Grooms: How To Take Better Care of Yourselves
The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be more fatal to men. CNN reported on March 24 that males make up 70% of those who died from coronavirus complications in Italy and 54% of total COVID-19 deaths in South Korea. Yet even without a global virus outbreak, taking care of oneself should be a top priority, especially for men who seem to have poorer health habits compared to women. While grooms are figuring out what to do next about their upcoming weddings, practicing healthy habits can ensure that they’re around to say “I do.”
Why More Men Are Dying From COVID-19
Medical professionals are trying to determine why more men have succumbed to COVID-19. Scientists haven’t determined any concrete causes, according to The Guardian, but they have some theories that may fit the facts. Unhealthy behaviors seem to be the key to higher death rates: More men smoke, drink, and don’t practice healthy habits such as handwashing. Men are less likely to seek medical attention when they are ill. MDLinx reveals that they’re diagnosed at higher rates with serious health conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic heart failure
- Lung cancer
Grooms and General Risk Factors
British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control explains that people with chronic illnesses are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 complications. However, they also face a generally greater risk of dying earlier. That contributes to Canadian men’s lower life expectancies: 79 years versus 83 years for Canadian women. Harvard Health mentions that more men are employed in high-risk occupations such as construction, the military, and firefighting. Canadian men are three times more likely to successfully commit suicide, less likely to have significant social connections, and less likely to seek mental health treatment.
Staying Healthy and Beating the Odds
Understanding your risk factors is important. But don’t worry: This article won’t turn into a lecture or sound like a 1950s educational film. What grooms can do, however, is focus on potential ways to maintain or improve their health. Harvard Health suggests choosing one goal to tackle first rather than trying to make a ton of lifestyle changes at once, so pick something attainable right now. Simple steps are a great way to begin your journey, and many helpful resources are available to get you started:
- If you use tobacco, take steps to quit. Several provinces and territories offer free accessible support for going nicotine-free.
- People who drink alcohol should do so in moderation. If you’re concerned about addiction, check out this treatment guide from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction.
- The Canadian government offers a food guide snapshot, plus some tips on how to shop and eat better.
- New to exercise? Sports medicine expert Andrew Lavender provides several suggestions to get started as a beginner.
- The Loop lists several national and provincial mental health resources.
If you’re dealing with food insecurity due to COVID-19, try Food Banks Canada’s food bank search. Each provincial and territorial government operates social assistance and welfare programs. Also, California-based Dignity Health supplies several tips for eating well if you lack regular access to fresh, healthy food.
Your Journey, Your Choices, Your Health
Life is precious. Besides your quality of life and goals, there are friends and loved ones who care and would love to see you stick around for a long time. Grooms also have a wedding to look forward to, whether or not COVID-19 has delayed their plans. Remember that change won’t happen overnight: This isn’t a race to see how quickly you can accomplish your goals. Nobody’s expecting you to become musclebound or become a whiz at CrossFit. If your first benchmark is eating one piece of fruit each day, that’s fine. The bottom line: Take care of yourself. The world needs you.