From workouts to healthy diets, many of us make an effort to look after ourselves. However, we could be compromising our health on a daily basis without even knowing it. From bottling things up to eating fast food, here are the top 10 habits men should try to break.
Although women are rapidly catching up with men in the drinking stakes, binge
drinking is still more common among men than women, and there are
consistently higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations in men.
Binge drinking not only affects long term health, but it puts your immediate
safety at risk and can also lead to rapid weight gain. To safeguard your health,
it’s important to stick to recommended limits and drink in moderation.
Avoiding the doctor
Research by the charity Men’s Health Forum has revealed that men are 20% less
likely than women to visit
their doctor, despite the fact that they have shorter life spans than women
and are more likely to die from cancer. While visiting the doctor is rarely a
pleasant experience, diagnosing most illnesses early increases rates of
survival, so stop ignoring those symptoms and give your doctor a call.
Not doing self-checks
Just like with visiting the doctor, many men avoid doing necessary health
self-checks due to fear, denial of the risks, or confusion over what to do.
However, it is vital that men check themselves regularly for signs of
testicular cancer as incidence of the disease is on the rise, particularly
in young and middle-aged men. If you are not sure how to go about checking
yourself, visit a reputable website or ask your doctor for tips on performing
these necessary checks.
Bottling things up
On the whole, men are less likely than women to talk about their feelings,
express emotion or ask for help and support. Perhaps as a consequence of this,
men are half as likely as women to be diagnosed with depression, yet are 77 per
cent more likely to commit suicide. Depressed
men are also twice as likely as depressed women to resort to alcohol and
drug abuse. Bottling up anger is just as detrimental to men’s health, with
research suggesting that men who don’t express their anger increase their risk
of a heart attack.
Stressing over work
While men and women are equally exposed to workplace
stress, according to a survey of 3,000 workers by Medicash, men are four
times more likely than women to take a sick day due to work related stress and
are twice as likely to turn to alcohol to help deal with it. As workplace stress
can be an important factor in the development of depression, heart disease and
stroke, it is vital to seek a way to resolve your feelings and ease your stress;
whether it is by talking to your boss, changing your job or seeking professional
Taking hot baths
Many men enjoying soaking in the tub, but for all those trying to conceive it
may be time to swap those long baths for showers. Researchers from the
University of California, San Francisco, found through their three-year study
that having hot baths can significantly reduce male fertility. As sperm develop
best in cool surroundings, men should avoid any activity that leads to
overheating this area, including sitting in hot tubs or Jacuzzis and regular,
prolonged use of laptops.
Not applying sun cream
Although skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, multiple
research studies have shown that few of us regularly wear sunscreen, and that
men are the worst offenders. According to research by Mintel on sun cream use in
France, Germany, Spain and the UK, an average of 52 per cent of women use
sunscreen, compared to only 37 per cent of men. However, with many men spending
significant time outdoor for sports, work or leisure, it is vital to cover up
with appropriate clothing and sun cream before heading outside.
Poor bathroom hygiene
Do you wash your hands after you’ve visited the men's room? According to a
study by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent
Association, one in three men don’t! Furthermore, a study by the London School
of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine carried out at UK service stations found that
only a third of men washed their hands with soap. Not washing your hands is the
quickest way to spread germs and infection, so protect your health and those
around you by making sure you lather up before leaving the bathroom.
Not brushing your teeth
According to a study by the American Dental Association, only 66 per cent of
men brush their teeth twice or more a day, compared to 86 per cent of women.
Furthermore, research findings published in the Journal of Periodontology showed
that women are almost twice as likely to have regular dental checkups than men.
Failing to look after your pearly whites is not only bad news for your teeth and
gums; research has shown that gum disease can increase risk of heart disease,
erectile dysfunction and dementia.
Eating fast food and takeaways
In today’s fast food culture, many of us are guilty of hampering our weight
loss by indulging in too much junk food, and this is particularly true for men.
A survey by Pew Research Center revealed that 47 per cent of men eat in a fast
food restaurant at least weekly, compared to 35 per cent of women. With an
average takeaway containing over half your recommended daily calories and
copious amounts of salt, do your health a favour by cutting back on takeaways
and replacing with home-cooked meals.