Men, We Need to Talk

James Franco taking care of his skin

Ever wonder why it is that yoga classes are usually mostly women? Or that the majority of self-care products including skincare, health foods, and well-being products are designed for women?

We both have mind and body, so surely health and wellness advice is just as valuable for men as it is for women. In some cases, it’s arguable that men would benefit from more information than men on the topic of health advice. On average, men die five years earlier than women. We’ve seen new prostate and testicular cancer cases outnumber breast cancer, yet, awareness for male diseases not nearly as high as females’.

It doesn’t help that society tells men in order to be masculine, they must be macho, insenstive, strong, and emotionless. But, times have changed.

Why Self-Care Is Important

The wellness movement and its holistic health message (through food, water, personal care products, fitness, relationships and stress management) is as important for men as it is for women. But there’s simply not enough promotion of self-care for men.

The struggle with the work-life balance is real and it’s not always talked about amongst men which we tend to harbor as best we can; simple breathing practices for managing stress can be of great value to men who may be reluctant to attend a meditation or yoga class.

Many men are likely to eat on the go, eat late, or just don’t have any cooking skills — making them vulnerable to eating highly processed foods. Conscious eating lessons would assist them in making better choices.

Finally, doing the whole weekend warrior” intense workout at the end of each week can be over doing it. Rather, we should all find ways to guide us through movement practices that emphasize flexibility, breathing and mindfulness, such as yoga and pilates.

Making Better Choices

If we want to keep sharp mentally and physically, we need to get wellness checks, understand our skin and how to take care of it, know our numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, glucose, and others), and generally educate ourselves on the overall importance of the role of nutrition, fitness, and sexual health.

Emotional health (including loneliness and stress) are extermely normal and they most certainly do not indicate weakness. You can always discuss these things with health professionals or with family and friends.

It’s been shown that friendships and peer support is just as important as exercise and eating healthy. We need more men’s night out at wellness centers, yoga studios, and meditation retreats.

Men are less likely than women to seek regular medical care and they’re also more likely to smoke, drink, and choose unhealthy or risky behaviour. The more you are committed to choosing a healthy lifestyle, the easier it is to keep your health. To help men live longer, happier, healthier lives, we need to encourage self-care for men by not only raising more awareness of diseases, but more mental health and personal self-care designed for men too.

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