will be on YouTube or other social media outlets and setting up times for free consultations for men who are interested in knowing about their health, either online or face to face. It's about time men began to 'man up' and began to look after themselves #menstarttalking.

Healthy regards

Comments

CONVERSATIONS