December 14 2021


Globally, men die an average of five years earlier than women, and often for reasons that are largely preventable. This means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier, and longer lives. Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Improving your all-round health will improve your mood and help your mental health too.

Anyone can follow this advice. Why not start today?

Here are our top six things that make a difference.

1. Spend time with people that make you feel good

Strong family and/or supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded, and help you solve problems.

2. Know your numbers

You can recall your mobile number, your NI number, and the local takeaway without a second thought. But can you recite the numbers that add up to good health? Do you know your vital statistics for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar level, and BMI? These four measurements are crucial indicators of your overall health, especially related to risk for heart attack and stroke. Take the time to note these and understand what they mean. What can you do to make them better?

3. Talk, talk, talk 

Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.

Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways – if you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.

‘A problem shared is a problem halved’

There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face-to-face, but that’s not always possible. Give them a call, drop them a note, or chat with them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open. It’s good for you!

4. Move, move, move 

Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.

Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening, or housework can also keep you active.

Experts say most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise (e.g., a brisk walk) at least five days a week. Start out small and increase week on week – that’s a great way to start making a physical activity that you enjoy part of your day.

5. Know thy nuts

Testicular cancer is the #1 cancer among young guys. Yet 62% of those who are most at risk don’t know how to check themselves. Good news is, it’s easy to do.

The best thing you can do for your nuts is to give them a feel every month or so – get to know what’s normal for you. That way if anything changes you can act on it.

Take a look at for a 'check your pair’ how-to-guide.

6. Eat, eat, drink 

There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. Food can also have a long-lasting effect on your health, including your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.

A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Eat at least three meals each day – more small meals are easier to digest.

Whatever your dietary preferences, a healthy, balanced diet includes:

  • Lots of fruit and vegetables - Different colours give you different nutrients
  • Wholegrain cereals or bread - Your body needs that fibre
  • Nuts and seeds - These make great, healthy snacks
  • Oily fish - Best source of omega-3 to help prevent heart disease
  • Dairy products - Calcium keeps your bones healthy

Drink lots of water - it’s cheap and has no calories. Try to limit high-caffeine or sugary drinks and avoid too much alcohol (who knows when a random D&A may appear!).


This article was featured in our latest issue of SafetyINRail (Issue 52) click here to download the latest issue.




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