Man flu is not the only illness to attack those with the XY chromosome. Men also suffer from `GP-itis’ and `procrastinatus’. This inertia in men can lead to serious health problems in later life. So, experts at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital have come together to give their top tips to inspire men to take control of their health.
- Book in for an `MOT’ - Men are four times less likely to consult a doctor than women, and often they only go when their partners make an appointment for them. Take control of your health by booking a health check once you reach your mid-40s. A full `MOT’ now, with an action plan of practical advice, could help minimise health risks in the future.
- Enjoy a night out with the lads, but don’t pay for it tomorrow - Eat a large meal before you go out and keep an eye on how many rounds of drinks are being ordered - this could lead to drinking more than you would usually. When it’s your turn to buy, order yourself a soft drink. Five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.
- Take it slowly - Men are known to be faster eaters than women, but it’s not a race. Swallowing food before chewing can lead to indigestion and heartburn. Give each mouthful 20 chews, and then pause between taking another bite. This reduces digestive discomfort after a meal, and stimulates our appetite-sating hormones, meaning you are likely to eat less and feel fuller for longer.
- Get talking - Men are now more likely to seek counselling than they were five years ago, but shop around for a therapist you feel comfortable talking to. If you don’t click with the first one, then keep trying until you do. Visit www.counselling-directory.org.uk
- Go for the burn - Many think that cardiovascular exercise is the best way to lose weight. But did you know that resistance exercise, such as weighted squats and press ups, increases your body’s ability to burn calories even after you have finished exercising?
- Slap on the sun cream - Men are more complacent than women when it comes to using sunscreen, and are less likely to worry about getting sunburnt. Sun cream is one of the major protectors against sun damage that can increase the risk of skin cancer. Put it on an hour before going out into the sun, and replenish every few hours. There is no need to spend ages rubbing it in – it is better to leave a film of sunscreen on the skin.
- Go nuts - Swop that packet of salted peanuts for a man-sized handful of plain almonds –approx. 30g. Combined with a diet to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your food, almonds actively reduce cholesterol levels.
- Enjoy your spag bol - Make it with protein-rich beef to build muscle, or, if you are trying to reduce your cholesterol levels, swop half the meat for soya mince. You won’t notice the difference and soya is another cholesterol-reducing food.
Spire Gatwick Park Hospital is located in Horley, just a five minute drive away from Gatwick Airport. For more than 30 years, its team of medical experts has been providing a large array of treatments and health services, including top-to-toe health checks and regular free information events.
Originally published in July 2015 by Surrey Life magazine.