Men’s Health Month takes place every year, so what it’s all about and why is it so important?
One in five men die before the age of 65. Men’s Health Week aims to increase awareness for men’s wellbeing and encourage men to live healthier, more active lifestyles in order to fight this statistic and improve the lives of men all over the world.
The movement aims to do this with the help of thousands of participants. By signing up to regular updates, using free resources to carry out events and activities, sharing images on social media and using hashtags you can boost awareness for this important cause.
Last year, Men’s Health Week focussed on stress relief.
This Year’s Men’s Health Month Is All About Belly Fat
For 2017, Men’s Health Week focuses on belly fat. Although women are by no means immune to abdominal fat, it is a fact that many more men carry an unhealthy amount of weight around their middle.
The importance of keeping abdominal fat to a minimum extends far beyond the aesthetics of wanting a washboard stomach, as belly fat has significant implications for our broader health.
Abdominal fat consists of two forms of fat: subcutaneous fat, which sits just below the skin; and visceral fat, which surrounds organs such as the pancreas, liver and intestines.
Although it is often the subcutaneous fat that we consider to stand in the way of achieving the perfect physique, it is visceral that is by far the most dangerous for our health and wellbeing.
This is because visceral fat interacts with our vital organs and changes the way that the body operates – inhibiting circulation, causing inflammation and creating a hormone imbalance in the body, among other things.
Over time, large amounts of visceral belly fat can increase your risk of serious conditions like sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and even premature death.
So how much fat is too much?
It’s Time To Get Measuring
Belly fat is a problem because it lurks not just beneath the surface but also gets down deep and surrounds your vital organs. Regardless of your overall weight, a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Premature death from any cause
- High blood pressure
So, men need to get those tape measures out. If you have a waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm), you are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erection problems. If it’s over 40 inches (102cm), you’re ar a considerably increased risk of all these. The measurement is not the same as your trouser size. Measure your stomach at the belly button.
MOVE MORE, EAT WELL, WATCH THE BOOZE.
Why Is Men’s Health Month So Important?
The time to talk about men’s health is long overdue. Men are infamously bad at doing anything to address symptoms or seek treatment, choosing instead to ignore problems and keep them to themselves.
Studies have found that over a two-year period, men are half as likely to visit the doctor as women. What’s more, they are three times as likely to go five years without a visit and twice as likely to have never contacted a doctor as an adult.
The reasons for this seem to be a mixture of different factors, including feeling ‘too busy’ to seek medical advice, feeling embarrassed about intimate tests and being scared about receiving unpleasant results. But remaining in the dark about your health can have disastrous consequences.
Men, on average, die earlier than women. They’re also more likely to die from eight out of the top ten fatal diseases and are more likely to smoke, drink and live generally unhealthy lifestyles.
So, Men, What Should You Do?
Get involved in downloading resources, educating yourself and sharing messages on social media. You can even plan events, and don’t forget to get that tape measure out and check your belly fat level.
Our Health Check Service can measure your weight, body mass index, take your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol and includes a tailored report for £7.99
If you’re worried you might be carrying too much weight around this region, make the effort to implement some key lifestyle changes. Eating healthier, moving more and cutting down on alcohol could be enough to see significant health improvements. And, of course, never be afraid to seek medical expertise.
For further information, advice and guidance on Weight Management or related symptoms such as Erectile Dysfunction & Hair Loss Treatments, why not speak confidentially to one of our trained pharmacists in our pharmacies.
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