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Men, it’s time to put your health first…

Men, it’s time to put your health first…

Don’t moan and groan, I’m not about to give you a lecture of what you should eat, not eat, drink or not drink and that you should do ‘x’ amount of hours of exercise each day. I’m not medically trained, I’m not a nutritionist but I am aware that men are not particularly good at talking about their health whether that is to their mates or to a Doctor. Why?

Men generally, will take better care of their car or their bike or have more interest in their latest phone than they do about their own health. We’re all pretty good at knowing our own bodies and instinctively know if something doesn’t quite feel right but it’s also easier to be in denial and make excuses so that we don’t do anything about it and hope that the feeling goes away. Often, the feeling does go away and so time goes on and you forget about it, but sometimes certain conditions don’t always present with obvious symptoms.

There is plenty of information on the internet, the television, in the papers and magazines, telling you certain lifestyle decisions can be harmful to your wellbeing. They tell you that excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, eating processed foods and those high in sugar can lead to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and cancer but you don’t always take as much notice of this as maybe you should. The problem is exacerbated as men will not confide in their mates or their family so no-one is alerted to potential issues which could be addressed before becoming something more serious.

Particularly, when you are young, in your twenties or thirties, you fool yourself that you can drink alcohol to excess because you counteract that with going to the gym or do some running so it doesn’t matter. You feel great so no harm done. But peer pressure, especially among male groups, and the feeling that you cannot enjoy yourself unless you become inebriated, can lead to binge drinking which in time can be harmful.

Smoking seems to be in fashion again for teenagers and young people in their twenties. It breaks my heart to see them puffing away and so, no, I’m not going to say don’t do it, because it’s none of my business what you do, but I wish you wouldn’t. I will never forget the tortured face of a close relative as he was being wheeled on a trolley to theatre to have a heart triple by-pass fearing that he would not get through. Fortunately, he did survive the surgery and vowed never to smoke another cigarette again. Do you remember the British Heart Foundation adverts a few years back where fatty deposits were dripping from the end of cigarettes? It was an horrendous advert but drove home the message of the harm smoking can cause. If I were a smoker I would definitely have given up after seeing that.

None of us wants to suffer illness at any time in our lives but particularly in older years when you can be more vulnerable, so it makes sense to think about your health now. Many illnesses are preventable with early intervention and small changes to your lifestyle.

Why not use lockdown to think about the above. I would normally say make that telephone call to the GP to have a wellness check. Obviously, at the moment, this may not be possible due to the Coronavirus situation, but if you are concerned about anything still make that phone call to ask for advice or a telephone appointment with the GP. Tell them if you have noticed something which doesn’t feel quite right. Better to talk about it now to a professional and get something done than suffer later.

So, there we go, I said I wouldn’t lecture you, but I have had a good old moan, that’s the mother hen in me!

We work with providers who offer health screen checks. If you would like further information please contact Kathy Scott on 07989 367669 or email at info@handsonatwork.co.uk or visit our website at www.handsonatwork.co.uk