Older men urged to ditch the ‘tough guy attitude’ and embrace healthy habits this Men’s Health Week 

Jun 14, 2024
Older men are being encouraged to prioritise healthy ageing habits especially after recent data revealed that 1 in 3 men aged over 55 are concerned about ageing. Source: Getty Images.

Men’s Health Week (June 10 to 16) serves as a timely reminder of the critical need to address and manage health issues proactively. It encourages men to actively take charge of their well-being, make informed lifestyle choices, and seek necessary medical help.

With this in mind, the online healthy ageing platform LiveUp is encouraging older men to prioritise healthy ageing habits especially after recent data revealed that 1 in 3 men aged over 55 are concerned about ageing, particularly regarding the loss of social connections and declining health.

LiveUp Community Engagement Professional John Bradshaw said it’s important to empower older men to take control of their health and well-being as they age.

“It’s evident that men and women face unique health challenges,” he said.

“Adopting a ‘tough guy’ attitude to health often leads to more men requiring hospitalisation for longer periods. Research indicates that men over 65 tend to have poorer health outcomes compared to women, excluding conditions related to male or female anatomy.

“Science shows that up to 25% of how you age is dependent on genetics and the other 75% of your ageing experience is largely determined by lifestyle and environmental factors.

“This Men’s Health Week, I encourage older men to integrate healthy ageing habits into their routine. This includes prioritising exercise and sleep, fostering social connections, seeking support, and engaging in volunteering or utilising their skills in a purposeful way.

“It’s important to identify triggers for unhealthy behaviours and work to avoid them whenever possible. When triggers cannot be avoided, replace old habits with healthier alternatives and reward yourself for making positive changes.

“By taking a proactive approach to ageing, we can narrow the health disparities between men and women and inspire future generations.”

The “tough guy attitude” and “she’ll be right” approach that many men adopt regarding their health pose significant barriers to men’s well-being.

Healthy Male CEO Simon von Saldern previously told Starts at 60 that although many men attempt to remain in charge of several aspects of their lives, unfortunately, this “doesn’t always extend to their health”.

“The idea of being perceived as weak for what should be basic health-seeking behaviours is a stigma Healthy Male wants to eliminate,” he said.

“Men must seek support early in response to their health and not wait until the health becomes problematic. Addressing any misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness and encouraging men to make informed decisions on evidence-based information, are a few ways we can encourage men to understand and overcome these barriers and prioritise their health.

“Not acting on your health and health concerns only has one outcome…and it’s never good. Too many guys say ‘I know what they’re going to tell me’ and then do nothing. You owe it to yourself to be as healthy as you can be. You also owe it to your family and friends.”

Not content with men’s ‘wait and see attitude’, von Saldern highlighted that the importance of early intervention when a health problem rears its ugly head and that for men over 60 it’s vital to closely monitor their health in order to prevent the progression of common health problems that present in older age.

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