WHAT’S YOUR SCORE? FIND OUT WITH A PIT STOP HEALTH CHECK.
Through the month of June, all men are able to get themselves a free Pit Stop Health Check at Unichem and Life Pharmacies around New Zealand. Men are encouraged to bring in their completed Men’s Health Week survey (find this in Pit Stop Automotive Service Stores, pharmacies or online at menshealthweek.co.nz), and are able to discuss their survey results and get advice as to what practical steps they can start taking to stay in good health.
The guys can even get a free blood pressure check while in the pharmacy. These can be incredibly useful.
The Men’s Health Week survey is available in pharmacies nationwide, or online at www.menshealthweek.co.nz, and it will give you your health score.
Challenge your mates during Men’s Health Week to get as proactive as you and compete for the best health score.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP YOURSELF
Good health. We all want it, and many of us actually think we have it under control. The reality though is many of the illnesses that can stop you working and potentially even shorten your life set in with very little warning.
Our families depend on us, as do our mates and our clients. Choosing to ignore basic health markers and check ups does nobody any favours. Especially you.
Here’s a statistic to think about. Every day in New Zealand, 16 people lose their fight with heart disease and 16 families farewell a loved one.
Here’s another: every three hours a Kiwi male, maybe a lot like you, dies from a preventable illness.
In fact, deaths from often preventable causes - such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung conditions – account for a huge 87% of deaths in high-income countries. New Zealand is considered a high-income country.
However, there is one person who has the power to turn the odds back in your favour, to get the numbers working for you. That’s you.
Pit Stop Automotive Service Stores Simple Steps to Health
Here are a few simple steps that all men can take to actively safeguard their health and protect themselves from disease and death. Here at Pit Stop, we encourage you and the guys you are working alongside to take a look at these simple things you can do to stay in great health:
1 Visit a GP and know your family history
One of the easiest and most effective ways that men can take care of their health is by getting to know a GP and having a check-up once a year. Think of it as the warrant of fitness for your body or taking a time out for a Men’s Health Pit Stop.
Your GP can check for all age appropriate health risks and job or site-specific risks, answer any questions you may have about your health and outline what steps to take to make sure you stay healthy for the future.
By monitoring your health regularly and being aware of any illnesses or risks in your family history, you will be more likely to catch any health issues early and give yourself the best chance at surviving potentially life-threatening illnesses.
You can also visit a pharmacy as your local pharmacist is an easily accessible first step towards looking after your health. They are open long hours, late nights and weekends, and can offer free health information and advice. Unichem and Life Pharmacies are offering free Men’s Health Pit Stop health checks throughout June.
2 Get tested
Blood pressure and high cholesterol can be a key indicator for a range of heart-related illnesses, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes.
The answer is simple: get an annual heart and diabetes check. If you are a male over 50, get over the whole thing and get a prostate test done each year too.
3 Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can produce huge benefits for physical, mental and sexual health. Research shows that higher levels of physical activity can reduce cardiovascular disease, help fight depression, help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and improve sexual function.
So take control of your health with as little as 30 minutes of daily exercise.
4 Healthy eating
Eating well is important for both mental and physical health, so you need to know what foods to eat, in what quantities and what foods to avoid in order to minimise health risks. There is no rule that says mechanics and others you work with need to eat rubbish every day.
A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of healthy foods including plenty of vegetables, fruit and cereals (like bread, rice and pasta), some lean meat, chicken or fish, dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese) and lots of water. It’s a good idea to avoid fatty foods and foods with lots of sugar in them.
It can be hard to change your diet, so the best way to do it is to try and make small changes over time and eat healthy foods that you enjoy.
5 Healthy thinking
Depression affects one in eight men at any time. Most of us struggle with our day-to-day experiences, but the challenge facing men is to realise when they are getting overwhelmed and knowing how to get help or when to ask for it. There are lots of services out there to help you.
Recognising the symptoms of depression in yourself and others can be the first step to beating it. Symptoms include tiredness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest in work or other activities. Other things to look out for as risk factors include family history of mental illness, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, stress, unemployment and chronic illness.
6 Stop smoking – it’s the only healthy option
Smoking causes more deaths every year in New Zealand than road crashes, suicide, skin cancers, drowning and homicide combined. It is no secret that if you are a smoker, it increases your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a range of cancers and other diseases. More and more of the young guys and girls coming through are non-smokers. Encourage them to stay that way.
Quitting is the only healthy option. The body has an amazing ability to recover from the effects of smoking after you quit. After 24 hours the carbon monoxide in your blood will have dropped dramatically and all the nicotine will have been metabolised. Within a year of quitting the risk of coronary heart disease is halved and after 10-15 years of not smoking your risk of disease will be the same as those who have never smoked.