November brings with it the return of the moustache.
This year the Movember Foundation is encouraging all Australians to commit to walking or running 60 kilometres over the month (60 kilometres for the 60 men lost to suicide each hour).
Accredited exercise physiologist, Daniel Berkelmans said despite the mounting evidence surrounding the positive impact of exercise on both physical and mental health, Aussie men just aren’t moving enough.
“More than half of Australian males don’t get the recommended levels of physical activity each week,” Mr Berkelmans said.
“Physical activity decreases the risk of developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease, which accounts for 13 per cent of all deaths in Australian men. It also decreases the risk of, and helps to manage, poor mental health conditions.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 7 out of 10 Australian men are overweight or obese.
Research has shown that obesity is a major risk factor for chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and impaired psychosocial functioning.
When it comes to mental health, Aussie men aren’t fairing any better. One in seven Australian men experiences depression or anxiety in any given year, and approximately half will experience a mental illness over their lifetime.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for males aged 15 to 44, and men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
“An active lifestyle is the most powerful way for a man to remain healthy. We know that regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce and manage many chronic conditions, such as obesity and heart disease, and improve mental health, and that’s what makes it so vital for a healthy body and a healthy mind,” Mr Berkelmans said.
“Movember’s #MoveIt campaign supports all Australian men, and all those who care for them, to go the distance and stop men dying too young.
An active lifestyle is the most powerful way for a man to remain healthy- Accredited exercise physiologist, Daniel Berkelmans
“It is encouraging men to ‘make man time’ and have open conversations about their health. Physical activity can be a great way to ‘break the ice’ and start those conversations.”
The Department of Health recommends adults accumulate a minimum of 150 moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, including at least two strength sessions.
“Whether you’re raising money for the campaign or just raising your own heartbeat, use Movember as a chance to hit the pavement, or gym, or local swimming pool to engage in some physical activity that will benefit both your physical and mental health,” Mr Berkelmans said.
To find out more about the Movember #MoveIt campaign, visit the website.
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