Men’s Health Week 2023: The Picture of Health

By Maeve O'Keeffe Heart News   |   15th Jun 2023

This week (12th – 18th June) is International Men’s Health Week.

This week (12th – 18th June) is International Men’s Health Week. This year, the theme for the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland Men’s Health Week  is “The Picture of Health,” calling on men (and those who support the health of men) to answer  “What does health look like to you?”

Men’s Health Week aims to encourage and support men to engage in healthier lifestyle choices, without demanding unrealistic or impractical targets. Even small changes can make a major difference to a person’s health and wellbeing.

One in four men die from heart disease or stroke, but the good news is that 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable through lifestyle changes alone.

Take a look at some simple ways you can reboot your life to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Trash the Ash:
According to the  2022 Healthy Ireland Survey, 18% of the population are current smokers. Men are more likely than women to smoke across all age groups.

People who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke than non-smokers. However, it’s never too late to quit smoking, and within one day of quitting, your risk of heart attack begins to fall. After one year of quitting, your risk of having a heart attack is cut to half compared to that of a smoker. For more information and support to help you quit smoking, see here, or visit www.quit.ie .

Prevention is better than cure:
High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, as well as kidney failure, dementia, and some forms of blindness. There are no symptoms of high blood pressure, so unless you get your blood pressure checked with your local GP or pharmacy, there is no way of knowing if you have high blood pressure. According to research conducted by CORE on behalf of the Irish Heart Foundation in March 2023, fewer men knew their blood pressure than women. Thankfully, once diagnosed, high blood pressure is easily managed. Take the time to get your blood pressure checked, before damage is done .

Food for Thought:
Diet is so important in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Cutting down on salt and saturated fats, and instead including more fibre-rick foods and unsaturated fats in your meals is a great way to improve your health . According to the 2016 Healthy Ireland Survey, only one fifth (21%) of men eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables daily.

If changing your diet sounds daunting, take the Irish Heart Foundation’s Food Shopping Card with you the next time you’re in the supermarket, or take a look at our heart healthy recipes for ideas.

 

Let’s Get Physical:
Regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and helps us manage our weight. It is recommended that all adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity movement each week. This includes activities like brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, or playing sport.

It’s also important to try minimise your sitting time throughout the day. Even if you get enough physical activity, if you spend a lot of time sitting down, you could still be putting your heart health at risk. Why not try  our Escape Your Chair Challenge for some inspiration on ways to keep moving throughout the day?

 

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