This original article was first published here: 9 Important Health Tips For Men In Singapore
You feel…fine. I mean, you guess you could spend a little more time at the gym working on your legs. But overall, you feel okay. If ain’t broke, don’t fix it…right?
While you might feel okay today, there are several aspects of your well-being (both physical and mental) that you need to take care of to ensure not only are you feeling fine today, but you’re feeling fine and healthy for the years ahead. Here are 9 important health tips for men to keep in mind:
In a study conducted by the Singapore Heart Foundation, it was found that 17 people died from cardiovascular disease everyday in 2019. Statistics also showed that Singaporean men were 18.8% more likely to develop and die from cardiovascular disease than women.
With these worrying statistics in mind, one of the best ways to prevent and arm yourself against cardiovascular disease is with regular exercise. Exercise will also help improve both your physical health and mental well-being.
It is recommended that you either get about 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If those numbers seem daunting, don’t worry! You can break those up into 5 30-minute sessions. Jogging with your mates, playing a game of basketball at the local court or even taking the dog out for a long walk in the evenings are all great ways to incorporate exercise into your routine. Once you get into the swing of things, you can gradually intensify these activities.
It is also important you incorporate at least 2 muscle-strengthening activities in your week as well.
Taking Care Of Your Mental Health
Speaking about your feelings and struggles might be a tough and awkward task as a guy. How would you even bring it up with your group of friends?
However, it is incredibly important that you take your mental health as seriously as you do for your physical health. With harrowing statistics released in 2019 that those men were twice as likely to commit suicide compared to women, not only should you prioritize your mental health, you should also make sure that your mates aren’t struggling by themselves too.
Reaching out to friends and family to talk candidly about your struggles is a great step, but don’t be afraid to speak to a professional to get the help and support you need.
Not sure how to find a therapist in Singapore and worried about the awkwardness going to a clinic might bring? With Noah, a zero judgement digital clinic for men in Singapore, you can see a licensed psychologist for individual therapy sessions from the comfort of home.
Getting started with Noah is simple – visit our site, answer an online assessment and see a licensed psychologist, all without having to leave your home. As therapy sessions are conducted online, you’ll also be able to schedule sessions at your convenience and to reach out when you need it.
Eating A Well-Balanced Diet
Images of machismo might have you believe the key to peak performance is by chowing down on slabs of steak, with carbs piled high on a plate. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality is that you need a well-balanced diet containing fruit, vegetables and whole grains in order for your body to work optimally. Not only do these foods contain high levels of minerals and vitamins needed by your body, but many of them will also provide you with fibre to keep your heart healthy. These foods also contain antioxidants that can help lower your chances of developing diseases like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
A good rule of thumb to ensure that you’re eating a well-balanced meal is to make sure veggies take up at least half of your plate, with the other quarters being lean protein and whole grains.
Slather On That Sunscreen
You might be used to the heat and humidity on the sunny island of Singapore, but don’t forget how harmful the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can be. Too much exposure to UV radiation can lead to the development of melanoma, one of the deadliest types of skin cancers.
To reduce the risk of you developing melanoma, here are some ways to protect yourself from UV radiation next time you head out:
- Slathering on sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher onto your exposed skin.
- Reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors. You should reapply sunscreen more often if you sweat a lot or are swimming.
- Try to limit your exposure by staying in the shade and wearing protective clothing like hats and sunglasses.
It is important that you check yourself every month for textural or colour changes of your skin, new or strange moles, or any changes to pre-existing moles. You should visit a dermatologist for a full-body skin assessment every year.
Ever woken up after not getting enough sleep and just felt terrible? It should come as no surprise that lack of sleep can adversely affect your physical health.
But did you know that lack of adequate sleep can only affect your mental well-being? By not getting enough sleep, it can deteriorate your mood by sapping you of your energy and mental alertness.
You should aim for an average of 8 hours of quality sleep every night. To allow your brain to relax after a busy day, limit your screen time 2 hours before you sleep. Try taking a warm shower or listening to a book to help calm your mind and prepare for sleep.
Given that our bodies are made up of 60 – 65% of water, adequate hydration is necessary for your body to work at its best. Water contains both nutrients and oxygen needed by all your cells, and is needed to help transport waste out of your body. Your body also requires water to conduct the various chemical reactions necessary, so being mildly dehydrated can prevent your body from functioning optimally.
So much water should you drink?
You should drink enough water so that you’re peeing multiple times a day, and that your pee is a pale yellow and is odour-free. You should definitely up your water intake if your pee is dark and smells as those are signs of dehydration.
Keeping a bottle of water handy by yourself and setting hourly reminders to drink will help you to keep hydrated throughout the day. Not a fan of plain water? Flavour it with some cut fruits or mint so you’re more inclined to drink it.
Unsurprisingly, smoking is a terrible and unhealthy habit to pick up. Lung cancer is the third most common form of cancer in Singapore, with 14% of cancer cases in men being lung cancer during the years of 2014 to 2018. This makes it all the more important that you quit smoking as soon as possible.
If you find it difficult to quit, you might want to speak to your doctor to discuss strategies to help kick the bad habit for good. Your doctor might be able to prescribe you medication like Champix, a smoking cessation treatment. It can help you quit smoking by reducing the enjoyment you get from cigarettes and helps relieve any withdrawal symptoms you might experience while quitting.
Curb Your Drinking
Happy Hour; what’s not to like about cheap booze and a fun time out with mates?
But keep in mind how overindulging in booze, especially on a regular basis, can adversely affect both your physical and mental well-being. Research has shown that alcohol can affect your brain’s ability to communicate, and can also increase the risk of you developing heart disease and cancer.
That’s not to say you can’t spend time with friends at the local pub. But be mindful of your intake by sticking to only 2 alcoholic drinks per day and hydrating with water between drinks. It is also incredibly important you and your friends have a designated driver when you drink.
Seeing Your Doctor Regularly
When was the last time you went for a check-up?
If you’re struggling to remember the last time you saw a doctor, you should be scheduled for the next available appointment. Research has shown that men are less likely to visit a doctor than women, which puts their health at risk and life expectancy shorter than women by about 5 years.
You should schedule yearly appointments with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight. If any of these are too high, your doctor will be able to highlight them and offer suggestions to keep them under control.
You should also have your doctor to screen for prostate and colon cancer, both of which are incredibly common cancer diagnoses for men.
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