This will officially be the 8th time over the last 10 years that I have participated in raising funds for the Movember Foundation. I was 18 the first time I grew a some upper lip foliage for Movember and at the time I just thought it was all a bit of fun. I didn't really grasp the whole meaning behind it, I just wanted to grow a little bit of face furniture on my top lip. As the years have gone on, those close to me continue to be affected by many of the aspects the Movember Foundation is working towards reducing. I have lost friends to suicide. I have had close mates have serious health scares. I have had my own mental health battles. Each year, the work this foundation does becomes more and more relevant and even more important.
This month means a whole lot more than just growing a glorious moustache. It creates a platform for guys to actually get out there and talk about "Being A Man". For a long time, those words have held the belief that men have to be strong, brave and devoid of any emotion. But we know now how dangerous those beliefs can be.
Across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.
How? Here are our top five things to know, and do.
Make man time.
Stay connected. Your mates are important and spending time with them is good for you. Catch up regularly, check in and make time.
Go for a hit of golf. Head around to a mates place and watch the footy or cricket. Get a group together and start a trivia team at your local. Take the boys out for brunch. Just have a conversation. There are a lot of ways to catch up with your mates. It is important that you prioritise this time. It's amazing what some time spent with good mates can do for maintaining a healthy mental state.
Have open conversations. You don’t need to be an expert and you don’t have to be the sole solution, but being there for someone, listening and giving your time can be life-saving.
"70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our mates, but worried about asking for help for ourselves. Reaching out is crucial." The scary statistics:
1 in 2 Australian men have had a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
3 out of four 4 suicides are men.
What can we do? Talk. Ask. Listen. Encourage action. Check in. The hardest part is starting the conversation but once you do, you might be surprised by what the power of sharing can do.
For more information on Mental Health and a list of resources that are available if you need someone to talk to, CLICK HERE.
Know the numbers. Your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, but that doesn’t mean it’s a disease that only affects old men. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Men who are of African or Caribbean descent, and men who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are 2.5x more likely to get prostate cancer. If you’re 50, you should be talking to your doctor about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing. If you’re of African or Caribbean descent, you need to start that conversation at 45. And if you have a brother or father with prostate cancer in their history, do it at 45. To learn more about prostate cancer, CLICK HERE
Know thy nuts. Simple. Did you know that testicular cancer is the second most common cancer affecting men aged 18 to 39?
Get to know what’s normal for your testicles. Give them a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right. To learn more about testicular cancer, CLICK HERE.
Move, more. This November, the Bodywise Mo team has set a target to move 180km this month. Staying regularly active can help with:
Maintain your weight
Lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer
Lower high blood pressure and cholesterol
Improve your health, fitness, strength and well-being
Decreases stress and depression (endorphins)
Tips or tricks to get moving a little easier:
Get your friends and family involved. Make it enjoyable. You’re more likely to stick with something if you enjoy it.
Take a walking meeting
Park further away from the station
Get off the bus a stop or two earlier
Instead of the lift, take the stairs
Cycle to work instead of driving
Check the weather report and plan ahead. If you know it’s going to be a nice day, get out and enjoy it.
Write it down at the start of the week and hold yourself accountable.
If you would like to help the team at Bodywise raise some funds for the Movember Foundation. Please click on the link below and donate whatever you can spare. Thanks.