This initiative was launched in 2014 by The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), a national, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire men to live healthier lives. The Peachland Wellness Centre supports Canadian Men’s Health Week by offering some Health Tips and Programs for men as they grow older:
Stay hydrated. Water accounts for 60 percent of your body (92 pounds in a 155-pound person) and is essential to every cell. Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs–as well as exercise–more difficult. When you’re well-hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints.
Maintain a Healthy Diet. Canada’s Food Guide provides some great tips for healthy eating. Good nutrition is important at any age, for both men and women. Healthy eating can help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Try some of these “healthy food choices”:
Eat vegetables and fruits at each meal and snack
Use beans, lentils and other legumes several times a week
Limit cream sauces, gravy, deep-fried or battered foods, cakes, cookies and pastries
Skip the chips, salty snack foods and sugary drinks
Manage your stress. Reducing stress improves sleep and reduces irritability, anxiety and depression. Stress can be a health hazard as you age, setting you up for heart disease, high blood pressure and other ailments. It also can prevent you from relaxing, enjoying your family, simple activities, and even falling asleep. Being stressed consumes energy and nutrients which could otherwise be used to protect the body from infectious diseases. You reduce stress through the release endorphins, or “happy hormones” that allow our body to relax.
The Peachland Wellness Centre provides numerous ways to reduce stress. Volunteer with our organization to enhance your feeling of well-being, or have a coffee and play a game of cards at our Men’s Coffee and Cards program.
Be more flexible. Flexibility is vital for your posture, and for developing strong muscles and bones, and stretching makes you more flexible. Stretch for a few minutes every day, after your muscles have warmed up.
Make some muscle. Your joints are only as strong as the muscles surrounding them, so muscle-building, especially for older men, is as important for healthy shoulders, knees and other joints as for body strength.
Get plenty of exercise. Experience the camaraderie from those who participate in the Tai Chi For Wellness program offered by the PWC. It offers the benefits of flexibility, muscle strengthening, and endurance training. With an experienced teacher, and regular practice, tai chi helps people be steadier on their feet, less likely to suffer high blood pressure, and become physically stronger. Tai chi has been known to improve hand/eye coordination, increase circulation, and can even promote a better night’s sleep. Tai chi can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength as well as the core muscles of the back and abdomen.
Relax. Practicing relaxation techniques can have many benefits, including: slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressure, slowing your breathing rate, improving indigestion, reducing stress, increasing blood flow to muscles and reducing muscle tension and chronic pain. The PWC offers a Meditation Group to help you relax. Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. In general, mindfulness meditation involves a breathing practice, mental imagery, awareness of body and mind and muscle and body relaxation.
The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation’s “7 Health Facts a Man Needs to Know” states that only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by genetics, and that 70% is controllable through lifestyle. Join one of our programs, or volunteer, and let the Peachland Wellness Centre help you improve your health!