100 Days of Fitness Special: Men’s Health in Movember

Fitness is more than just looking good on the beach and shedding pounds. To help raise awareness about the often ignored men's health issues, I'll be growing a Mo and feeling my balls. Read on to learn more.

Until this point we've been focused almost exclusively on the weight related issues of fitness. Shedding pounds, getting stronger, improving our physiques. These are all excellent things: looking good and feeling good are great while losing body fat and improving physical fitness standards lead to better health.

Unfortunately, even the guys with the best abs and biggest bench press can't deadlift their way past some men's health problems that may go unnoticed. Men's health issues are often under reported in the media and we men tend to think of ourselves as invincible. I recently turned 27 and, while I do feel a tad older, I'm still pretty confident I could punch a car so hard its engine shut off before it hit me and that I could survive a dozen or so gunshots. Though that is (probably) not the case, our invincible mindset may make us blind to some very real dangers – prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and a variety of other conditions that could arise surprisingly early in a man's life.

To help raise awareness about the cancers that effect men, we're working with the Movember movement which asks men to grow a Mo (Australian slang for mustache) during the month of November. Forget pinning a sissy ribbon to your chest, as men we're going to grow fuzzy ribbons on our faces.

You can head over to Movember.com to see the official rules and see sponsors and teams, I won't be an “official” Mo Bro, but I will be growing a mustache to help support men's health awareness and relaying related information to you throughout the month.

The mustache itself has enjoyed something of a resurgence over the last few years – though it's important to wear it unironically, or you look like some sort of hipster using his face as a punchline. With proper grooming, styling, and confidence, there is no one who is capable of growing a mustache that can't wear one respectably. Celebrities both old and new have rocked mustaches at various points in their lives, from the champ Tom Selleck to modern day heart throbs like Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt.

But this isn't about style, this is about health, so let's take a look at just why men's health needs its own movement.

  • Prostate cancer strikes one in six men.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer afflicting men 18-35.
  • The men's health movement is 30 years behind the women's health movement.
  • Men are less likely to schedule doctor appointments and stay in touch with their doctors, thereby denying them the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.
  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • A man will die from prostate cancer every 16.4 minutes- 32,000 men will die of the disease this year.
  • A man is 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman is to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

If you were to judge the state of men's health based only on what you see on television and around the grocery store, or anywhere during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aka October, you probably had no idea just how prevalent cancer is amongst men, even young men. While I'm not trying to sound an alarm to terrify anyone, and the odds of our relatively youthful readers developing cancer is rare, the point is that it can happen and it may be happening more frequently than any of us believed.

So do yourself a favor and set up a physical with a doctor. Be aware of the symptoms and signs. A few minutes of research could literally save your life, or the life of a friend. Even if you decide not to grow a mustache during the month of Movember, you should at least give yourself a check-out. I mean, it's another excuse to play with your balls, so why not?

Robert Fure

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.