10 things men must do to live longer

in canada, men die four years earlier than women. how l...

in canada, men die four years earlier than women. how long we live is partly down to our genes but there are ways to improve it. why don’t men live as long as women? today there is not a single country in the world where male life expectancy is equal to that of women.
more men than women die prematurely of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and strokes. and it’s a similar picture for mental health – three out of four suicides are male.
although biological differences may be part of the explanation, social factors also play a role. men are likely to smoke and drink more than women, while pressures of work often mean men don’t get their health checked as often as they should or ask for help early enough.
“for many men, taking care of their health isn’t high on their list of priorities – at least until they get older or a problem becomes impossible to ignore,” says michelle terry, ceo of men’s health charity movember.
“you can increase your chances of living longer by dealing with any health problems quickly. if you’re worried about something, get it checked out and if you’re offered screening take advantage of it.”

1-find out your family history

major illnesses such as heart disease, cancers, strokes and depression can all run in families.
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“start by having those important conversations about your family history if you can,” says michelle. “find out if your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles suffered from any serious illness, especially if they died prematurely and share that information with your gp.”

2-move more

being active doesn’t just make you feel better, it has a whole host of benefits including reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia. around 30 minutes a day of moderate activity that raises your heart rate, such as brisk walking, cycling or jogging, can lower blood pressure. and, as with any other muscle, exercise helps your heart get bigger and stronger, ensuring it pumps blood more efficiently. you can build more activity into your day by getting off the bus a stop or two earlier, cycling instead of driving or having walking meetings on-the-go over zoom or skype.

3-know your numbers

the three key numbers you need to know when it comes to staying healthy are your blood pressure, cholesterol level and waist size, although a third of adults never have theirs checked. high blood pressure (140/85mmhg or higher), high cholesterol (more than 5.0 mmol/l) or carrying too much fat around your middle (a waist measurement of more than 94cm/37inches) mean you’re at greater risk developing heart disease, diabetes or having a stroke. knowing these three markers gives you the power to change that by having a goal to work towards.

4-manage stress



too much stress can damage your immune system and increase your risk of serious health problems. men who respond to stress with anger are three times more likely to get heart disease and five times more likely to have a heart attack before 55, research has shown.
the main causes of stress are money worries, work (or lack of it), relationship problems, illness and bereavement. getting good quality sleep, taking regular exercise, having a hobby or finding other ways to relax are all proven ways of managing your stress levels.

5-sit down when you have a drink

too much booze is linked to many medical conditions including liver disease, heart problems, depression, some cancers and digestive problems. almost a third of men regularly consume more than the 14 recommended units a week. during lockdown, 29 per cent of men drank even more than usual.

according to experts, we drink more slowly when we’re sitting than when we’re standing so pulling up a chair and savouring your drink is one way of slowing your consumption. if you are worried about you’re drinking and alcohol intake, visit here to find a local support service available to you.

6-wear a hat

while some sunlight is good for you, too much exposure can raise your risk of skin cancer.



men are three times more likely to develop skin cancer than women and almost twice as likely to die from it. however, research from uk-based cancer charity macmillan found that one in five (18 percent) men admitted to never wearing sun cream compared with just over one in 20 women (six percent).
protect yourself with a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved t-shirt, especially if you’re working outside. check your skin particularly any moles regularly -about half of all melanomas start with a change to previously normal-looking skin, such as a dark area or an abnormal new mole.
others start with a change in the appearance of an already existing mole. if you notice any changes in your skin, ask your gp for advice.

7-know your prostate risk

prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in canada. one in nine canadian men will develop it in their lifetime.
early detection is key to successful treatment but as there are often no symptoms until the disease is advanced, it can be tricky to spot.
“your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, explains michelle. “but men who are black, and those who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are 2.5 times more likely to get it.”

“if you’re  50 , you should be talking to your doctor about your prostate risk and whether you might need a psa (prostate-specific antigen) blood test,” says michelle. “if you’re black or if you have a family history of the disease, you need to start that conversation at  45 .”



8-spend time with people who make you feel good

we all have times when our mood is low and usually these feelings pass, but if they start to interfere with your life, it could be a sign that things aren’t right.
“spending time with friends is good for you and it’s important for your mental health to make the time to catch up regularly,” explains michelle. “that’s particularly difficult during social distancing restrictions because a lot of the things that men typically rely on to connect with each other such as watching or playing sport or going to the pub or the gym are either aren’t available or have been severely reduced.
“you might have to be more creative in coming up with ways to connect with each other while restrictions are in still in place but it’s important to make it a priority. if you can’t meet in person, you can still speak on the phone or send a quick text to check in,” she says.

9-talk more

confiding in someone you trust about something that’s bothering you and how you feel about it can help you stay mentally healthy. it doesn’t mean you’re needy or emotionally weak – getting someone else’s perspective on a situation can be very helpful.
“many men seem to find it easier to open up when they are doing something else – whether that’s fixing the car, watching the football or playing computer games,” says michelle.

10-check your tackle regularly



testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men. although it’s rare and survival rates are high provided the disease is caught and treated early – one in 20 cases are fatal.
it’s also one of the few cancers you can check yourself for. the best way is to get into the habit of doing a self-examination in the shower every month or so.
the warmth of the water relaxes the scrotum and makes it easier to do an examination. “get to know what’s normal for you. it only takes a few seconds every month or so and if something changes or doesn’t feel right, see a doctor,” says michelle.


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