This week it’s Men’s Health Week, and the overall theme is stress. Unsurprisingly, in a world where we’re expected to be constantly connected, stress is a growing problem. And while all of us experience stress on some level day-to-day, excessive stress can easily lead to mental health problems.
Stress, in fact, can also be both a cause and an effect of other health problems – whether you’re worried about something and think you need to visit your doctor, or you’ve been thinking about your general health, Men’s Health Week is a great chance to think about the things that might be affecting your health – mental and physical – and giving yourself the equivalent of a health M.O.T.
Here are a few of our suggestions – from the fun to the funny through the fundamentally important. Get your metaphorical stethoscopes at the ready, and let’s go…
Of course this had to be our first tip: whether it’s checking your testicles or getting down to the doctor for a prostate exam. When we think of Men’s Health Week, the most common issues that spring to mind are those biological questions that are most relevant for cisgender (i.e. men who were born with penis, testicles, etc) guys. If you think you’re due a check-up, or you just want to find out more about it, check out our guide on getting a health M.O.T.
But while we’re on the subject of touching yourself, there are other things you might want to be aware of that are less commonly mentioned during Men’s Health Week. Breast cancer, for instance, is not just an issue that affects women. To find out more about common health complaints, and how to prevent them, the NHS website has a treasure-trove of info.
Go to Thorpe Park for the day
Sounds like a flimsy excuse to pull a sickie? Actually your mental health is as important as your physical health – and it’s often shunted to the sidelines, particularly if you have other concerns like money, relationship issues, or too much work.
It doesn’t have to be Thorpe Park (we’re just suckers for fun rollercoasters), it can be anything you find relaxing. Give yourself permission to take a day – or even just an evening – to spend doing something you’d really like. Even if you’re strapped for cash, there are plenty of options – check out the MoneySavingExpert guide on free UK festivals. And if it’s work that’s getting in the way, point your boss to this article and we’ll write them a sick note on your behalf.
Write your problems down
One of the hardest things for many people is opening up about their health – we’ve all had some pretty awkward conversations with the doctor, whether it’s an itch ‘down there’ or a rash ‘umm… below… you know what I mean?’ Finding the right words can be difficult, and that’s often even harder when you’re worried about your mental health. Mental health charity Mind has recently released a great video explaining how you can make the most of a GP visit – and talk to them honestly and openly about your mental health. If you’re concerned, then why not use Men’s Health Week as a reminder to you to begin that conversation.
Embrace the zombie apocalypse
If your main health goal is to get a bit fitter, then you don’t just have to haul out your old sports kit and lug yourself around the park in the rain – thanks to apps and smartphones there are far more fun ways to get your daily exercise.
Zombies, Run! is a fitness game available on iOs and Android which gives you a spooky, immersive experience on your daily run. You plug in the headphones and start to jog, and as you go the story unfolds: of the zombie apocalypse, and survivors like you who are trying to escape the hordes of undead who are snapping at your heels. Not for the faint hearted, but far more fun than having a personal trainer.
Be a champion wanker
Short of grabbing your Nikes and going for a run, masturbation is one of the healthiest things you can do on your own. Not only is it good for your mental health (hello relaxation, goodbye pent-up frustration), there is also evidence that regular masturbation correlates with a lower risk of prostate cancer. Doctors and scientists are still studying the details, but while they’re looking into it why not join in with our ‘World’s Fastest Wanker’ challenge?
YouTuber DaveyWavey challenged three friends to the PULSE Olympics: using just a PULSE II SOLO (and with a little distraction), which of them could reach the orgasmic finish line first?
Watch the video below, then click through to find out how you can join in the challenge – and raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation at the same time!
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