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Working to Improve Men's Health

Are you among the 72% of men in poor health?

Man jumping on mountainOK, gentlemen, given the recent observance of Father’s Day, it’s time for some frank man talk.

In case you missed it, Health Canada and the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation released recently the results of a three-year survey of men’s health. The intent was to garner the data to support the delivery of an online healthy lifestyle program, to “nudge” men to make simple changes to diet and sleep habits, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and physical activity.

According to the results, the Y chromosome crowd in this country don’t need a nudge so much as a hard shove.

A staggering 72 per cent of Canadian men have unhealthy lifestyles. Only six per cent reported having no unhealthy habits, such as smoking cigarettes and not getting enough sleep. To break it down, 29 per cent of men between the ages of 19 and 94 are obese, 68 per cent don’t eat healthy and 35 per cent lack proper sleep.

And yes, there are consequences to all that. Men have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease than women, and a higher risk of developing cancer during their lives.

Something is connecting these dots

As we have often explored on this blog, physical health and well-being, and physical activity, are key to managing stress and maintaining a positive mental outlook on life. The study also found that men account for 75 per cent of all deaths by suicide. The older you get, the higher the suicide risk. Is this just coincidence, or is there some connection with the fact that so many men also have unhealthy lifestyles?

So what can you do about it? In short, do better. But you don’t have to go at it alone.

There are reputable resources right here in Kanata to help you cut through the piles of marketing misinformation about what is good for you and what isn’t in the grocery aisle, how to ease your way into a regular and effective exercise routine, and how to curb bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

We can help. We ourselves have been clients of various fitness and nutrition professionals in the area—any recommendation or referral from us is based on our personal experience and satisfaction as a client first.

Man playing airplane with son

It’s not just about you – think of your kids

Kids need their dad, just like they need their mother, but for different reasons. A strong dad figure plays a crucial role in a child’s emotional development. If you are not physically capable or well enough to play an active role in your child’s life, boy or girl, what impact will this have on them?

But it doesn’t end there.

Earlier in June, the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation released the results of another study. This one found that children are more likely to pick up eating behaviours from their fathers than their mothers.

The result? Obese dads have a disproportionately greater chance of having obese children.

It’s no secret that child obesity rates are on the rise. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, 23 per cent of Canadian children in 2014 were obese. Boys are more likely to be obese than girls, at 28.5 per cent.

At current rates, up to 70 per cent of adults (not just men), are expected to be overweight or obese by 2040.

So, dad, consider what you should do for your health and well-being. Do this, not only as an individual who wants to live life to the fullest, but also because your choices do impact those dearest to you.

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