This year’s Men’s Health Awareness week is taking place from the 15th-21st June, focusing on taking action against Covid-19.
According to Men’s health forum men are twice as likely to die of Covid-19 (1), which is why we’re giving our advice on how you can help avoid spreading the virus, make the best of the lockdown and how to manage your health as a whole including underlying conditions.
Avoid spreading the coronavirus:
The virus can be spread through close contact with others, such as in cough droplets. To protect yourself and your family, make sure to follow a few simple steps:
- Make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- If you’re on the go, keep your hands clean by using a minimum 60% alcohol hand sanitiser gel
- Wear a face covering when you’re in public in places where social distancing isn’t possible, like the supermarket. From the 15th June, face coverings are mandatory on public transport in England (2).
- Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds
How to wash your hands correctly:
How to make lockdown a little easier:
Lockdown for many of us hasn’t been easy, we haven’t been able to see family or friends and you might not be able to do many of your usual hobbies. But there are some things you can do to help look after your mental and physical health while in lockdown:
- Stay connected with family and friends. Although we can’t see our friends and family as we might usually there are plenty of ways you can keep in touch whether that’s online or in person as long as you are following the governments advice.
- Get active, if you can. Getting enough exercise is important for our physical health, and it can help your mental health too as there’s a link between physical active and having good mental wellbeing (3). You could try online home work outs (we have a home workout series with Chessie King you could try), going for walks or cycling.
- Take time out to focus on hobbies you can do. Whether you’ve got a pile of books you’ve been meaning to read, some DIY that you’ve been wanting to do or a new recipe to try. There’s plenty of hobbies you can do from the comfort of your own home, and taking the time to do something you enjoy can make lockdown seem a little easier. Not sure where to start, here’s some more ideas on how to stay entertained at home while socially distancing.
Looking after your health
There are some things we can all be doing to look after our heath. This includes eating well, exercising, and managing long-term conditions.
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet can help you feel your best. Here’s some top tips on how to eat well:
- Make sure to eat your 5 a day: these are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and some other cancers (4).
- Try to eat more fish, particularly oily fish: as this is high in omega-3 which may help prevent heart disease
- Eat less salt: having too much salt in our diets can raise our blood pressure, which can increase your likelihood of developing your heart disease or stroke. Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt.
For more information, here’s our advice our healthy eating basics to remember.
Most adults should try to be active everyday and aim to achieve a least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week (5).Moderate exercise should raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer, so brisk walking would be moderate exercise whereas running would count as vigorous.
You should also try to do strengthening exercise that work all your major muscles on at least 2 days a week. This could be lifting weights, or doing exercises that use your own body weight such as push ups and sit ups.
Whether you need to look after your heart, reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or manage high blood pressure, there are a range of long-term health conditions we should all be watching out for.
The good news is, if you are eating well and exercising that can help with many long-term health conditions including heart conditions and blood pressure issues.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a long-term health condition, you should be making sure you get regular check ups with your GP as you need, taking any medication you’re prescribed and making any lifestyle changes they suggest.