When songwriter and bass player for supergroup Queen, John Deacon penned “Ooh you make me live” as the opening line for their hit “You’re My Best friend”, I’m guessing he didn’t know that he would in later years be backed by a 75-year Harvard University study on the impacts of relationships and happiness on health and wellbeing. Apparently, having a best friend does in fact make you live! Thanks to the Harvard University Happiness Study, it’s now proven that social connection and the quality of relationships directly influences how well and how long we live.
Recently, there’s been much discussion about Gillette’s ad and its portrayal of blokes. It’s not a particularly good ad for selling razors, but the intention was to spark debate, and it has certainly succeeded there. Whilst the intention might be admirable, it’s confusing. In particular, polarizing the group it clearly wants to unite for change.
Sometimes it’s easy, other times we’re talking to Godzilla. Being a father of teenagers is challenging and rewarding, but it doesn’t have to be a health hazard. Keep in mind, that most of us just want three things for their kids; To be happy; to be independent and for them to contribute. That said, we’re integral to them getting there.
Us West Aussies love nothing more than getting outdoors and enjoying the abundance of sunshine that lathers our great state. A small amount of incidental exposure to sunlight, around a few minutes each day, is actually important for maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin D needed for strong bones, muscles and overall good health. Too much exposure however, places us at great risk of damage from Ultra Violet ‘UV’ radiation which potentially could lead to the development of skin cancer. We need to get the balance right!
All bloke’s leave home at some stage whether to go to university, start a new job or just to get on with adult life. However, the act of leaving the protective shell of the family home can feel like a thing to be feared or regretted. We should not let these fears cloud our appreciation for what is a real opportunity to enjoy independence, freedom and responsibility unlike any we can have under the shelter of our family roof.
Men in Australia are much more likely to be diagnosed with and die from cancer than women. In fact, according to the Cancer Council of WA the lifetime cancer risk is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women. Men are over represented in all gender shared cancers including the most common – lung, bowel and skin. The experience of cancer in one form or another is never good, but it does beg the question, why the gender disparity? There is no simple answer, but we do know that men in general are less likely to visit their GP to report or act on any unusual symptoms or changes.
Yoga is best described as a traditional exercise and can have a positive influence on our physical, mental and social/spiritual wellbeing. Yoga has been around for centuries in some form and in more recent times has undergone its own transformation by becoming a more mainstream exercise practice in western culture. Research into Yoga shows there are many benefits and it helps people manage their stress, anxiety, depression and all the challenges that life may throw our way. However, I want to briefly look at and outline the physical benefits of Yoga as an exercise. When we do any sort of movement (we do have to just get moving) the benefits are often overlooked by us blokes.
The bowel is an important part of our digestive system, but what is it, and what should we be aware of when weighing up our overall bowel health?
The bowel is made up of three parts:
1. The small intestine is around 6 meters in length and is the narrower (small) section of the bowel. It absorbs the nutrients in the food we digest.
2. The colon and rectum make up the larger intestine, it is much shorter but thicker. Its role is to reabsorb fluid and process the waste material.
3. Finally, the rectum is where the waste material is stored until we go and drop a log so to speak.
We’ve all heard of the hormone testosterone, but we might not know just how important it is that we look after our testosterone levels for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Hormones themselves are the chemical messengers that the glands in our body send through our blood to our organs. They are necessary for growth, reproduction and wellbeing. The ones that are particularly important to men are the male sex hormones called androgens. Testosterone is the most important androgen and affects everything from our metabolism, our recovery time after physical exertion, our mood and of course our sex drive, performance and health. All things that we care about, that help define us as men and that we don’t want to compromise on.
The cells in our bodies such as those found in our muscles need energy to grow and do what they do. One source of energy starts when we eat carbohydrate rich food such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, milk and yoghurt. In a normal situation these foods are broken down in our digestive system into glucose, a sugar. This sugar is what is needed by the cells, but it can’t get into them without a special key insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and its job is to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood.