Skip to main content

Healthy habits for men 

It is no secret that men and women face different health challenges. Being a ‘tough guy’ puts more men in hospital, for longer. Research shows that men aged over 65 are in worse shape when it comes to every health condition that is not related to male or female anatomy.

Download and print this article:

Healthy habits for men - PDF

Get a check up

Denial, delay and hoping things come right is why men end up in hospital more than women (Ten to Men 2022).

Not knowing where to start is another barrier. However, since the COVID pandemic, telehealth has made the health system easier to use and more accessible for most people.

If you haven’t seen a doctor for a long time, do yourself a favour and book a telehealth appointment today. 

Denial, delay and hoping things come right is why men end up in hospital more than women (Ten to Men 2022).

Not knowing where to start is another barrier. However, since the COVID pandemic, telehealth has made the health system easier to use and more accessible for most people.

If you haven’t seen a doctor for a long time, do yourself a favour and book a telehealth appointment today. 

Read less...

Prioritise exercise and maintain muscle

Many of us can make improvements when it comes to our diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation habits. Exercise, including muscle-strengthening exercises such as resistance training can help improve your brain function and boost your mental health (BJSM 2023).

  • Maintaining muscle is more effective for strong bones than any supplement. Regular muscle activity also improves insulin resistance. 
  • Being strong helps with balance as you age and can help to prevent falls

Many of us can make improvements when it comes to our diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation habits. Exercise, including muscle-strengthening exercises such as resistance training can help improve your brain function and boost your mental health (BJSM 2023).

  • Maintaining muscle is more effective for strong bones than any supplement. Regular muscle activity also improves insulin resistance. 
  • Being strong helps with balance as you age and can help to prevent falls
Read less...
  • Exercise lowers stress and anxiety, helping to improve your mood and quality of sleep.
  • Use it or lose it! Research shows that exercise improves your health even if started later in life (BMJ 2023). If you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or heart disease, see your health professional before beginning a new exercise program.
  • Exercise lowers stress and anxiety, helping to improve your mood and quality of sleep.
  • Use it or lose it! Research shows that exercise improves your health even if started later in life (BMJ 2023). If you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or heart disease, see your health professional before beginning a new exercise program.
Read less...

You are not alone

More than 43% of Australian men report feelings of loneliness (Healthy Male 2023). However, there are many social clubs that welcome new members, and programs designed to help men connect with one another. Here are three popular organisations with community-based networks across Australia:

  • Australian Men’s Shed Association members come from all walks of life. It’s one of Australia’s largest male-based community development organisations.
  • The Men’s Table is a safe place to share and be heard in a confidential and non-judgemental environment.
  • The Tough Guy Book Club was built by guys who don’t read much. It’s about having real conversations with like-minded men.

More than 43% of Australian men report feelings of loneliness (Healthy Male 2023). However, there are many social clubs that welcome new members, and programs designed to help men connect with one another. Here are three popular organisations with community-based networks across Australia:

  • Australian Men’s Shed Association members come from all walks of life. It’s one of Australia’s largest male-based community development organisations.
  • The Men’s Table is a safe place to share and be heard in a confidential and non-judgemental environment.
  • The Tough Guy Book Club was built by guys who don’t read much. It’s about having real conversations with like-minded men.
Read less...

Seek support

If you would like to speak to someone one-on-one, there are services available to you:

  • MensLine is a free telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere and at any time. Call 1300 78 99 78.
  • FriendLine supports anyone who’s feeling lonely or just wants a chat from 8am–6pm, 7 days a week. FriendLine is not a crisis service, but conversations are anonymous, and their friendly volunteers are ready for a yarn. Call 1800 424 287.

If you would like to speak to someone one-on-one, there are services available to you:

  • MensLine is a free telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere and at any time. Call 1300 78 99 78.
  • FriendLine supports anyone who’s feeling lonely or just wants a chat from 8am–6pm, 7 days a week. FriendLine is not a crisis service, but conversations are anonymous, and their friendly volunteers are ready for a yarn. Call 1800 424 287.
Read less...
  • BeyondBlue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when something isn’t quite right, or things just seem too much. You can chat to a counsellor online or call 1300 22 4636.
  • Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling provides free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the Australian Defence Force. They also provide counselling for partners and families. Open Arms can be contacted 24/7 and all their counselling is arranged by calling 1800 011 046.
  • LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter over the phone, any time of the day or night. Call 13 11 14 or text 0477 131 114.
  • BeyondBlue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when something isn’t quite right, or things just seem too much. You can chat to a counsellor online or call 1300 22 4636.
  • Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling provides free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the Australian Defence Force. They also provide counselling for partners and families. Open Arms can be contacted 24/7 and all their counselling is arranged by calling 1800 011 046.
  • LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter over the phone, any time of the day or night. Call 13 11 14 or text 0477 131 114.
Read less...

Volunteer your skills

Men tend to talk and bond while doing activities. Men also have skills that organisations need and value. This is why volunteering is a way that men can stay connected and make friends after retiring.

  • Volunteering regularly gives retirement structure and purpose. It’s work on your terms, and you get the satisfaction of having a role in an organisation.
  • There are voluntary positions all over Australia. Find something that matches what you’re interested in. This is a good way of meeting and mixing with like-minded people.
  • Search GoVolunteer the Volunteering Australia database or visit your local volunteering organisation, library or resource centre for help finding the right thing for you to do.

Men tend to talk and bond while doing activities. Men also have skills that organisations need and value. This is why volunteering is a way that men can stay connected and make friends after retiring.

  • Volunteering regularly gives retirement structure and purpose. It’s work on your terms, and you get the satisfaction of having a role in an organisation.
  • There are voluntary positions all over Australia. Find something that matches what you’re interested in. This is a good way of meeting and mixing with like-minded people.
  • Search GoVolunteer the Volunteering Australia database or visit your local volunteering organisation, library or resource centre for help finding the right thing for you to do.
Read less...

It’s never too late

Perhaps you got used to bouncing back when you were younger, and now it’s different. Perhaps you’re looking after someone else who needs you to be the strong and healthy one?

The good news is it’s never too late to change, and the fastest road to better health is to swap one bad habit with a new healthy habit. You can start with just one habit and build up gradually.

Perhaps you got used to bouncing back when you were younger, and now it’s different. Perhaps you’re looking after someone else who needs you to be the strong and healthy one?

The good news is it’s never too late to change, and the fastest road to better health is to swap one bad habit with a new healthy habit. You can start with just one habit and build up gradually.

Read less...

Change one habit

It’s hard to stop doing something. It’s much easier to start doing something new. This is why it’s helpful to think about habits as only one part of a three-step process:

  1. a trigger or reason
  2. a routine (the habit)
  3. a reward (the pleasure we get from the habit)

Think about what triggers the habit you want to change. Whenever you can, stay away from what triggers your old habit. When you cannot avoid a trigger, swap your old habit with a new healthy one and then follow-up with a new healthier reward. After breaking one habit, you have a better chance of also breaking the flow-on routine. This is why it's easier to change other unhealthy habits after learning one new one.

It’s hard to stop doing something. It’s much easier to start doing something new. This is why it’s helpful to think about habits as only one part of a three-step process:

  1. a trigger or reason
  2. a routine (the habit)
  3. a reward (the pleasure we get from the habit)

Think about what triggers the habit you want to change. Whenever you can, stay away from what triggers your old habit. When you cannot avoid a trigger, swap your old habit with a new healthy one and then follow-up with a new healthier reward. After breaking one habit, you have a better chance of also breaking the flow-on routine. This is why it's easier to change other unhealthy habits after learning one new one.

Read less...

Need some help? Call free today on 1800 951 971

More helpful information

If you need more information, take the LiveUp quiz or get in touch with one of our helpful team on 1800 951 971. You can find more tips and advice by following the links below:

If you need more information, take the LiveUp quiz or get in touch with one of our helpful team on 1800 951 971. You can find more tips and advice by following the links below:

Read less...

Download and print this article below!

Healthy habits for men - PDF

References

  1. Swami, N., Prattley, J., Bandara, D., Howell, L., Silbert, M., Renda, J., Rowland, B. and Quinn, B. (2022), Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health: Waves 1–3. The Australian Economic Review, 55: 155-165. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8462.12453
  2. Singh B, Olds T, Curtis R, et al Effectiveness of physical activity interventions for improving depression, anxiety and distress: an overview of systematic reviews, British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 16 February 2023. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/ early/2023/03/02/bjsports-2022-106195
  3. James S, Chiou Y, Fatih N, et al Timing of physical activity across adulthood on later-life cognition: 30 years follow-up in the 1946 British birth cohort Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2023;94:349-356. https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/94/5/349
  4. Healthy Male (2023). Loneliness and social isolation. https://www. healthymale.org.au/mens-health/loneliness-and-social-isolation

Find out how to age your way

Take our easy OpenUp quiz to get personalised advice and see suggested products, services and support in your local area or online.

Let's go!