Across the nation, Australian men were encouraged to celebrate their AchieveMENts, and focus on improving their health when Men’s Health Week, 9-15th June, prompted them to think about their health, using fun and engaging events to start conversations about their health and well-being.
‘Men can be stubborn,’ said Andrew Neville, the owner of ANT Fitness Gym in Portland. ‘Sometimes they need an extra push to take that first step.’
But, why men’s health? Most of you are probably wondering why there is such an emphasis on men and boys’ health and well-being. Aren’t men all right?
The answer, unfortunately, is often no. Baby boys born in Australia today, still have a life expectancy that is four years less than baby girls. Boys, throughout their lives, are more likely to suffer from illness and accidents. A sad fact, because many of the illnesses and accidents can be prevented.
There is never a wrong time to start paying attention to your health. According to Andrew Neville, ‘It doesn’t matter what age you are. It’s never too early or too late.’
Dr Mortadha Shawki, from Portland Medical Practice said, ‘In Australia generally, and rural and remote areas in particular, men are less motivated than women to take active action to maintain their health and they are less likely to seek professional help for physical and mental problems they face in their life. Men may feel it’s a sign of weakness to seek help, contradicting their definition of masculinity. They also prioritise their health less. Male deaths in Australia outnumber female deaths in most of the age groups and the life expectancy of men is less the women.’
‘We take this opportunity to encourage our local blokes to pay more attention and time to their physical and mental well-being. A simple check-up can be lifesaving.’
He concluded by adding, ‘However hard it might seem to change or backtrack from where you are, nothing is too much trouble or too complicated when it comes to your health. Advances in medical science mean that the level of health care available now is higher than ever before. Staying healthy is important, especially for men.’
Paying attention to your health can take many different forms. Men’s Health Week prompts men to go back to basics and focus on the ways they can be proactive about their health; considering changes large and small.
‘Developing a routine, and changing your lifestyle doesn’t take much,’ said Andrew Neville. ‘It’s a matter of starting on the first rung of the ladder, and then progressing step by step. The first step is the hardest, but it’s important to take, whether it’s going on a short walk or just stepping inside your local gym.’
For those of you who are thinking of making a change, some simple places to start are approaching your local gym trainer for a personalised program, visiting your local GP to discuss what actions they would recommend, or talking to your family about making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
There are lots of other great ways of improving your health. As un-Australian as it sounds, one of the best changes you can implement is cutting back on the beer, and taking the time to find a healthy lunch. It also pays to spend some time with your family. If you have children, spending time with them can help improve your emotional well-being, with great benefits in other parts of your life.
In the end, no matter what age you are, an improved lifestyle will give you more energy and vitality. It will help you live longer, and enjoy life more.
Why not start today?
If you want to get more proactive about your health please contact your local GP or consider visiting Portland Medical Practice, at 20 Green St, Portland or calling them on 02 6355 5174. Or for advice about what sort of exercise program might suit you, try contacting your local gym or consider talking to Andrew Neville at ANT Fitness on 0427 268 348.