Men’s Health – tools to help you on the road to better health

Men’s Health – tools to help you on the road to better health

Did you know 1 in 5 men will die before they’re old enough to retire?

There’s a lot of reasons why that’s the case, and there are a lot of small changes we can make to live longer and healthier lives.

Keep an eye on the top four – diet, exercise, alcohol, and smoking. These four are among the strongest risk factors for our biggest killers like heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. In fact, eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day, drinking less than 14 units of alcohol per week (about 7 pints), and not smoking could see you living around 14 years longer.

If you want help to stop smoking, then try the resources from Quit Your Way. They can provide advice and support to help you quit, and they also have a helpline and online chat available from 9 to 5, Monday – Friday.

If you’re looking for advice on reducing how much alcohol you drink, you can read our tips here, or you can watch this video from an Addictions Doctor. If you’re concerned about how much you’re drinking, you might benefit from completing the AUDIT questionnaire, which you can find here. That will give you a picture of any implications your drinking could have on your health and wellbeing, both now and in the future.

We’ve got some info to help you eat well at work, which you can find here. You can also check out the Eat Well Your Way website. We’ve also got some info to help you exercise a bit more, which you can find here. You can also check out this post on the Men’s Health Forum answering some FAQs around fitness.

Did you know that 2 out of 5 people in Scotland will get cancer?

We’re going to focus on the two types that affect men uniquely – prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

The biggest risk factor for prostate cancer is age, with most cases diagnosed in men over 50. If you’re aged over 50, or over 45 and either black, or have a family history of prostate cancer, the advice is to get checked. You can speak to your GP about getting a prostate cancer test. For more information about prostate cancer, visit Prostate cancer UK.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men, but we still don’t know what causes it or what can be done to prevent it. Instead, we can just encourage you to check yourself regularly, and get checked out by the GP if you find anything painful or unusual. Here’s a guide for how to check yourself, and what to keep an eye out for.

It’s not just cancer we need to be thinking about – for example, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes all have the potential to be both life limiting and life threatening. You can get a lot of info about these and other conditions online, and we’d recommend using NHS Inform in the first instance.

The Men’s Health Forum have brought together a lot of info on common complaints and practical suggestions to improve your health in their ‘Man Manual’. You can order papers copies or find an interactive version of the manual by scrolling towards the bottom of this page.

You can often identify your own risk with simple online risk checkers – like this NHS Heart Age check, this Prostate Cancer risk checker from Prostate Cancer UK, or this type 2 diabetes risk check from Diabetes UK.

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