One Small Step | Men’s Health Week

Every year, on the week leading up to Father’s Day, organisations across the world come together to shine a light on men’s health issues. During 2018 Men’s Health Week has run from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th June, and the theme for this year takes inspiration from Neil Armstrong famous lunar saying;

“One small step for [a] man. One giant leap for mankind”

And the question we now pose to men of all ages is; what’s your small step going to be?

Nick Smith is the Clinical Nurse Coordinator in Highfield Healthcare’s Day Hospital, and he took on the challenge of examining the small steps he takes everyday to take care of his health.

Sleep

For me sleep is a really important aspect of my day to day health.  I need a good pattern of sleep, otherwise I can feel a little lethargic and at times irritable.

I like to think that I have a good bed time routine, aiming to be in bed around the same time each night. As a result find that I wake at a set time each morning too. In the run up to sleeping, I limit my use of electronic devices; phones/watching TV,  for about an hour beforehand. I also try to limit the amount of caffeinated drinks that I consume after 6pm.

Occasionally I have difficulty getting to sleep particularly if the weather is warm or if there is a bit of noise around the house – luckily earplugs tend to sort that out.

Exercise

For me this is a really important part of my life. I like being out in the fresh air as I find it very invigorating, particularly as my job is mainly office-based. I find being outdoors and availing of exercise gives me more energy and reduces stress levels.  I actively participate in walking events and utilize my local leisure centre to swim and use the gym equipment. I also enjoy playing football and cricket, and having the pleasure factor in getting active makes it easier to maintain.

Balanced Diet

I eat much healthier now than I did  in my younger years. I have cut out a lot of the junk food; saturated fats and processed foods, that I would have eaten previously. This change in my diet has made me feel physically healthier and more energized. It’s fair to say that I have lost a little bit of weight and reduced my Cholesterol levels also. I also take a multi vitamin each day to make sure I am not deficient in any basic nutrients.

Keeping In Contact

One area that I need to manage a little better is keeping in touch with family and friends more than I have done in recent times.  As I aim to improve,  I try to set aside time through the course of the week where I speak with family/friends that are not living in Ireland. I think it’s important to be able to talk to others and get support and advice as needed.

Keeping social is also important to me. I enjoy being around people who make me laugh and this most certainly reduces stress levels and boosts my mood.

If you would like to learn more about what small steps you may be able to take to benefit your health, you can visit the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland website, where you will find a wealth of information on the topic.