It’s been another big year for humanity. The Pandemic has brought on a lot of changes. But a lot of things stay the same: men’s health is still in crisis. Men are still dying too young. The average life expectancy for Canadian men is four years less than women. Avoidable mortality accounted for 74 percent of premature deaths among men.

The reasons for the poor state of men’s health are numerous and complex. They include:

  • Lack of awareness and understanding of the health issues men face.
  • Men not openly discussing their health and how they’re feeling.
  • Reluctance to take action when men don’t feel physically or mentally well.
  • Men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health.
  • Stigmas surrounding mental health.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be like this.

Movember is Making a Difference
Movember is taking mental illness, suicide, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer head on. Through funds raised, Movember has invested in more than 1,250 critical projects and research globally that aim to stop men from dying too young, with nearly 300 of those innovative men’s health programs based right here in Canada.

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”

This is my eleventh year growing a moustache and raising funds in support of Movember. The Movember Foundation puts a fun twist on serious issues. I love how it provides an opportunity to come together with like minded folks while also raising funds for lifesaving research and programs aimed at helping fathers, bothers, friends, and sons from dying too young.

How Can You Take Action?
Help improve the health habits of yourself or the men in your life by familiarizing yourself with the following health tips. Better yet, strike up a conversation with a man in your life about these issues. It can lead to important discussions about mental and physical health. Greater, more open conversation helps erode the stigma that keep men, boys, and everyone from talking about mental and physical health and seeking help. Talking can save lives.

  1. Get Health Concerns Checked Out Early
    Men are notorious for avoiding doctor visits. In fact, men are 70 precent less likely than women to seek treatment for illnesses. If you notice something, do something! If something feels “off” to you, don’t wait for it to go away. Get it checked out. Early detection is the most important factor in treating serious health issues.
  1. Schedule an Appointment Even if You’re Not Sick
    Given men’s reluctance to seek treatment for illness, it goes to logic that they’d be even less likely to go for check-ups when they’re not sick. Guys, even if you’re feeling well, it is crucial to have regular visits with your doctor. When was the last time you made an appointment for a general check-up or health screening? Not every health condition has clear signs and symptoms. This is especially true for conditions such as prostate cancer.
  1. Know Thy Nuts
    In Canada, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. The best thing you can do for your testicles is give them a bit of feel each month or so, and if something doesn’t seem right, head to the doctor.
  1. Know the Numbers – Learn Them, Live Them, and Pass Them Along

At 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer. If you’re of African or Caribbean descent, or have a family history of prostate cancer, have the conversation at 45.

  1. Stay Connected

Spend time with people who make you feel good. Your friends are important and spending time with them, whether in-person or virtual, is good for you. Catch up regularly, check in, and make time.

Seeking a listening ear from someone you trust about an issue that’s troubling you can help you stay mentally healthy. Getting someone else’s perspective can help you see a situation in a new light. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness.

  1. Know the Signs

Chances are, a man close to you is struggling with their mental health right now. The signs can be subtle: a friend who’s not sleeping, a colleague who’s lost interest, a man in your family who’s more irritable than normal. Men sometimes aren’t comfortable reaching out and opening up about life’s challenges – or they think they’ll be burdening their friends if they do.

Spotting the signs of someone struggling can make all the difference. In fact, it could be lifesaving. Reach out to those you feel may be in need of support.

  1. Keep Moving!

Physical inactivity is a big deal. It’s the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths globally per year.

An active lifestyle is the most powerful way for a man to remain healthy. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce and prevent many chronic conditions. It also improves mental health.

This is where my Empower family is already shining. Keep up the great work!

Help Me Change the Face of Men’s Health

As I wrap up my eleventh year participating in Movember, I am asking my Empower community to help me make a difference in the lives of men. I’ve set a Movember fundraising goal of $1,000. I would love to blow that goal out of the water. Through your generous donations to the Movember Foundation, you will help fund ground-breaking health projects across mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. Please make a donation at my fundraising page.

Thanks everyone!

Dangers

Monday WOD
This 20 min AMRAP is a bit tougher than I remembered.  It also poses some unique space challenges for group classes so here is how we will make sure everyone gets to play:

Double Under options
1) As many DUs as you can get in the first minute.  Whatever number you hit in that minute will be the number you use every round.
2) 50 Jumping double claps.  Make sure the claps happen while your feet are off the ground.  This is a timing drill and has no benefit if your timing is off.
3) 50 Steps/Jumps over a yellow hurdle

Lunges
For space reasons we will lunge in place.  In the warm up we will test your lunge over 25ft and multiply those lunge steps by 4.  For example, it took me 8 lunges to cover 25ft so I would do 32 lunges (4×8) every round.

Bear Crawl
We will set up a runway under the rig where you will not get whipped by skipping ropes.  Use two lanes, one going north, one going south.  Stay in the correct lane and you will never crash into any other bears. 

Warm Up
1 min Belly Breathing on Back
30/30 sec Head Nods/Rotations
1 min Upper Body Half Roll
1 min Lower Body Half Roll
1 min Deadbugs
1 min Egg Rolls
1 min Windshield Wipers
1 min Rocking Chairs
1 min Bird Dogs
1 min Leopard Crawl
1 min Full Body Rocks
1 min Calf Raises
25ft Lunge

Tech
Review WOD Movements

WOD
20 min AMRAP
50 DU
100ft Lunges
100ft Bear Crawl