Men urged to talk about health

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June is Men’s Health Month, an international awareness month that aims to raise the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment.
It’s the ideal time for males of all ages around the country to take a step back and take a look at their physical health, how important it is and ways they can improve it.
#MenStartTalking is the theme for this year’s Men’s Health Month.
According to the New Zealand Men’s Health Trust, 3000 New Zealand men die each year from conditions that could have been prevented.
Women live four years longer than men on average, while 65% of men are classed as overweight or obese.
The suicide rate for men is three times that of women.
The trust is encouraging men to have more conversations about health _ with their doctor, health professional or simply with their mates.
New Zealand Men’s Health Trust chairman Phil Clemas said it’s the best thing men can do for their health.
“Men are often reluctant to talk about their health _ health issues can be seen as a weakness, an embarrassment or something that can safely be ignored. Too many men suffer and die needlessly because of a lack of knowledge or lack of communication with friends, family and professionals who could help them live longer, healthier lives . . . it will make all the difference.
“Our health can’t be ignored _ men can do more and its time to chance this. We are notorious for not discussing problems that are going on with our health, mainly out of fear. We don’t like to talk about our symptoms or feelings, particularly with other men, and especially when the going gets tough. The statistics regarding the health of men are getting worse. It’s really time for men to start talking about our health.”Inspirational stories and practical tips on how to lose weight, reduce stress, drink less, get fitter, have safer sex, be happier, eat and sleep better, quit smoking, give up drugs and know what to do to help others in emergency medical situations can be found at menshealthnz.org.nz.