Time for men to get healthy

Let's get up and do some nice and gentle exercise.
Let's get up and do some nice and gentle exercise.

During Men's Health Week, Diabetes NSW and ACT encourages men to be proactive with their health.

According to the National Diabetes Service Scheme, Nowra and surrounding areas is a hot spot for diabetes among men and Men’s Health Week (June 11-­ 17) is the time to do something positive.

Men living with diabetes account for 8.2 per cent of the local population, higher than the national average of 5.5 per cent, while 89.9 per cent of people living with diabetes in the Shoalhaven live with type two.

Getting in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise daily is something you can do to reduce the risk of or help to manage virtually all chronic diseases. Men are encouraged to get more exercise and not just this week.

A recent survey by Macmillan Cancer Support found that almost half of men would feel discouraged from talking about changes to their health such as a lump, a suspicious mole or pain, in case they were perceived as 'making a fuss'.

The survey also found that over 38 per cent have been 'kept awake at night' because of health worries, and 11 per cent of men who've noticed changes to their health have put off seeing a doctor because they are frightened their symptoms might be a sign of a serious health condition.

Although fear and embarrassment are understable, the earlier a symptom is checked by a doctor, the quicker it can get resolved.

Throughout life men are more susceptible to various disorders from heart disease, stroke, adult onset hearing loss and type two diabetes.

It is estimated that half a million Australians currently have type two diabetes and don’t even know it.

It’s not just physical health – it is about emotional health too.

On average, one in eight men will experience depression, and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives.

With men being less likely to reach out to friends, family or health professionals, the risk of anxiety and depression deepens.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way and Diabetes NSW & ACT Health Professionalshas six simple steps to get on top of your health.

Get some sleep!

Men who sleep seven to eight hours a night have about 60 per cent less risk of a fatal heart attack than those who sleep five hours or less.

A bike ride is a good way to get fit and actiive.

A bike ride is a good way to get fit and actiive.

Get physical

Getting in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise daily, is arguably the most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of or help to manage virtually all chronic diseases, simultaneously.

Being physically active is helpful for both mental and physical states, with inactive men being 60 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active.

Sit less

Leading a sedentary lifestyle has been proven to have significant negative impacts on your health. Break up periods of sitting during the day and try not to sit for longer than 60 minutes at a time.

Get your prostate checked

Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in men, but mention a prostate exam and most men will shudder at the thought.

The reality is though, if detected early enough, it can be successfully treated.

Measure your waist

If your waist is between 102cm and 110cm you are at a medium risk of developing a chronic disease.

A measurement over 110 means you are at a high risk.

Talk to an exercise physiologist, dietitian or your GP to find ways to decrease your waist size.

Take your free health check

Early detection of type two diabetes can save lives.

If you are over 40, take a free diabetes risk assessment and make sure a diabetes check is part of your annual checkup with your doctor.

Visit diabetesnsw.com.au for more information.