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Men’s Health Week supported in Australia and New Zealand
This year’s Men’s Health Week held 14th to 20th June and led in Australia by Western Sydney University and supported by PlaySport, will see communities and organisations across Australia unite under the theme of, ‘Connecting for Men’s Health’. While in New Zealand, the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (NZREPs) spotlights aspects of men’s health and physical wellness.
PlaySport Chief Executive, Jack Mansfield notes “PlaySport is proud to be supporting Men’s Health Week to encourage greater connection and participation in local experiences for our male community. We strongly believe that connection through sports, rec and wellbeing activities significantly improves mental health outcomes for every individual.”
Men’s Health Week coincides with the launch of Western Sydney University’s Centre for Male Health which brings together strengths and expertise across research, engagement, and male health advocacy, policy, and information.
The annual initiative will raise awareness for the health and wellbeing of men and boys by encouraging connections through family, community, culture, and mateship, and by highlighting essential health services.
During the month of June, members of the community will be encouraged to host or attend an event, share a positive message online about the men in their lives, or reconnect with their close mates.
According to Dr Neil Hall from the Centre for Male Health, Men’s Health Week is an important time to reconnect and refocus on the health of men and boys.
Dr Hall advises “supporting men to achieve good health is something we can all work towards — a simple conversation between friends can be the start of something positive, so we’re encouraging everyone to get involved.
“It might be through hosting an event to create awareness, through to picking up the phone to a loved one or sharing resources and information.”
“Our research has found that young men are starting to seek help and advice more freely but more needs to be done to support all men to reach out for help when they need it.”
In addition, the initiative will also spotlight local men’s groups, including Men’s Walk & Talk, Men’s Table, and Men’s Sheds, who at the grassroots level provide a range of important support services to men and their families.
Dr Emma George from the Centre for Male Health said these organisations play a vital role in improving health outcomes for men.
“This year’s initiative will highlight the important role men’s support networks can play, and the practical steps men can take towards achieving better mental and physical health,” said Dr George.
“By creating environments in which men feel supported and empowered, we can encourage open conversations about mental and physical health, and the importance of connecting with health services.”
“We would love to see more conversations taking place around the country this June.”
The New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (NZREPs) also shares that “many deaths from lifestyle diseases which target men could be prevented by early detection and healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and healthy food choices.
“Our advice for men’s health and physical wellness is health doesn’t have to be complicated or overly strenuous. While many choose to take the bull by the horns and attack a good physical challenge, there are plenty of benefits, both long and short term, from a moderate approach with small, sustainable changes.”
NZREPs note that as middle age approaches many men find taking time out to exercise lowers in priority, work commitments can increase, and family obligations take over any spare time.
It’s easy to get started with these recommendations:
1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity contributes to a range of preventable health conditions so maintaining a healthy body weight can add years to your life.
2. Move your body – be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days or every day. Carrying a few extra kilos need not be an issue if all the fitness markers like oxygen uptake, lung efficiency, heart rate and blood pressure are good. A regular exercise programme will contribute to your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
3. Eat for health – choose a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and limit your intake of red meat.
4. Have a regular health checkup and PSA blood check from age 40, and a DRE prostate check from age 50, or age 40 if you have a family history of cancer.
For more information on NZ Register of Exercise Professionals go to www.reps.org.nz
16th June 2020 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement for men’s mental health
11th June 2019 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement this Men’s Health Week
15th December 2017 - Men’s Health Australia makes Fitness Director appointment
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