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Support your male partner with their physical health

A male couple running together

Many men put off going to see a GP about a health concern which in turn, only makes their problems worsen. Supporting the men in your life, whether they’re your partner, father, brother or a friend, is essential to promoting their overall wellbeing. Read on for eight top tips to support your partner’s physical health.

1. Book a GP appointment

If a man in your life is struggling with a health concern, encourage them to book a GP appointment and to attend reviews for their blood pressure, cholesterol tests, prostate examinations and colorectal cancer screenings. Our male and female private GPs can discuss any concerns you may have including aches and pains, allergies, digestive health, stress and anxiety, skin issues, headaches and any concerns specific to male health.

We dedicate a full 25 minutes per appointment. This gives your partner enough time to discuss their symptoms and worries in as much detail as they like. We provide a discreet and calming environment that eases feelings of embarrassment, and making an appointment is easy with our online booking tool.

2. Encourage a healthy diet

Do you and your partner eat a balanced diet at home? A healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, good fats (nuts, seeds and fish), whole grains, lean proteins (egg, chicken and lentils) and enough water to stay hydrated. If you and your partner don’t regularly eat together perhaps you could work together to plan nutritious meals that you can easily make from scratch and reheat.

Discover seven healthy breakfast recipes to kickstart your day. You could limit your intake of sugary drinks, alcohol and processed foods by challenging each other during the week – the winner is whoever eats the healthiest! Some people find competition a big motivator.

3. Embrace physical activity

If you’ve noticed that your husband or partner doesn’t exercise – whether they used to be a regular gym user or they’ve never enjoyed working out – the first step is to find out why they aren’t active. It could be that they feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, lack self-esteem or have low body confidence. From there, you can ask how you can support them and for many couples, exercising together can really help.

You could join a fitness class together, play a sport you both enjoy, do home workouts, go for a long walk after dinner twice a week, or ride a bike to the local shop instead of driving. Motivating each other to exercise and having something you can do together will also promote mental health.

4. Help them to manage their weight

Following on from your exercise routine, you may want to ask your partner if they have a goal in mind. Do they want to develop more muscle? Improve their cardiovascular fitness or flexibility? Or do they want to lose weight? Maintaining a healthy weight is important to help prevent other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes or joint pain.

5. Find ways to manage stress

We lead busy lives which can make it hard to juggle family, work and wellbeing, especially during the working week. Feeling overwhelmed or unable to keep up can cause stress levels to rise which isn’t healthy in the long term. Men and women show signs of stress in different ways and men generally have a stronger stress response. This can increase levels of aggression and makes them more prone to reach for unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol or smoking which can affect their physical health too.

If you think your partner is stressed in the workplace, have a conversation in a calming place where you can discuss ways he could relax and unwind to destress in a healthy way. Taking part in meditation, developing breathing techniques, enjoying new hobbies, exercising, socialising, and introducing more organisation into your lives could help to make him feel more in control.

 6. Promote sleep hygiene

How well do you and your partner sleep? Encouraging good sleep hygiene and educating men about the importance of quality sleep and a consistent sleep pattern will help to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Having an enlarged prostate can press onto the bladder and increase your partner’s urge to urinate which, in turn, may be keeping you up at night. Discover the top four reasons why you and your partner may be losing sleep – you might not have considered these before!

7. Seek out mental health support

Depression and other mental health problems can manifest physically and cause aches and pains, insomnia, stomach trouble and sexual dysfunction. Despite greater awareness about men’s mental health, and high-profile attempts by charities to banish the stigma for good, there are still men who are racked by the belief that they should be tough and fearless. As a result, men potentially choose to suffer in silence.

Would you know if your partner was struggling with his mental health? Encouraging open discussions about how you and your partner are feeling will encourage more regular check-ins.

8. Discuss safety at work

Does your partner have a trade such as an electrician, builder or plasterer? It’s important they stay safe at work. If your partner is regularly complaining of a work-related injury, such as joint pain, hernia or tinnitus, it’s important for them to check that safe practices are in place at work. Perhaps you could signpost them to our work-related injury care and prevention hub for advice and support.

If the man in your life participates in a lot of sport, they could check out our sports injury care hub so they can take care of their physical health and get back on track.

Published on 29 August 2023