June 12 – 18 marks -Men's Health Week' – a week for communities across Australia to promote the benefits of a healthy body and healthy mind in men and boys – and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is encouraging all Australian men to speak up and put their health first.
'Masculinity, by definition, includes strength and toughness, and we know that males, especially in Western societies, are less inclined to seek health advice as it may be deemed as a threat to their masculinity. With terms like -man-up' and -man-flu' being commonly used, it is understandable that Australian men may feel like they are not taken seriously when they say they do not feel quite right," says ESSA Chief Executive Office, Anita Hobson-Powell.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Alex Lawrence, explains that Australian men are at a high risk of developing serious health problems.
'Men don't tend to consider, or at least consider out loud, any health concerns that they may have until later in life. Men, generally, visit health professionals less frequently and usually only make an appointment once their illness is in its later stages."
Men's Health Week focuses on their campaign slogan, -Healthy Body – Healthy Mind: Keeping the Balance', exploring the difficulties men and boys face when it comes to managing their physical and mental health in a busy and challenging world.
With family and work life becoming more demanding and the perceived pressure from society of maintaining masculinity, exercise can drop low on the list of priorities. As per the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare statistics, only two in five men are getting enough exercise.
'An active lifestyle is the most powerful way for a man to remain healthy, so that everything they have worked hard for can be enjoyed for longer. We know that regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce and manage many chronic conditions, and improve mental health, and that's what makes it so vital for a healthy body and a healthy mind," says Mr. Lawrence.
There are a range of health professionals available in Australia that men and boys can speak to about keeping their body and mind healthy. If you're needing a hand with maintaining an active lifestyle, speak with an Accredited Exercise Scientist, or Accredited Exercise Physiologist, on how to get started with an exercise plan.
Tips to keeping on top of your health:
Make an annual appointment with your GP to discuss your health, even if you don't have any symptoms.
Monitor your diet and alcohol intake.
Make sure you're getting enough exercise daily – 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise is recommended.
Speak up, stay connected with your family and love ones and encourage the other men and boys in your life to do the same.
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