I’ve just finished writing The Healthy Writer with Joanna Penn and it has been an incredible experience. It has made me recognise how much I want to play a part in helping people with their health, particularly normal blokes, beyond my role in the clinic.
I’m going to cover a wide ranges of areas and I want to take my medical experience and bake it in. I plan to take a critical approach but I don’t want to be ‘critical’ in the sense of being disparaging or negative. I’m aiming for a positive ‘healthy scepticism’ so I’m not going to make any assumptions and I want to scrutinise the available evidence. I’ll try to relate back to that evidence whenever I can but I’m going to express an opinion or two as well.
There are so many topics I want to address: Should you really be doing high intensity intervals? How should men approach mindfulness? Does CrossFit break people? Is yoga the answer? Is man flu a thing? What is the evidence behind weight loss diets? What about sleep, alcohol, and loneliness? How can the science of habits and focus help us towards a better life?
“What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong. Focus on actions, not outcomes.” Lewis Howes
I’m going to consider some specifically male issues too and I want to lean into the topic of masculinity as we go through a period of time where the many failings of men are being very publicly exposed. In the end, we have to find a healthy way forward to raise our sons. For me, exercise such as running and cycling has formed a big part of my health and I get tremendous pleasure from adventures outdoors. Those can be difficult to fit into a busy work and family life and I am going to dwell on my microadventures as well.
I want to tackle men’s health and I’m a bit weary of the relentlessly challenging images and perceptions about masculinity. There seems little scope for normal guys, just regular blokes, to find health information without being bombarded with images of ultra-lean athletes with super-low body fat and bulging muscles. If, like me, you have a full-time job, a family, and other interests beyond exercising, then these aspirational role models feel completely unobtainable. And that’s bad news, as men are more overweight than women, more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes, more lonely and far more likely to take their own lives. I hope I can help give some pointers to all men with their health but highlighting the ‘healthy bloke’ encapsulates this aim.
I hope, in time, you will think of me as your mate, who happens to be a slightly opinionated but informed doctor, laying out some enthusiastic advice to get you a bit healthier.
If you are female I hope you will stick around too. Many of the topics will be relevant to women directly but you will all have partners, brothers, fathers, and friends. I hope it will give some insight into how you can live with them and maybe help them at times too.
I will send regular updates via email and please sign up for these. In return, I’ll send you the Healthy Bloke Action Plan that will give you a bit of a starting point to tackle this big old topic of health. You can, as is usual these days, follow me through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Enjoy the festive period and see you in 2018!
Feature image: Jasper Boer