What is it?
Movember is a special time when the world comes together to raise awareness for health problems that men have a higher risk factor of facing.
Sorry ladies, the men have hijacked this month.
The major health problems highlighted during Movember include, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental illness, and physical inactivity.
So what can you do to raise awareness?
Grow a mustache!
How the heck can a mustache raise awareness?
Well, it’s very simple. It starts a conversation.
The mustache is not all that common anymore, so when you are wearing one it is bound to be an ice breaker. It’s your job to spread awareness after that.
It also gets you thinking and talking about these problems that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
You can also take a 30 day challenge to move more.
You can read about the different challenges on the official Movember Foundation website.
The History of Movember
It all began in Australia, where two average Joes set out to start a movement.
Knowing that the mustache was a dying trend, they did what any risk taker likes to do, bring it back.
Starting in 2003 with 30 participants, they raised a whopping $0.
Fast forward to 2014, there have been a total of 4.5 million participants worldwide, $639 million raised in funding, and over 830 men's health projects successfully funded.
4 Ways Movember Benefits Men's Health
When it comes to living long and healthy lives, gender plays a big role.
Statistically men have gotten the short end of the stick. Our life expectancy is about 6 years less than that of our female counterparts.
Movember helps in many ways. The majority of these illnesses are ignored or turned a blind eye to. This month helps open the eyes of the general public through awareness.
Financially, It helps to fund research projects all over the world for the 4 leading types of illnesses that men face:
- Testicular Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Poor Mental Health
- Physical Inactivity
Movember's website also links to particular research projects that they help support. It is a great place to get educated.
1. Testicular Cancer
Mainly affecting younger men ages 15-35, testicular cancer is the most common to go unnoticed.
If caught early, survival rates are high.
It's important to get a regular physical exam from your doctor every 6 months that includes a checkup for testicular cancer.
A common issue for testicular cancer survivors is relapse due to treatment at an early age. Assuming a clean bill of health forever, they never return for regular checkups.
You can read more about how the Movember Foundation is supporting testicular cancer here.
2. Prostate Cancer
Coming in at the number 2 most diagnosed cancer for men, prostate cancer affects 1 in 7 men during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2015 there will be 228,800 new cases in men and 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer.
Symptoms rarely occur in early stages. If you have symptoms, schedule a checkup immediately.
What can you do to prevent this from occurring to you?
It's important to understand that with age comes an increased risk factor. Get regular checkups if you're over 50.
Talk to your family and learn about your health history. Has your father or grandfather ever been diagnosed?
Learn about your ethnicity and if it increases your risk. Different ethnicities can have greater or less risk factors.
3. Poor Mental Health
Studies show that men are 3.5 to 7 times more likely to commit suicide due to a mental illness than women are.
Depression is serious.
As men, we have a tendency to not want to “hurt our pride” by admitting that we need help. Our ego says “we can get over it ourselves”, without assistance.
Unfortunately that silence leads to over 85 men a day committing suicide.
It's time to speak up.
Know where to get help.
If you know anyone dealing with these issues, or you may be one of them, go to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help. Your call is 100% free and confidential.
4. Physical Inactivity
It goes without saying that remaining active decreases our chances of all the other health issues occurring.
However, lack of exercise accounts for 3.2 million deaths globally, and 41% of men in high income countries don't exercise enough.
So why aren't we moving more?
It's time to put the MOVE in Movember.
Nothing gets the endorphines flowing better than exercise. Being physically healthy translates into healthy thoughts and feelings.
The Movember foundation has a 30 day challenge to get you moving every single day.
2 Ways You Can Participate in Movember
Don't be the guy who stands off to the side and watches while all the other men take action.
These are real men battling real obstacles.
Here are two ways YOU can get involved.
- Take Action
- Claim your Movember Birchbox
1. Take Action
What does that mean?
It means do something to get the word out. Anything.
Grow your mustache or commit to move more. Donate to the cause by buliding a team and competing for fundraisers.
Need help figuring out which challenge to take? Here is the Moustache Challenge on the Movember website. The Move in Movember is a great one too.
Which one will you choose?
2. Claim your Movember Birchbox
Inside this unique box are high quality grooming products manufactured specifically for styling your stache this Movember.
- The Ursa Major Face Wash is a gel cleanser with a tight lather. The non-abrasive exfoliation formula and essential oils will clean your face up well to prep you for your shave.
- The Brothers Artisan Shave Oil is one of the highest quality oils on the market. It uses organic essential oils, argan oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil. These oils provide hydrating and softening elements in a natural form.
- If you are like most men, you prefer a manual razor shave. The Proraso Shaving Cream provides eucalyptus oil for toning and menthol for the tingle. The butter and sandalwood help to soften your beard, and the aloe and vitamin E moisturizes and nourishes the irritated skin.
- My personal favorite is the commemorative razor from Harry's Razors. Allow this razor be a reminder all month long to keep men's health in mind. Everytime you pick it up to groom your mustache, let it call attention to your commitment to take action this month.
- Last but not least, the Dear Mat Lotion is included in the Movember Birchbox as well. It moisturizes the skin while still leaving a matte finish so your face is hydrated, but not shiny.
Make your commitment public. Leave a comment on the video saying what your commitment is, and take action.