MEN, it's time to shape up for summer. Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift has five tips to strengthen men's health and wellbeing.
This week marked International Men's Day (November 19) - a day to celebrate the lives of more than 11 million Aussie men and shine the spotlight on their health.
While blokes fare well on many economic indicators, when it comes to health they often face poorer outcomes than women, in areas like lower life expectancy, higher levels of avoidable mortality, and higher mortality from almost all common causes of death including cancer.
Here are five easy strategies to assist with health, happiness and a long life.
One, get checked
In Queensland, more than 14,500 men will be diagnosed with cancer this year - around 4100 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, 2000 with melanoma and about 1700 with bowel cancer.
The good news is, most cancers, if detected early, can be effectively treated.
Become familiar with your body and get to know what feels 'normal' so you don't miss any changes.
Look for things like lumps, sores or ulcers that don't heal, unusual changes in your testicles, unexplained weight loss, moles that change shape, size or colour, blood in bowel motion, persistent changes in toilet habits or urinary problems or changes.
These symptoms are often related to more common health problems, but if you notice any unusual changes, visit your doctor.
To get yourself in the best frame of mind, set defined goals.
It's important to have a clear focus of where you're headed and formulate the steps you're going to take to get there.
Research shows that putting steps into place to achieve your overall goal provides real motivation and a greater commitment. Whether you start by setting new career goals, personal or fitness goals, either big or small, it's important to put some direction in place.
Three, warm up, work out, and eat well
Pumping iron at the gym won't improve your overall health unless you balance your fitness routine with good nutrition.
And did you know warming up is just as important for the muscles as working out?
Research shows those who do a 'dynamic warm up', muscle-warming routine that includes moves like walking lunges and high skips have better performance, strength and less injury.
Once you've got your warm up sorted, make sure you balance both resistance and cardiovascular training. Like all things in life, balance is key.
Even just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day will deliver noticeable health benefits.
Four, clean up your skin care regimen
Skin care products aren't just for women.
Your skin is your largest organ, so it's important to take good care of it.
Cleanse and moisturise. It's that simple.
Finding a good cleanser will help remove dead skin cells and give you a fresh look.
After cleansing, it's important to replenish your skin with a moisturiser.
If you have normal skin, go for an oil-based moisturiser.
If you have oily skin, try a water-based product.
Complement your new routine by drinking eight glasses of water a day and staying hydrated.
Five, speak out
C'mon men, don't get all shy on us here.
It's important to make a habit of sharing your feelings with those around you.
Whether you've been through change recently, or are currently experiencing a difficult situation, it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed.
And it's ok to ask for help or emotional support.
Don't battle life's challenges on your own - reach out to someone you trust and you're likely to cope better and adjust more quickly.
This week, make a bro-date with a friend or close family member and have a meaningful chat.
Implement these five tips today to become the best version of yourself you can be - man power!
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.
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