Our primary focus is men’s sexual health, and good physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. So whether it’s a week or an entire men’s health month, we want you to know how to improve your health and wellness daily!

Canadian Stats on Men’s Health Are Alarming

According to men’s health statistics offered by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), many men in Canada could benefit from improving their health and wellness: 

  • Diabetes claims 57% more Canadian men than women in illness-related deaths
  • Cardiovascular disease claims 79% more Canadian men than women
  • As many as 67% of men in Canada suffer from obesity or weight issues
  • Cancerous illnesses affect 40% more men in Canada than women
  • Suicide claims 4x as many Canadian men as women
  • On average, men in Canada spend nine years of their lives in poorer health

Let’s Name the Most Significant Risk Factor for Canadian Men

Why are men’s health statistics so alarming, and how can this situation be improved?

When we tell you, it might shock you because statistics say that Canadian men can get healthier just by doing simple things!

Many health problems in men are due to lifestyle (although we refer to it as “bad habits!”). It’s believed that only 30% of chronic health conditions plaguing men in Canada happen because of genetics or family history.

men's health bad habits

Let’s turn that statistic around!

It means that 70% of Canadian men’s health problems are preventable by making little changes to live healthier.

In Canada, June 13-19, 2022, Is Men’s Health Week

During this important week for Canadian men, we’re bringing awareness to men’s health and how making lifestyle changes can benefit you and your family. Let’s highlight a few areas where better habits lead to significant improvements:

Controlling Chronic Diseases

Medical research shows how chronic diseases like diabetes (type 2), cardiovascular illnesses, and some cancers can be preventable when you make small lifestyle changes.

What Kind of Lifestyle Changes?

Healthier eating habits, moderate exercise, and better sleep can improve your health and prevent illness.

Reducing alcohol and smoking (or quitting entirely, especially nicotine) will substantially impact your health.

Bringing Awareness to Men’s Health Month

June is men’s health month throughout North America, and the CMHF partnered with the Government of Canada to give men the Don’t Change Much program, a handy online resource to improve your health with easy changes. 

We encourage everyone to check this website which will help improve your long-term mental and physical health. To kick off men’s health week, here are the main steps from the Don’t Change Much program:

1. Time to Get Active!

Yes, exercise is crucial to good health, but maybe you haven’t considered all the fun activities you can do that count as exercise!

The best way to incorporate exercise into your life is to find stuff you enjoy, especially if going to the gym sounds like a bore. If you like bodybuilding or running on treadmills, that’s great too. The most important thing is keeping motivated.

As you walk more, swim, or bike around the neighbourhood, stick to consistency and don’t worry about results. Consistency means creating a routine to exercise. So start with that five-minute walking schedule every night and keep to it.

2. Eating Healthier Can Start Now

Eating healthier

People hear the word “diet” and get turned off immediately. But we have good news for you: when you make small changes to your eating habits, you can reduce certain health risks!

Eating healthier depends on how you eat, what you eat, and your portion sizes. You don’t have to give up all the foods your love either. Let’s break this down:

How You Eat

Here’s a question for you during men’s health week: do you know how you eat affects your digestive system?

It does because healthy microorganisms live in your digestive system to help you digest food, eliminate harmful bacteria, and even strengthen your immune system. It even helps to bolster your mental health!  

So, how do you eat properly?

Well, here are three easy steps going into proper eating:

  • Chewing your food entirely to aid digestion
  • Pay attention during eating to avoid choking or swallowing too fast
  • Practice good oral hygiene by flossing and brushing between meals.

What You Eat

You may wonder what a “balanced diet” really means. For example, if you love South Asian foods, you may be concerned that you’ll have to quit eating delicious roti, chapati, paratha, or especially naans altogether! 

But that’s not the case. The essential rule here is to reduce the carbohydrates we consume daily to healthier portions of better carbs. Here’s an example:

  • Increase your intake of fibre-rich carbohydrates like beans, vegetables, fruit, lentils, and small quantities of nuts and seeds
  • Increase your intake of whole-grain carbs like bran, brown bread and rice, and whole-grain cereals and pasta
  • Decrease your intake of starchy carbs like white bread or foods made with flour, especially fried foods
  • Decrease your intake of baked goods, fruit juices and soft drinks with added sugars.

3. Lower Your Stress for Better Health

We all have to deal with stressful situations, but when we learn to control our reactions, we can significantly improve our mental and physical health!

Many men report feeling stressed at work, and it’s often a combination of high demands versus a lack of control over the situation. Try these simple tips to control your stress levels on the job:

  • Don’t take the job home with you
  • Take breaks during your workday 
  • Drink water to stay well-hydrated.

4. Why Sleep Is So Important

Why is sleep important

Quality sleep is crucial to everyone’s health, and medical research tells us that our immune systems go into repair mode during sleep. As a result, you might get colds, the flu, and viruses more often when you’re sleep-deprived. 

You’re also at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases when you don’t get good sleep. Poor sleep or sleep deprivation can also lower a man’s testosterone levels, and that’s a concern.

We often see people with erectile dysfunction due to low testosterone levels, so we can confirm that sleep quality is vital! So here’s some excellent information: how to sleep better that you can start with tonight!

5. Cut Back on the Booze and Reap the Benefits

Even if you think you’re in reasonably good health, you’ve probably heard that cutting back on alcohol benefits everyone. Here is specific information for you on what a typical serving of alcohol means:

A standard drink size means a regular beer can, cider or cooler, a 5 oz glass of wine or 1.5 oz of hard liquor. 

Super-size beer cans are more than one serving, and if you filled a 5 oz wine glass with tequila, you should know that’s cheating too!

Lighter beers and carb-reduced drinks are hugely popular for a reason. When you start cutting back that way, it’s a great idea. You can always compare your intake with Canada’s Drinking Guidelines and decide to cut back even further. When you start cutting back that way, it’s a great idea.

6. Smoking Is Better When You Quit Altogether

We understand your frustration! Quitting smoking is hard, and vaping has been shown to have severe health risks too. 

That’s why we include the 4-D strategy on this list. It can help you resist those urges to smoke or vape. Check this out:

  • Delay. Medical research shows that cravings last minutes at the most, and waiting 5 minutes when you feel like smoking generally sees the urge go away.
  • Distract. Feel like a smoke? Go for a quick walk or munch on refreshing veggies with a hummus dip!
  • Deep breathing. This technique can reduce your cravings, stress, and anxiety! Count to 5 as you breathe through your nose, and count to 7 while exhaling slowly.
  • Drink water. Research shows that drinking more water when you feel a craving improves the feeling and taste in your mouth and can reduce cravings too.

Why Is Sexual Health Important to Men’s Health Overall?

men's sexual health

Everyone deserves to express themselves sexually and enjoy safe and pleasurable sex regardless of orientation or gender identity. The benefits of sexual health awareness must include:

  • Reliable access to sexual health information that is affirmative for all
  • Access to quality healthcare, including sexual healthcare 
  • Knowledge about sexual risks, for instance, due to unprotected sex.

Affirmative sexual healthcare can drastically reduce the negative consequences of sexual activity or sexual dysfunctions, including:

  • Lowered risks of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Medical assistance for conditions relating to sex like infertility 
  • Treatment for various sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction.

Sex with a caring partner is a vital part of sexual health. In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, it’s easy to improve your whole health in positive ways. It’s time to put the focus on you!

At OHN, Men’s Health Month Happens Every Day

Sexual health is our priority. If you’re concerned about your sexual health, we invite you to review this confidential and complementary self-diagnosis that we make available for free. 

OHN specialists are experts in sexual health and sexual dysfunctions, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. We care about your well-being and invite you to contact us today!

 

Wear Blue. 2022. Home. [online] Available at: <https://www.menshealthnetwork.org/wearblue/> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Who.int. n.d. Sexual health. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/health-topics/sexual-health#tab=tab_1> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Mayo Clinic. 2021. Sexual health Men’s sexual health. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/basics/mens-sexual-health/hlv-20049432> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Sharma, D., 2021. 6 Lifestyle Changes for Erectile Dysfunction. [online] Oakwood Health Network. Available at: <https://oakwoodhealth.com/6-lifestyle-changes-for-erectile-dysfunction/> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. n.d. Frequently Asked Questions – Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. [online] Available at: <https://menshealthfoundation.ca/faq/> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Canada.ca. 2018. Men’s Health Week. [online] Available at: <https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2018/06/mens-health-week.html> [Accessed 3 June 2022].

Kelly, T., 2022. 6 Ways to Start an Exercise Routine and Stick to It. [online] Don’t Change Much. Available at: <https://dontchangemuch.ca/activity/start-exercise-routine-stick-to-it/> [Accessed 4 June 2022].

Garg, D., 2022. Eat Your Way to Good Health. [online] Don’t Change Much. Available at: <https://dontchangemuch.ca/nutrition/how-you-eat-is-important/> [Accessed 4 June 2022].

Malik, F., 2022. How to Reduce Work-Related Stress. [online] Don’t Change Much. Available at: <https://dontchangemuch.ca/mental-health/reduce-work-related-stress/> [Accessed 4 June 2022].

Palmer, D., 2020. Can I Really Survive On 6 Hours Of Sleep A Night?. [online] Don’t Change Much. Available at: <https://dontchangemuch.ca/sleep/can-i-really-survive-on-6-hours-sleep-a-night/> [Accessed 4 June 2022].

Ccsa.ca. 2018. Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines [brochure] | Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. [online] Available at: <https://www.ccsa.ca/canadas-low-risk-alcohol-drinking-guidelines-brochure> [Accessed 4 June 2022].

Killam, L., 2022. Simple Ways to Change Your Drinking Habits. [online] Don’t Change Much. Available at: <https://dontchangemuch.ca/alcohol-consumption/cut-back-on-drinking-without-quitting/> [Accessed 4 June 2022].