Jarrod Wilson (Exercise Physiologist – Burnie)
Why Make a Week for Men’s Health?
The efforts to raise awareness for men’s health should not be reduced to just one week of the year; there should always be goals to improve the health outcomes for men, given the fact that they still find themselves in a worse position than their female counterparts when it comes to a host of health statistics. This is the case for many preventative health conditions such as diabetes, lower respiratory disease, and some cancers. The statistics for male suicide and self-harm are also distressing and males suffer significantly more work accidents and injuries than women. On average men die 5 years younger than women.
70% of the health diseases that males encounter are largely preventable through simple lifestyle modification. The research tells us that well over half of male adults aged 18-64 fail meet the minimum requirements for physical activity. More concerning is the fact that three quarters of men aged over 65 do not meet these same requirements. This population are therefore at a much greater risk of the harmful effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. For instance, 7 in 10 Australian males are now considered overweight or obese, with the consequence of being at an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Men also tend to avoid talking about their health and their feelings/emotions, perhaps because of the associated stigma that has existed in the past. The problem is that this can potentially serious ramifications for their health. If current statistics are to go by, one in eight men in Australia experience depression and one in five experience anxiety disorder. Six men die from suicide every day. These statistics could be dramatically improved if men talked more.
What Can Men Do?
Don’t become another statistic! The most important thing for men to remember is that it is OK to not be OK! If you are concerned that some of your feelings and thoughts are not healthy, be sure to talk to someone about them and ask for help if you need it. It is often necessary to seek professional help, particularly in times when no other strategy is working for you – professionals are there to listen, to guide, and to provide advice when needed. There is also a lot to be said for the beneficial effects of regular exercise, for both physical health and mental health.
Why is Exercise So Important for Men?
It is very well established that physical inactivity is the leading cause of chronic disease in the world, and men are not immune to this trend. There are many established health benefits that exercise can produce. Improvements in fitness, strength, muscle mass, bone and joint health and blood pressure control are just some examples. When the heart and muscles of the body learn to work more efficiently as a result of regular exercise, it causes a myriad of positive flow-on effects that serve to optimise the health of the entire body. This leads to a decreased risk of lifestyle-related diseases (heart disease, diabetes, etc.). It has also been proven that exercise can have a positive impact on the mental well-being of all males. Exercise is known to decrease stress levels, increase self-esteem and confidence, improve sleep, and stabilise mood. There are additional social benefits when engaging with other people to exercise with – this can include building friendships, improving networking, and enhancing communication skills. All things considered, active men are happy men 😊
If you are interested in starting an exercise program but don’t know where to start, contact Coastal Physiotherapy’s Burnie clinic on 64314586.