It is said that men look after their cars better than they look after their own bodies. Just by looking at the health statistics for men we know they don’t use health services as they should. It is time for a change in thinking.
Men, get into gear for men’s health week –this week from 8 to 14 June - and view your body just like your car.
The Carburettor (Lungs):
If your car’s carburettor is blocked it can result in coughing and spluttering down the road, right? So, you take it in to a garage to get it checked and hopefully fixed.
Well, if you think of your lungs as the carburettor in your car where they provide the air you need to keep running well, they need to be maintained and looked after. (Your lungs also act like the air filter - catching nasties breathed in. But you can’t just change them every 50,000 km)
Smoking tobacco causes lung cancer which not only shortens your life but also exposes your children, grandchildren, extended whanau and friends to deadly second hand smoke.
Don’t put stop smoking in the too-hard bin. There’s free stop-smoking help available now - go and see one of the pharmacies listed below and ask for a free pack of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), lozenge or gum.
The pharmacist can also refer you to a Quit Coach and/or further NRT products such as patches.
Palmerston North: Hospital Health Pharmacy, City Health, Radius the Palms, Cook St, Adams and Unichem chemist shop
Levin: Unichem Levin, Horowhenua Health Centre, Tararua Pharmacy
Feilding: Unichem Tattons, Smiths Amcal, McCraes Pharmacy
Foxton: Amcal Gimbletts
Pahiatua: Bollards Pharmacy
Dannevirke: Wards Pharmacy
The Exhaust Valve: (Prostate)
Many men start to have prostate problems as they get older. Most problems are caused by simple enlargement of the prostate but it can also be caused by cancer. So if you have noticed changes to the way you pass urine, e.g. need to pass urine urgently at any time, take a drive into your local G.P., ‘service station’ for a check up. Further information is available by contacting David at Public Health Services on (06) 350 9110.
The Fuel Tank: (Nutrition & Physical Activity)
Just as a car runs best on the right fuel so does the human body. The answer is quite simple: eat more fruit and vegetables and less fat and sugar. Also, just as the car needs to run from time to time to free up the pistons, so does the human body. But ease the body into exercise gradually if you have been ‘sitting in the garage’ for a while. You can obtain real health benefits from increasing your physical activity by as little as 10-30 minutes a day on most days.
With your car you need to point it in the right direction, steer accurately around corners and avoid potholes and lamp posts. People also need to walk straight, be co-ordinated and make good decisions about where they’re going and what they’re doing. Alcohol can certainly interfere with this (as well as overuse leading to damage to organs and systems).
Men are more at risk from alcohol. More likely to: drink daily; drink more frequently and heavily; and at higher risk of experiencing harm from their own drinking and from physical assault. ED data shows men are two-thirds of adult alcohol-related injuries and that a quarter of all adult male injuries are related to alcohol.
Cutting down could be good for your health, wealth and relationships. The recommended low risk drinking level is three standard drinks a day and no more than 15 a week. To avoid harm, men should drink no more than five per occasion and should have a couple of alcohol-free days a week. So how about saying “Nah” from time to time? Avoid some of life’s potholes and have a smoother ride.
Wheel Balance (Work/Life Balance)
Life is full of pressure, with demands from both home (pleasure, leisure, health) and work (career and ambition). It is the same as the car. What needs to be prioritised - replacement tyres or the reconditioned engine?
Set your priorities to give equal measure to both your play time and work time.
For further information on dealing with stress, anxiety and depression contact David at Public Health Services (06) 350 9110.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945