It is of paramount importance for both men and women of all ages to pay particular attention to their bodies. However, it has been statistically proven that women are doing a better job of this than men. Why is that?
I have been in the Health and Wellness industry for over 40 years. My reach extends to regions like Germany, Canada, USA and the Caribbean and I can safely say that most of the people I have worked with, especially in groups, were female.
Could it be that the packaging of most Health and Wellness programmes appeal more to women and subliminally condition men to view self care as a feminine concept? Could it be that the lessons that men are taught from an early age by their parents/guardians or by cultural referencing to ‘man up’, make them view seeking avenues for self care as an indication of weakness or femininity? I am not sure, but what I do know, is that men need to ‘turn it up’. We are too comfortable in an unhealthy body. Many of us look older than we really are and, in most cases, this hinges directly on a bad diet and a lack of exercise. The common denominator I hear almost daily is “I really want to start an exercise programme but I just don’t have the time or I just don’t have the money”. This is just an excuse in my view because oftentimes it’s easier for these men to spend hours cleaning their cars or liming with ‘the boys’ imbibing expensive alcohol, than to allocate minimal sums toward a gym membership or an exercise programme. Even a five-minute walk is often viewed as a monumental task. Something is unequivocally wrong with this picture.
A look at our society reveals an alarming rise in heart disease, hypertension, obesity, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. With the right nutrition and exercise, these diseases are all preventable. Despite such frightening trends, some men still refuse to take their health seriously. This must STOP!
Firstly, weight management is critical. Avoid shortcuts like energy drinks or weight loss supplements because in most cases they don’t help—never have and never will—and can actually be more detrimental to one’s health. Instead, keep it simple: focus on natural foods, portion sizes, and very specific exercise regimes. Lifestyle choices are essential to successful health and wellness. Everything in current health literature suggests that maintaining a healthy body weight via a good diet and exercise can minimise heart disease and other aforementioned lifestyle diseases and even reduce/prevent anxiety and depression.
We were not created to be unhealthy and riddled with diseases and I think that men require a shift in consciousness to foster a different mindset towards better health and wellness.