Quell The Four Biggest Threats To Your Health | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Quell The Four Biggest Threats To Your Health

Men are more likely than women to be overweight, die from heart disease, smoke, misuse substances and engage in risky sexual behaviour. Combine these facts with our reluctance to set foot inside a doctor’s surgery and you’ve got a perfect storm for needlessly complicated health problems. Former Men’s Health Man winner and emergency doctor Hugo Gemal knows a thing or two about prioritising your wellbeing and taking action before it’s too late. Here’s how he personally tackles some of the main dangers circling Australian men.


“Almost two-thirds of Australian men are overweight or obese, which is a shocking statistic given the knock-on health effects of obesity. A lot of men are in denial about their weight and lay the blame for their high Body Mass Index (BMI) on that occasional gym session. I suggest measuring BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and body-fat percentage to get a good idea about whether that extra weight you’re carrying is as ‘lean’ as you think it is.”


“When it comes to the big C, early diagnosis is key. As well as wearing sunscreen and avoiding the sun during peak UV times, I regularly check my moles using the ABCDE method: look for Asymmetry, an irregular Border, an uneven Colour pattern, Diameter greater than six milimetres and see if the shape is Evolving. These are features that warrant a prompt review by a GP or dermatologist.”


“Coronary heart disease is still the leading cause of death in Australia, but the good news is there’s a lot you can do to lower your risk. I eat a diet that is kilojoule-controlled, high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates and has plenty of good fats. I keep my weight in a healthy range and train regularly. For anyone who’s still smoking, you really need to kick the habit.”


“Spending time with family and friends, regular exercise and scheduling in downtime are all important ways of nurturing mental wellbeing. I find meditation helps me keep things in perspective. If you’ve never tried it, there are plenty of guided meditation apps available for beginners. Your GP is a great starting point and may refer you to support groups, psychotherapy, counselling or complementary therapies.”

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