Wellness? Well that’s for women isn’t it? What’s that got to do with men? Real men don’t take classes on breathing, practice yoga in Lycra or do that silly mindful meditation stuff.
Well maybe they should.
Studies show that more men than ever are breaking down physically, mentally or both. Men are falling apart.
So, what are we men doing about it?
Unfortunately, studies show not a lot.
We have a lot to benefit by taking our wellness seriously.
We don’t need to go to a retreat in the middle of nowhere, drink only “out of the ground” water, eat leaves and sit chanting with our eyes closed, but we do need to do something if we are going to be the best we can be.
Let’s start our wellness journey by covering three areas - fitness, diet and thoughts.
It’s fine for a male to be lean and fit, the threat of ridicule is minimal.
Where you begin depends on where you are. If you consider yourself to be reasonably fit do more, do it more regularly or add other workouts to your current routine.
If fitness is all completely new, or if you haven’t done anything for a long time, start simple. Walk more. Go for a stroll at lunchtime. The exercise and fresh air will provide a welcome relief from the pressures of the workday.
Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (I mean up!)
Do anything that quickens your heartbeat and shortens your breath, but do it more frequently. And yes, I do include a ‘bedroom workout’ so long as it’s with someone else.
Lift some weights. Studies show that as we age our muscle deteriorates more rapidly placing more pressure on our joints and bones and reducing our ability to burn fat. You don’t need to lift like Arnie, but incorporate some resistance training into your workout and you’ll feel the benefits.
Of course what you eat and drink is also important. Many men are put off healthy eating by the thought of having to spend a lifetime in the kitchen preparing and cooking fresh ingredients. “When am I going to do that?”
Make time and make it fun. I know loads of men who love rustling things up in the kitchen. They treat is as an art or a time to de-stress.
It doesn’t have to take ages. Smoothies and omelets are simple to make and can boost your inner health massively.
Men of a certain age are renowned for silly behavior during the midlife crisis. So why not make it more productive for you by moving more and eating better? A slimmer waist and more muscular definition are a much better way of dealing with ageing than dyeing your hair or buying a flash watch or car.
But it’s not just about the body, it’s the mind too. Men of all walks of life and across a wide span of age groups are increasingly becoming depressed.
Negative self-talk in all its guises takes us down into a spiral of depression. If you’re not ready to talk to someone about it yet, read a book or listen to a podcast. I’ve learned a lot from authors such as Tony Robbins. It’s not only helped me tackle negative thinking, but also encouraged me to set and reach bigger goals than I thought I could ever achieve.
Opening up can be difficult, but one place you can do this is in the world of social media. There are loads of closed Facebook support groups that can help. You’re safe in these. Nothing is public. It can be your little secret. You’ll soon discover you’re not alone and you’ll be able to get advice, help and support from a network of strangers who’ve gone through exactly what you’re going through.
A Well Life
The world is changing and many men are struggling to come to terms with their role in it. Taking care of yourself should be your first priority but unfortunately it rarely is. It’s time we men took more responsibility and started to treat ourselves as our number one priority. We can’t do much for others if we’re not in a fit physical and mental state to do so.