Aussie Blokes: Time to get Moving
Have you noticed that many men take better care of their beloved car, motorbike or bicycle than their own health? It’s about time Australian men started looking after themselves as well as they look after their belongings. Here are some facts about the state of men’s health in Australia:
- Australian men have higher rates of illness and premature death than women
- More than two thirds of the male population are overweight or obese
- More than half do not get enough physical activity
- The leading cause of male death in Australia is cardiovascular disease
The statistics above paint a dark picture of the state of Aussie men’s health but the good news is that easy lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving these statistics. One of the simplest, most effectives changes is an increase in exercise. This can improve many aspects of your health but in particular it can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, which accounts for almost 20% of all deaths in Australian men.
How much exercise should the average man aim for?
The Heart Foundation currently recommends at least 30 mins of moderately intense exercise a day. Are you getting enough? If not there are a few ways in which you can immediately begin to incorporate half an hour of exercise into your day;
- Begin riding or walking to work
- Grab a workmate and go for walk/run during your lunch break, or
- Kick the footy in the yard with your kids
If you’ve tried to increase your exercise levels before and failed after a few weeks, you’re not alone. Lifestyle changes are difficult and require perseverance and dedication. To make long term, successful lifestyle changes it is vital to spend some time planning and goal setting. These goals should be specific and time dependent. There should be a range of short term, medium term and long term goals. They might be as simple as walking up the stairs at work without losing your breath, being able to play with your kids, or even returning back to the footy ground. If you’re having difficulty setting meaningful goals, or once you’ve completed these goals it is important to find someone to help you achieve these goals. There’s no reason you have to do this alone.
Including a physiotherapist or health professional in your journey can be a fantastic way to ensure you attain your goals, make effective lifestyle changes and achieve better health. An effective physio will help refine your goals, provide support and guidance as well as managing any injuries that may occur during the process. They may provide you with a structured exercise program, information regarding injury prevention as well as being an external source of accountability to keep you focused on your objective. Accountability is the key to ensuring your success. So with your goals in place, a health professional working with you there’s no reason why you can’t achieve better health.
With over half the population of men in the country not getting enough exercise, now is the time to decide that our health is a priority and we stop just watching sport and started getting involved.
Monday June 10 - Sunday June 16 is National Men's Health Week. Now is a great time to discuss any health issues men around you may have. Read more about Men's Health Week here.
James Wilson – Practice Director, Back In Motion Northcote