Exercise improves the quality of life, health and fitness of men of all ages

On November 19, International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness of men’s well-being: Better health for men and boys.

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) wants to remind Australian men that it’s important to take care of your body and mind and it’s time that all men starting prioritising their health, no matter their age.

“We often have busy lives with many competing commitments. However, the benefits of exercise – both physical and psychological – are too big to ignore. Finding ways be active for 30-45 minutes should be a priority for all men, especially if they have young boys in their family,” said Distinguished Professor Aaron Coutts from the University of Technology, Sydney and ESSA Board Director.

Exercise, especially organised sport, offers a wide range of physical, emotional and social benefits for children, as well as creates healthy habits that will last into adulthood.

As well as reduced risk of obesity and increased fitness, exercise helps with the healthy growth of bones and muscles, boosts brain development, and improves motor skills, including coordination and balance.

Other benefits include emotional health benefits, such as greater confidence and self-esteem, and improved social skills enabling them to create friendships and have fun.

ESSA’s Exercise for Kids eBook is a handy resource for how to engage young men in physical activity, even if they’re living with a health condition.

Moving into adulthood, regular movement is vital for maintaining positive mental health, which is especially significant in men.

Tragically, men take their own lives at four times the rate of women, making up an average of six out of every eight suicides every single day. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia is nearly double the national road toll.

On average, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. However, research repeatedly shows that exercise is an incredibly powerful tool for the prevention and management of mental health conditions.

“It’s never been more important for Aussie men to stay active. We know that as little as one hour of exercise a week can help to protect against depression and that living an active lifestyle is one of the best ways to improve your mental well-being,” says mental health researcher, Associate Professor Simon Rosenbaum from the University of New South Wales and ESSA Board Director.

As men get older, exercise encourages healthy ageing for a range of common conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, to name a few.

“For older men, strength training is a vital part of remaining ‘healthy’ in those later years and the great news is that completing strength training is something that many can complete in the comfort of their own home,” says Troy Burgess, Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Director at Achieve Exercise Physiologists.

“Exercise is a vital ingredient for health and happiness. I am lucky enough to see the benefits of exercise for men’s health every day in my clinical work in men with prostate cancer,” added Mr Jason Gardner, Accredited Exercise Physiologist from Your Move Health.

ESSA’s latest eBook: Exercise for Older Adults was developed to help ensure Australians are ageing actively to increase their quality of life, and covers a wide range of common health conditions and real-life testimonials.

Australian men: it’s important to remember that some exercise is better than none, and it’s never too late to start putting your health first.

Consulting with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Accredited Exercise Scientist is a great place to start. You will be working with an exercise expert who is equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve health, fitness and well-being, and assist in the prevention and management of chronic conditions.

Find an ESSA accredited professional in your area: www.essa.org.au/find-aep/

Find out more about International Men’s Day: https://internationalmensday.com/