Traditionally, men do not cry, right? Men are to be macho, strong and in charge. They take the lead on many life events in their families and protect their women and girls and safeguard their health and happiness. But there is one missing piece in the puzzle: men seem to neglect their own health! I am inclined to think that this “sometimes enforced macho-image” directly impacts the way men address their own health. As an advocate for men’s health, I have one question to all men out there today: are you ready to man up to your own health?
Globally, Men’s Health Week (MHW) is celebrated as from today, 10 June through Sunday 16 June. Anecdotally, the event is not observed in Namibia, but it enjoys high priority in many European countries, the United States, Australia, and Canada. MHW capitalises on the global standing given to men on Father’s Day, hence the occasion is observed the week preceding and including Father’s Day. The aim of MHW is to raise awareness on male health issues and to provoke public discussion on how to better the health of men and boys. I have visited various websites that highlight MHW and it seems that each country applies its own theme. The United Kingdom theme, Men’s Health by Numbers resonated very well with me.
Apparently, men and boys are obsessed with numbers around the globe! Whether it is to tell you how many goals Alison Becker racked up for Liverpool this season, how many tries Siya Kolisi scored for the Stormers, how many goals Isaskar Gurirab scored for the Brave Warriors or the maximum speed of the new Golf GTI. The bottom line is, men and boys are number fanatics. However, there are some numbers that they don’t know about. Men’s Health Week (UK) 2019 attempts to close that number gap. In this edition we start out by updating you on the seven key numbers that all men need to know effectively:
94 - a waist size of 94 cm or above puts you at increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This week may be a good time to have your waist and body mass index measured;
150 - men should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Moderate physical activity is an exercise that makes you slightly breathless like brisk walking or cycling. Alternatively, you should park your car far from the office and walk or exercise during lunch breaks;
5 - aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Food is our fuel. We won’t put the wrong fuel in our cars; the same goes for our bodies.
14 – the maximum units of alcohol a week is 14. Excessive drinking damages almost every organ in the body, so moderation is key;
10 - cigarette smokers die 10 years younger on average than non-smokers. Smoking is poison. Consider quitting;
120/80 – is the normal blood pressure (BP). Do you know your BP reading?
75: 75% of suicides (3 out of 4) are by men. Health and wellbeing begin between the ears. You can have all the money and material possessions, but if things inside your head are not okay, you will also not be okay. Stress is normal; it’s what we do with it that matters.
It is time for Namibia to join the rest of the world to be more outspoken on men’s health, and it should start with you, sir. Man up to your own health; the time is now!
To be continued…..!
*Karin Husselmann is the founder and CEO of B-Healthi Coaching and Training CC. She writes on public health and lifestyle issues, offers support with smoking cessation and assists corporate clients with team-building and the general health and wellbeing of their employees.
2019-06-10 09:47:52 16 days ago