Physical Health – Movember Series
A word to the wise:
In the spirit of Movember, I think it is important to dive deeper into how both men and woman can become and remain physically healthier. Part of Movembers call to action is to raise awareness about health issues and help to prevent men from dying to young. We will touch on thank and also look into a few other common causes of death that are easily preventable with proper physical health habits. Create a physical health lifestyle to lower the risk of major health issues.
If you haven’t already read it, check out College Word to the Wise’s Movember 2018 article. The article goes in-depth about what Movember is all about and the men’s health concerns they aim to address and one day solve.
But prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide aren’t the only health issues that men and woman face. There are countless preventable diseases, conditions, illnesses and injuries that can and should be eliminated through maintaining good physical health.
So, let’s dive into a few simple health fixes that could change your life with a little self discipline and consistency!
Simple Health Fixes:
There are many ways to become more fit. And depending on what level of fitness you are looking to achieve there are almost no limits to what you can achieve if you put the time and effort into your health. But in reality, most of us do not have the time to become world class athletes. So, what are a few easy health fixes that we can focus on to increase our physical health?
- Start working out aerobically and increase our overall strength.
- Prioritize sleep. Teens should aim for 8-10 hours of sleep a night while adults should aim for 7-9.
- Drink enough water each day. Check out this article for how much you should drink.
- Focus on cleaning up your diet. Start by eliminated 1 bad food item and replacing it with something health. Keep doing this until you are eating a diet that is at least 80% good quality food.
- Spend more time outside. Not only is the sun for your health, being outside often leads to a more active lifestyle.
For more detail on the above health fix’s, check out this article!
Minimum Fitness requirements:
Mandy Oaklander wrote an article for Time Magazine called “The New Science of Exercise.” In that article it was stated that only 20% of North Americans get the recommended amount of exercise. That is why North American is essentially in a health crisis. The vast majority of people are overweight, out of shape, weak, injured and living with chronic illness. But that is not a reality we have to live in.
In the College Word to the Wise article Need a Health Fix?, we discussed the minimum required exercise to fight off chronic disease and increase our overall health. For the average adult, 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week, combined with at least two strength training sessions a week is a good minimum to aim for. For children and teenagers, the minimum recommended exercise is 60 minutes of physical activity daily combined with activities that improve strength at least 3 times per week.
As everyone knows, drinking excessive alcohol is not good for your body, and often not your mental health either. If you doubt the actual extent of damage that excessive alcohol consumption can cause, take a look at this great article on Healthline. Cancer, addiction, behavioural changes, liver damage, sexual dysfunction, infertility and heart damage are just a few of the negative health effects of alcohol.
But I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom here, and I won’t pretend I don’t drink alcohol on occasion. The real trick is to drink in moderation. Drinking every weekend or multiple times a week can quickly take a toll on your physical health and mental health.
I do not know who started the trend or where it first happened, but as an attempt to break the cycle of drinking or at the very least take a break, someone invented the idea of “Sober October”. I understand that October is over, but I believe we can take inspiration from the idea and adapt it to our life in general.
Sometimes we get in a loop of a bad habit. It could be alcohol, drugs, food, no exercise, biting our nails or not flossing our teeth. Whatever the negative habit is, take a break similar to Sober October and replace it with something positive.
Joe Rogan who is a podcaster, UFC announcer, comedian and formally the “fear factor guy” holds a yearly Sober October with a few of his friends. Each year they take a full month of sobriety and, as a group, do a fitness challenge with an award for whoever is the most successful. Regardless of who is the most successful in the challenge, they all win! Each year they give the physical health a break from the negative effects of alcohol and drugs and increase their physical health through fitness challenges.
Grab some friends or join an online community looking to better themselves and start working on some fitness challenges while cutting out a negative aspect of your life. Your physical health will thank you and you will reduce the chances of getting chronic diseases, cancers and other illnesses.
Physical health plays a significant role in mental health as well. Next week I will be writing a more in-depth article about this topic, but it is still important to note that being physically active and healthy will have significant and positive effects on your mental health.
If you are interested in donating to men’s health research, click this link. For the month of November I will continue to grow my mustache in support of men’s health.
Are there any health fixes you use on the regular that you believe everyone should include in their daily routine? Are there any weird health habits you swear by?