It’s that time of year again when people around the world put down their razors and grow a Mo!
Rather than the latest men’s fashion trend, the proliferation of facial hair in November is a call to action for men’s health. Held annually, “Movember” is a month-long campaign where the follicly able grow moustaches to raise awareness about men’s health concerns. It’s also a chance for men and women to have some fun while making a difference in their communities.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most important men’s health tips everyone should know. Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding Movember: Raising Awareness for Men’s Health
A portmanteau of “moustache” and “November,” Movember began as a fun idea in Australia.
In 2003, two mates from Melbourne (Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) were having a quiet beer at a bar when their conversation turned to recurring fashion trends, the moustache, and an often-ignored topic … the state of men’s health.
Inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer, they decided to talk their mates into growing a Mo (Australian slang for moustache) to create a campaign about men’s health and prostate cancer. The rest is history.
The idea exploded into a global charity that has raised millions over the years. This month-long event is now an international effort to share resources and fund research on prostate and testicular cancer, as well as supporting conversations around men’s mental health.
Good Health in Later Life for Older Men
Man have the – perhaps underserved – reputation of letting their health fall by the wayside. But as men age, it’s important to see a doctor when something is wrong and to monitor health to prevent or slow the progression of common chronic diseases. Here are some of the most important discussions that men should be having about their health.
Men’s Mental Health
This Movember, let’s take the time to look at mental health through a man’s lens. Surveys from around the world find that males everywhere are reluctant to talk about their mental health, so its important to help men and boys be comfortable having conversations about the big things in life.
It’s especially crucial for older adults to focus on mental wellness and get help early. Situational stressors and transitions – like retirement – increase the risk of depression. Yet, depression and anxiety present differently in men compared to women:
- men are more likely to internalize their feelings, becoming irritable or angry rather than sad;
- men’s symptoms are often physiological, such as a racing heart, digestive issues, or headaches.
Participating in community-based programs have been shown to counter risk factors for mental health problems, particularly among elderly men. Social activities, hobbies, and open conversations about feelings can significantly improve well-being.
Prostate and Testicular Cancer
As stated on the Movember website, “We all have men in our lives that love to talk. About the good ol’ days. … Yet some things don’t get talked about enough. Like prostate cancer.”
It’s time to get talking about your risks: being over 50, having African ancestry, or a family history. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, second most globally. Testicular cancer, while relatively rare, is the most common cancer in males aged 15 to 39.
Early detection is key. Regular check-ups and being aware of any changes are vital, as these cancers are treatable when caught early.
Heart disease remains a leading cause of death among older men. The best way to reduce your risk is to stay informed. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and managing stress are essential steps to keep your heart healthy.
Diabetes in Men
It’s not easy to talk about health – right guys? As it turns out, diabetes presents differently in men with one of the main symptoms being a change in sexual health. So what can you do to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes? Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active are crucial. Think about what you eat and lose those extra pounds. Simple activities like walking or light exercises can make a significant difference. You’ll feel better overall and improve your quality of life.
Improving Men’s Health as They Age
Lifestyle changes post-65 can have a profound impact. Incorporating a heart-healthy diet, engaging in moderate exercise, and scheduling regular health screenings are essential steps. Additionally, staying socially active and mentally engaged can significantly improve quality of life and health.
Family members can play a pivotal role in supporting the health of the men in their lives. From encouraging regular health check-ups to fostering open conversations about health concerns, your involvement is invaluable in promoting their well-being.
How to Encourage the Men in Your Life to Take Care of Their Health
Motivating someone to adopt new health practices can be a fun but sometimes challenging task. Here are some strategies that might help you encourage a man (or anyone, really) to take care of their health:
Understand His Perspective: Open a conversation. Listening, being there for someone, and encouraging them to talk can be life saving. Find out what his reservations or concerns might be. Addressing these directly can help them take action to feeling better.
Highlight the Benefits: Make it clear what’s in it for him. Emphasize how taking care of his health can enhance his well-being, reduce pain, increase mobility, save money, empower him to take care of his loved ones, etc.
Brainstorm Solutions: Support the man in your life to come up with solutions, or brainstorm together. Encourage him to start small, set some goals, and perhaps integrate one new habit at a time. Gradual changes can feel less overwhelming.
Make It Enjoyable: If exercise is part of the plan, find activities he enjoys. If it’s dietary changes, experiment with delicious recipes that align with the recommended guidelines. Your support and companionship can also make the process more enjoyable.
Track Progress: Help him keep track of any improvements in symptoms or overall well-being. Celebrate the progress and reinforce the positive impact of these changes.
Cheer Him On: As your loved ones takes steps toward a healthier self, to be their biggest cheerleader. Everyone loves to be praised and rewarded for their efforts.
Respect His Autonomy: It’s essential to remember that everyone has the right to make decisions about their own health. Offer encouragement and support, but respect his choices, even if they differ from what you would prefer.
Remember, empathy, patience, and encouragement often go a long way in motivating someone to make positive changes in their lifestyle. It might take time, so staying positive and persistent can make a difference!
Discover the Magic of the Mo at All Seniors Care
Let’s change the face of men’s health together! Rooted in fun, Movember provides an opportunity to come together while raising funds for lifesaving research and programs aimed at helping our fathers, brothers, friends, and sons to improve their mental and physical health.
It’s not too late to join the Movember movement – sign-up at https://ca.movember.com/
The Movember Rulebook: How to sport a Mo in all its glory.
- Start with a Clean Shave.
- Let Your Mo’ Grow for a Whole Month.
- Keep Your Beard Clean-Shaven.
- Find Your Moustache Style.
- Raise Awareness (and Money) for Men’s Health.
For those ‘follicly challenged,’ or who simply don’t want to GROW a moustache, supporters can participate by:
- MOVE-ing: running or walking 60 kilometres over the month to remember the 60 men lost to suicide, globally, every hour.
- HOST a Mo-ment (an event): rally friends and do something fun and easy, in person or online.
- MO YOUR OWN WAY For the ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers, Movember recently introduced a choose-your-own-adventure’ of sorts. This can be anything from attending special exercise classes to hot sauce competitions!
Consider donating to support All Seniors Care residences who are actively raising money for men’s health awareness. We have senior living in Saskatoon and a retirement home near you participating! To find out more about how you can support Jim, Dick, and Gerry, click on this link to join their team!
Writer – Julianna McLeod
Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.