Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

Wellness: Why Men Need to Start Taking Control

Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

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Let's get straight to the point.

Men are falling apart at the seams. Take a look at just some of these stats:

  • Men are three times more ly to take their own lives than women.
  • Men in mid-life remain overwhelmingly dependent on a female partner for emotional support.
  • Marriage breakdown is more ly for men to lead to suicide.
  • Men have a much more negative view on counselling and therapy than women.
  • When men do use therapy, it is at the point of crisis.
  • Men between the ages of 18 and 44 are less ly to go see a doctor than women.
  • 67 per cent of men feel their mental health is secondary to that of a partner.

We could go on.

It's clear that we need help. Yet when it comes to our wellness, we approach it with caution. After all, wellness is a women's thing, right?

It's not. And the truth is this: it is men who stand to benefit more from wellness.

But before we go any further, let's make it abundantly clear. We're not talking about forest bathing here. We won’t be touting holistic holidays, nor lessons in how to breathe, but instead offering digestible chunks of advice, real-world stories and tips to make 2019 your best year yet – inside and out. Because, frankly, there's far more to life than bulging biceps.

We want to smash the stigma around men's wellness. We want to show that there's more to wellness than face masks and scented candles. We want to open up the conversation around topics such as testicular self-exams and erectile health issues.

We want to help guys cope with pressures of every day life, of balancing a career and a family. We want to reduce stress levels – an epidemic sweeping through the UK – improve quality of life, tackle body confidence issues, eating disorders and make more men happier.

And we're going to keep shouting about it over the next few months.

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Your Fitness

The ‘new year new me’ cliché, exhausting as it can be, offers a suitable stepping stone into starting healthier habits.

Our January 2019 issue, out now, documents the story of how 43-year-old Lewis Hammond transformed his health by having a complete overhaul on his approach to fitness.

He lowered his cholesterol (at the beginning, it was on the verge of being life-threatening), detonated body fat and became more energised than he ever imagined being while feigning off injury.

The same can apply to you, because, Lewis, you needn’t have to squirm under a barbell four times a week to feel fitter. Instead, commit to a routine that works for you. Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be sharing with you the best deals, workouts and tips to help you meet your goals, whatever age you are.

Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEmGetty Images

Your Health

A slimmer waistline and bigger arms aren’t the main benefits of self-care through fitness. Lower cholesterol, increased energy levels and steadier moods are just a few promises only a healthier lifestyle can make. wise, your sex life will benefit and your mental strength can transform.

Again, as with your fitness, this doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a Spartan diet outside of your exercise routine. We want you to become more mindful of how your nutrition impacts you. We’ll be talking to nutritionists, psychologists, doctors and scientists to reclaim your health through food, without having to give up the things you love.

Your Mental Strength

As you’ll know by now, mental health is a pertinent topic for Men’s Health – with our writers and editors (several speaking from very personal viewpoints) dedicated to sharing and creating content that can be applied directly.

In 2017, over 15,000 Men’s Health readers shared their experiences with mental health and we found that 70 per cent would not describe themselves as “living with high levels of positive mental health” and a further 69 per cent never having considered speaking to a professional when it came to seeking help on mental health issues. Alarming? Yes. Actionable? Definitely.

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Your Work

From blue-collar workers to tradesmen, it’s become abundantly clear that workplaces are now shining a bigger light on wellness and mental health in the workplace.

We’re not talking about dotting Japanese peace lilies around the office or doing yoga on a building site, either. We want to help you action real change that will make your workplace a safer and more rounded place to spend upwards of 40 hours a week at.

It's time to make your job work for you. And we're going to show you how.

With this in mind, why not stick around? We'd love to have you.


9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for Seniors

Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

With the obsession that today’s media has with youth and appearance, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s only the young who are looking for companionship, that dating is a young person’s game.

Go on, be honest. Which of the following images do you think the media is more ly to use to accompany an article on online dating?


Well, it’s time things changed. We are all living decades longer than we once did, and are staying fitter, healthier (and in some cases, friskier) further into our wisdom years than ever before. At the same time, more older adults over 55 find themselves single and looking, either through divorce or the tragic loss of a husband or wife they loved for many years.

This means that there are more seniors and baby boomers than ever before looking for some companionship to fill the void of their prior partner.

Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody s feeling lonely.

Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts. Once you’re into your wisdom years your needs, desires and expectations are very different from what you’re looking for when you’re in your 20s.

Let’s take a look at nine things you (probably) didn’t know about dating for older adults:

1. Age doesn’t matter so much

Emphasis on age on

It seems counter-intuitive to say that people characterized by one attribute — how old they are — don’t care as much about age when looking for a companion, but it’s true. Young people are incredibly age-prejudiced, to such an extent that age is one of the most important filter criteria used to find a match on online dating sites.

Just check out the image to the right from Age is the second-most important attribute used to help users determine if they’re interested in a potential match (after the photo). This scenario is not just on, but on E-harmony, Ourtime, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and the rest of the dating websites.

The filtering mechanisms on these dating sites similarly emphasize the importance age takes in the minds of young match-seekers, with all users asked to specify the age range they are seeking, with many choosing ridiculously narrow ranges (e.g. “man aged 32 seeking woman aged 26-29“!)

Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, and what activities you can do.

Adults over 55 are far more flexible in their approach to companionship. Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works.

Once you get into your fifties and beyond, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant.

Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, what activities you can do.

70 year-old woman looking for a man? If you’re active and going for long walks and playing golf, you’re going to be much more interested in the fit and energetic 82-year-old who can share your activities than the 65-year-old waiting on a hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. On the other hand, the 75-year old woman who has had past back problems and s to stay in with wine and movies might be a great match for that 65-year-old man.

Age is secondary. What you do with our age is what really matters.

2. Neither do looks

Tinder: photos are all-important

The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter. The hottest online dating app for young people today is Tinder, which proudly claims to be matching over 450 million love-seekers daily.

Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left. What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match?

It’s the photo.

With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important. This reinforces a message that young people get hammered with on a daily basis: nothing matters more than how you look.

We’d be lying if we said that appearance wasn’t important at all to the over-55 demographic, but it turns out to be a much lower priority.

Maybe this is because older adults are wise enough to know that looks have very little to do with whether someone is going to be a kind, loving and caring companion. Maybe it’s because the physical nature of attractiveness changes when you get older, or maybe they know that being “hot and sexy” is more a function of your personality than how you look.

Whatever the reason, most older adults will tell you that how someone looks is doesn’t matter much in their search to find a companion.

3. It’s not drinks, it’s dinner

One thing we have been struck with has been the important role that dinner plays in the social (or not-so-social) lives of most older adults. Nobody s the idea of spending years cooking for themselves and eating alone.

And always being the lone single person when your married friends want to catch up for dinner starts to become a little tiresome.

More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.

This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.

This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar. Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package.

For older adults, it’s not drinks, it’s dinner.

4. Not everybody is looking for love & marriage

The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage. While this is true for some older adults, it is far from universal.

Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. Some are seeking someone to have dinner with, some are looking for someone to travel with them, others are looking for someone to share their favorite activities.

It’s always fun to have attraction, romance, and flirting.  For many people at this stage, that is enough. For others, it’s more. There is an entire spectrum of dating that goes far beyond the marriage-oriented online dating services available today.

Which goes a long way to explaining the next point …

5. It’s not just about one companion

Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. Sure, some are focused only on finding that single life partner who will give them a loving relationship for the next few decades. But just as many are actually seeking multiple companions to fit in with their varied social needs.

A dinner-date companion.

A travel companion.

A hiking companion. A gardening buddy. A couples bridge partner.

This isn’t infidelity, it’s just common sense. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions.

6. The real world counts

Far more than their younger counterparts, older adults feel much more comfortable evaluating a potential match in the real world instead of online. That’s right, instead of texting and messaging, they actually prefer to talk to someone on the phone to find out if they them.

Can you believe that?

All the Millennials out there are shaking their heads, wondering why on earth anyone would to talk on the phone when they can instant message instead. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell … recent studies show that young adults are three times as ly to prefer to text than talk via the phone, the complete opposite of their older counterparts.

One of our favorite lines comes from a Huffington Post article on this very subject:

Kids, you’ve heard of phone calls, right? Did you know that there’s an app on your smartphone that lets you talk out loud to family and friends? Ask your grandparents about it.

It won’t surprise you, of course, to discover that most of today’s online dating services are designed around chatting with potential matches online before things get serious enough for a phone call.

Kids these days!

7. Trust is hyper-important

Yes, trust is important to everyone, no matter how old they are. But for a retiree on a fixed income, who has heard countless stories of peers being taken advantage of both online and in the real world, trust takes on a special significance.

Is this person who they say they are?

Are they authentically interested in me, or are they after something more?

Or, as we have been often asked by older women considering prospective male companions: are they truly looking for companionship, or someone to nurse them through their later years?

Stitch Update: the more we talk to the people registering for Stitch, the more we have come to understand how important the issue of trust is (and how absent it is in most online dating sites today). That’s why we’re currently working on a number of features for Stitch to ensure that the people you meet are who they say they are.

8. Filters, not so much filter criteria

One thing that many dating services have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner a dazzling array of filters you provide them. Younger people can be zealous about the rules they impose on potential partners.




Even eye color!

The profile selection page from paints a clear picture: young people dating have a well-defined set of filters, which they use to help them find that “perfect” match.

We’ve found older adults to be far more refreshingly open-minded.

Whether it was the Jewish 82-year-old, who admitted in her youth she would have only accepted “a handsome Jewish boy” but now “doesn’t mind about their background as long as they are kind”, or the 59-year-old devout Catholic who had never considered dating Protestants when she was younger, we found an incredible willingness to judge potential partners on their personality and shared interests than any pre-conceived notions of who the “right” partner might be.

Just another example of why we love our members … they never cease to inspire us.

9. Online dating stinks

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, all the differences we’ve described above lead most older adults to conclude that, well, online dating is not a positive experience at all.

It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.

The online dating sites which market themselves as being for 55 and older are simply re-branded versions of dating sites for younger adults. None of them recognize that there are fundamental differences in what matters to older adults and what they’re looking for.

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!


Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

There are a lot of ways to get involved in Movember. You can, of course, grow a moustache, if indeed you are able to. Or you can take part in one of the 24 MoRunning events that take place around the country during the month. Or you can follow MoRunning ambassador James Martin’s lead and run every day while talking about men’s health.

Martin ran 6km a day for Movember in 2018 and is planning to double that to run 12km a day this year. Both are significant numbers for men’s health.

“Last year I did 6km a day, which represented the six years men die earlier than women for no physiological reason,” says Martin. “Because of a lack of wanting to go to the doctor, or to talk about things.

“I thought this year should be a bit more, and 84 men take their lives each week in the UK, so I thought that doing 84km a week – 12km a day – to represent each one of those men would be a bit more of a challenge.”

Last year, Martin invited people to join him on his runs to talk about men’s health, and he ended up having around 75 conversations on the topic. We spoke to him to find out what he’d learned from those conversations.

1. People Want To Talk About Men’s Health

While there is some truth behind the belief that men don’t to open up about health problems, Martin found that he had no shortage of volunteers to join him on his runs and talk.

“I had people run with me every day and on many occasions more than one,” says Martin. “At the end there were 22 people on the final run. At weekends I went off and did the MoRuns and I had people from my regional offices come join me. The response was amazing, mostly from men, which was fantastic.”

2. When You’re Out Exercising, People Become More Open

If you want men to open up, get them moving.

“I’m not the most sociable person,” says Martin. “I struggled with my mental health for many years and although I’m very open about it, just having conversations with people I didn’t know very well wasn’t always easy for me.

“The thing that struck me most was how open people were when you were running side by side, people who would never have said things to me in an office. That really struck me from the word go.

“I think with guys especially, exercise can make them comfortable. It’s what we’ve grown up with, being out playing football… You can feel a little more open and more comfortable.”

3. Men Still Aren’t Getting Checked For Prostate Cancer

Early detection is the key to surviving prostate cancer, but even when they're worried about the disease, men still aren’t getting checked.

“The number of people my age that were concerned about prostate cancer but hadn’t done anything about it – that really did surprise me,” says Martin. “They’d heard about it but there was still that slight misconception that you go to the doctor and get touched in unmentionable places. You get a blood test before anything that might need to happen!”

If you want more information about what is involved, our prostate check explainer walks you through exactly what you can expect.

4. If You’re Open About Your Mental Health, Other People Will Open Up Too

No matter how together someone might appear, they might be struggling with a mental health problem. The best way to get them to open up is to be open yourself.

“Having people saying ‘I suffered with it’ makes it clear that they’re not talking to someone who might judge,” says Martin. “When I first became aware of a mental health problem, I found a closed door on some occasions when telling people I had this issue. Not because people were being mean, they just didn’t know how to act. I think having people who are non-judgemental is very helpful.”

5. Exercising With Others Can Help You Get Moving

Martin spoke to lots of men who had concerns about their overall health but weren’t able to get themselves moving, often blaming a lack of time.

“They say, ‘I know I need to do something to improve my fitness, my health, but I don’t have time.’ I started running with Couch to 5K – it took half an hour three times a week,” says Martin. “If you don’t have half an hour three times a week you’ve got more problems than not being fit. You have some real work/life balance issues.

“It’s almost a mental block that stops them and getting together with a group of people just helps you do it.

We have a running club at work now what happened last year, because people realised that they could go out with people from work and it wouldn’t be the case that you have to run a sub-20-minute 5K or whatever.

It’s a friendly community. I do parkrun each week and encourage as many people as I can to do it – again, because it’s a friendly community.”

6. Training For An Event Can Lead To A Long-Term Lifestyle Change

If you want the perfect incentive to get moving, sign up for an event.

“This was especially true in one group,” says Martin. “Last year six people committed to do an event in Scotland with me about six weeks before the event – some had never run – so they trained for the full six weeks. I contacted them this week and they’re all still running. Every single one of them.”

James Martin is a MoRunning ambassador. Find out more about the Mo Running race series at


I go to the gym every day. Why can’t I lose weight?

Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

Liz is a typical 50-something woman, fit, 70 kg, 30% body fat. She goes to the gym every day, and runs for 35 minutes on the treadmill at 10km/h. But, as she tells me rather often, she can’t lose weight. So what’s going on here: is it Liz, or is it the universe conspiring against her?

How do you actually ‘lose weight’?

Let’s start by considering the body as a store of energy. The body can be divided into two components. One is fat mass, and the rest of the body is called fat-free mass. It’s mostly water, but there’s also bone and muscle protein. Fat contains much more energy (and thus requires more energy to burn).

most of the adult population, Liz wants to lose weight. To do this, she has to go into energy deficit: energy out must be greater than energy in. The amount of weight she loses will depend on whether she is losing fat or fat-free mass.

It takes a much bigger energy deficit to lose a kilogram of fat than a kilogram of fat-free mass. We also need a bigger energy deficit per kilogram of weight loss if we are fatter to start with.

Read more: When we lose weight, where does it go?

For most people, it takes an energy deficit of about 27-32 kJ to lose a gram of body weight. If Liz runs for 35 minutes at 10km/h on the treadmill, she has a deficit of about 1500kJ, so she will have lost only 50g in a session. If she does this five times a week for a year, however, she will lose over 12 kg.

Except, of course, she doesn’t. After a year she’s still stuck on 70 kg. Why?

Eating more to compensate for exercise?

The first possibility is that Liz is eating more to compensate for the extra exercise. Her 35 minutes of treadmill running will be entirely undone by a glass and a half of merlot that evening.

There is some evidence people use food to reward themselves for exercising. A recent analysis suggested women may be particularly prone to fuel up after exercise. So Liz may be unconsciously munching or drinking away that energy deficit.

Being less active elsewhere?

A second possibility is that Liz compensates for going to the gym by being less physically active elsewhere. She may flop down in front of the TV rather than busying herself with chores. She may even fidget less.

This theory is known as the “activitystat” hypothesis: the idea that we have a setpoint for energy expenditure the setpoint on a thermostat. If we increase physical activity in one domain, then there is an automatic compensation in another.

Measuring your waist is a better option. from

Read more: Four common myths about exercise and weight loss

So is Liz undoing all the good work at the gym by couch-potatoing her way through the rest of the day? We tested this rather depressing theory. Readers will be pleased to know we found no evidence for the activitystat when sedentary adults started an exercise program. They just cranked up the exercise, drawing time from sleep and TV.

A reduction in your resting metabolic rate?

One of the unfortunate side effects of losing weight is resting metabolic rate — the rate at which you use energy when you’re sitting doing nothing — starts to fall (meaning you burn less energy).

A recent study of contestants on The Biggest Loser found their resting metabolic rate was depressed six years after having lost and regained most of the weight.

So Liz could, in principle, be exercising and not have changed her diet or her activity pattern, and yet still not be losing weight because of her lower resting metabolic rate. However, when weight is lost by exercising (as opposed to diet), resting metabolic rate is generally maintained.

Maybe you’re gaining muscle

A sunnier prospect may be that while she has not lost weight, she has lost body fat, and that body fat has been replaced by fat-free mass. A kilogram of fat occupies more space (about 1.1 litres) than a kilogram of fat-free mass (about 0.9 litres), so Liz would not only be leaner, but smaller.

We can calculate that if fat mass is entirely replaced by fat-free mass, after 12 weeks Liz will have lost 2.6 kg of body fat, and gained 2.6 kg of fat-free mass.

This sounds good, but does it really work this? A reasonable rule of thumb is that about 75% of the weight you lose will be fat, and the rest fat-free mass. But things may go better if weight training is involved.

Read more: Eight diet myths – busted!

One analysis of previous studies found strength training (using weights or your own body weight) increased fat-free mass by about 2 kg in overweight men and about 1 kg in women, even though weight remained unchanged.

A good test of whether you’re swapping fat mass for fat-free mass is just to measure your waist girth. If it’s getting smaller while your weight is stable, then you’re probably losing fat and gaining fat-free mass.

So what’s happening with Liz?

Is it gluttony or sloth, or is she losing fat and replacing it with fat-free mass? Liz s this last possibility, but I don’t know. She certainly looks more toned, but the bottle of merlot is emptier than I thought.


Entertain and Motivate ᐅ 13 Fun Facts about Running

Six Things This Runner Learned From 75 Conversations About Men’s Health

by Herwig Natmessnig




2 minutes

The information below may not help you to set a new personal best or do much for your health, but it will make you the life of the party. We have put together 13 of the weirdest and most interesting facts about running. We are sure you are guilty of number 8