Men: it’s time to get serious about our health

Someone holding a paper moustache in their hands

Men have to stop ignoring medical symptoms – early intervention can save lives

Matt LambertMatt Lambert, one of our nutritionists, shares his take on men’s health to coincide with Movember – a month dedicated to focusing on some of the health issues facing men.

Like many men, I’ve tended to put off seeing my doctor – something that other men reading this will probably be very familiar with. In fact, it’s well known that men are less likely than women to visit their doctor, and in the UK it’s estimated that we go 20% less than women.

Even if men are concerned about their health, and I include myself here as well, we still put off seeing our doctor! In a study of 1,000 men, shockingly three-quarters said they would put off going to their doctor even when showing signs of illness.

In general, men tend to be less health-conscious than women. For example, men are less likely to eat their 5 A DAY – just over a quarter of UK men eat five or more portions of fruit and veg a day.

Not only this, almost a quarter of men drink in excess of the government’s alcohol guidelines – increasing their risk of six different types of cancer.

In the UK, and globally, cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Not only are there more cases of cancer diagnoses in men than women, but there are around 11,000 more deaths from cancer in men compared to women.

In addition to prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men – there are also certain cancers that men are at a higher risk of, namely bowel and lung cancer. These three cancers make up more than half of all cancers in men.

Download or order your free copy of our Men’s health guide

Change your lifestyle

In England, around 67% of men are either overweight or obese – not only does this increase the risk of developing cancer but it also increases the risk of other diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

While I’ve highlighted some of the issues affecting men’s health, the good news is that by changing your lifestyle and taking your health more seriously you can reduce your risk of developing a preventable cancer.

Our Men’s health guide is specially designed for men and looks at the cancers that are most common. It gives lots of tips and advice on how you – or the men in your life – can be healthier and make cancer less likely.

Here are just some of the tips from our Men’s health guide to help you get started:

Get your 5 A DAY

  • Sunday roast: instead of potatoes, try roasting sweet potatoes, squash or parsnips in a little oil.
  • Gain with grains: make the most of your everyday diet by incorporating more wholegrains (such as brown rice), fruit, veg and pulses (beans, peas and lentils). These nutrient-packed foods provide a range of health-promoting nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre.

> Try one of our healthy recipes

Cut down on red and processed meat

  • Meatless Mondays: take a break from red meat on Mondays and indulge in some mouth-watering veggie dishes like our bean chilli. It’s filled with protein and fibre, and full of flavour.

> We have loads of meat-free meals to try

Get active

  • Work workouts: doing a sedentary job can take its toll. Try to incorporate as much activity as possible while at work – go for a walk at lunch, or walk up and down the stairs every two hours. Anything that gets you moving a bit more throughout the day is great for our health.

Drink less

  • Order small measures. Double measures may seem good value but can make you drink more.
  • Dilute your drinks – for example, add low-calorie tonic water to a single measure of spirits or sugar-free lemonade to beer or lager to make a shandy.

If you’re worried about your health, the most important thing you can do is to make an appointment to see your doctor. We only have one life and looking after our health is crucial for a longer and healthier one.