Here at OrthoSole, we’re big supporters of Men’s Health Month (Movember). The initiative takes place in the UK every year, and plays a vital role in educating us on some of the most common – and most debilitating – conditions that are disproportionately affecting the male population today.
Inspired by the fantastic work of the team at Movember (which is behind the event), we have decided to raise awareness of common everyday habits that could in fact be damaging men’s health in the longer term.
If you answer yes to any of the below questions, it could be time to introduce a few changes to your lifestyle. Even making some small adjustments to your daily routine could vastly improve your long-term health and wellbeing.
Are you spending too much time in the driving seat?
Did you know that, according to BackCare.org, as many as 60% of drivers report back pain that is caused, or made worse, by driving?
Regardless of whether you have to ensure a lengthy commute to work every day, or you drive for miles at the weekend just for pleasure, you may find that you’re putting your body under a lot of strain – especially if your seat isn’t set up to accommodate your posture.
The quickest way to add extra support to your vehicle’s seating setup is to invest in a lumbar cushion, which will take away some of the pressure on your back. If the problem persists, and you still find that you’re in pain during or after your journeys, try some of the stretches and exercises in this handy factsheet from BackCare.org.
Are you looking after your body before and after a workout?
Regular exercise is proven to keep you at your best, and heading to the gym a few times a week is a great way to de-stress, too. But if you’re not warming up and cooling down properly before and after each workout, you could be doing untold damage to your muscles and ligaments.
The NHS recommends that you spend at least 6 minutes warming up before intensive exercise to limit the risk of injury and ensure that you’re able to get the most from your session. Try these warm-up techniques to start with – they will wake up your central nervous system and prime your muscles for weights or cardio.
Do you wear unsupportive or ill-fitting shoes?
If you find that you’re experiencing aches and pains throughout the week, your footwear could be to blame. Pain often starts from the ground upwards, and if your feet aren’t receiving enough support from your shoes, you could start to feel discomfort not only in your lower limbs, but also in your knees, back and neck.
The custom insoles from OrthoSole offer a quick and easy way of reducing the stress and pressure placed on your feet every single day. The changeable support combinations in these nifty products make it easy for you to adjust the cushioning to match your body and lifestyle, without the need to invest in fancy orthopedic footwear.
Are you reluctant to go to the GP, even if you’re experiencing worrying symptoms?
So many surveys in recent years have found that men are much less likely to visit their family doctor if they’re suffering from ill health. For example, a 2017 report from Cleveland Clinic in the US found that up to 60% of men aged 18 to 70 won’t go to the GP, even when they’re worried they may have a serious condition.
We know it can be tricky to get an appointment. We know it means taking time out of your busy day. We know that once you’re there, in front of your doctor, you may find it difficult to discuss what’s worrying you. But seeking professional advice sooner rather than later could lead to earlier diagnosis and greater peace of mind – both of which will keep you healthier for longer.
Do you often forget to look after your mental health?
You may be pretty good at looking after your physical wellbeing, but remember, it’s just as important to look after your mind as it is your body.
It’s widely known that women are more likely than men to suffer from mental health problems, but that doesn’t mean we should underestimate the impact that low mood and low self-esteem has on our male population. Shockingly, in the UK, just over three-quarters of suicides are by men, and this is the biggest cause of death for gents under 35. It’s an issue that is perhaps having a greater impact on our overall wellbeing than we realise.
If you’ve been feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, talk to someone you trust. Or, better still, seek help from your doctor or a trained counsellor to explore coping mechanisms that could dramatically improve your outlook on life.