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Men’s Health: Where do you Stand?

Christine Hackett Czar
Human Resources
Toromont Cat, Concord


menTime to get competitive. Living healthier is the ultimate game.

20% of Canadian men smoke cigarettes

54% of Canadian men undersleep or oversleep

49% of Canadian men do not get 150 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise per week

39% of Canadian men consume an unhealthy amount of alcohol

62% of Canadian men have an unhealthy diet

 

Only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by his genetics. 70% is controllable through lifestyle.

The statistics around men’s health in Canada are alarming; 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. Here are some simple tips to get you on the road from unhealthy to healthy.

Poor Sleep:

  • Cool down. A warm room isn’t conducive to sleep. The bedroom should be cooler than the rest of your home, about 15–18 degrees Celsius.
  • Darkness reigns. The human body is programmed to wake when it’s light and sleep when it’s dark. Keep the bedroom dark with heavy curtains and cover the LED lights in your electronic devices.
  • Eliminate stimulants. Coffee, tea and nicotine will wreck your sleep patterns, so switch to decaffeinated drinks in the afternoon and kick the cigarettes.

Inactivity: 

  • Start off slowly. If you can’t recall the last time you laced up your runners, ease into exercise to avoid injury, which could leave you sidelined for weeks.
  • Set goals. As your fitness improves, set new goals: add another 10 or 20 laps at the pool, or an extra half hour playing soccer with the kids. Go for a jog, then go for a faster jog.
  • Get fit at work. Climb the stairs—don’t take the elevator. If you take the bus, get off several stops earlier and walk a few extra blocks. Every little bit improves fitness.

Smoking:

  • Go cold turkey. The first few days of cravings will be intense but will disappear more quickly than if you try to wean off slowly.
  • Drink water. Your body will need plenty of H2O to flush out cigarette toxins.
  • Avoid key triggers. Drinking alcohol and smoking are linked. Steer clear of bars and pubs as well as friends who smoke until the cravings are completely under control.

Alcohol Consumption:

  • Drink a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage.
  • Control your liquor intake and help prevent a hangover.
  • Keep active. Plan regular activities that keep you out of the pub. Don’t try to keep pace with the guys. Sip your drink slowly so when the server comes to your table, you can skip a round.

Unhealthy Eating:

  • Reduce salt. Take the salt shaker off the table and never add more salt to a homemade or restaurant meal.
  • Decrease your consumption of saturated fat, which is found in red meat, as well as cheese and other high-fat milk products.
  • Increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables. Eat a serving at every meal, even breakfast.

Information obtained from Canadian Men’s Health Foundation

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