Men’s bowel health is a tricky topic. Over 40% of my clients are male, meaning male health awareness is close to my heart. Many men ignore their bowel health problems until they can’t ignore them any longer. If you’re a man and worried about bowel cancer, then this blog will give some ideas of how to take steps towards decreasing your risk.
This goes out to all the men.
To reduce the risk of bowel cancer, there are changes to your lifestyle that you can make. Improving your diet, stopping smoking and cutting down on your alcohol intake are some obvious ones. Another that has a positive effect on your bowel is adding exercise into your life.
It’s now apparent that being inactive in your life is more damaging to your health than being overweight. On the flip side, carrying too much weight around your middle section can increase your risk of bowel cancer. One influences the other in some ways.
The answer is to start moving.
How does exercise decrease your risk of bowel cancer?
Let’s get down to brass tacks – getting moving will help get you “moving”, if you catch my drift?!
If you are inactive in life, one of the first organs that affects is your colon. Sedimentary life can also equal a sedimentary bowel and lead to constipation. This leads to more toxins sitting in your colon for longer, which isn’t good.
When you increase you heart rate and breathing, it encourages contractions of the muscles in the intestines. With these squeezing, your bowel movement increases. It then speeds up the rate of the food moving through the bowel, which means that there is less time between eating and going to the toilet. That means regular, healthy poos.
You know when you put that fuel additive in the petrol tank of your car? Well you have to take it for a run to heat it up and get it moving through the pipes to clean it, don’t you? It’s the same with our bodies. If you’re putting good stuff in like fibre, whole foods, and extra water, then you need to get it moving along the digestive tract where it does it’s magic.
How can you increase your exercise?
If you’re worried about bowel cancer and want to make a positive change in your life, then aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s about 20 minutes a day, which shouldn’t be too hard to fit in. Exercise can be anything from a brisk walk, to a swim – something that makes you breathless and increases your heart rate.
– Download an app.
There are many apps for your phone with workouts to do at home. This article has a good list of their best workout apps for 2019 (free and paid for).
– Count your steps.
Get a pedometer to check how much activity you are doing. I’ve just got a Fitbit and I am obsessed with my steps! A goal of 10,000 steps is a good amount. And if you haven’t quite made the total, it might encourage you to do a little extra exercise that day.
– Add exercise where you least expect it.
Get off the bus/train/tram stop one early and walk the rest of the way, use the stairs instead of a lift, help out with housework at home (hoovering always raises the heart rate), or walk to the corner shop instead of popping there in your car. All will make a difference, even though you don’t think of them as “exercise”.
So, if you’re a Man sitting there, reading this and feeling worried about bowel cancer, I hope you can see that there are some simple changes to make that will help decrease your risk.
Exercise is a simple, free and easy one to start with. You don’t need to run a marathon. A simple walk a day will start to make a difference. The rest will follow.
If you’re struggling with some digestive symptoms and not sure what to do about them – please get in contact with me and I will be happy to have a conversation about what I can do to help you.
Don’t be shy – after all, here at Complete Health Clinic, there’s nothing taboo about poo! 😉