Would you say you prioritise your health?

Many of us feel that our busy lives seem to leave little time to do this.

We know that men make up around 70% of people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in Australia, and that men in this country have a lower life expectancy, are more likely to be overweight and have higher rates of chronic disease than women.

Half of all men are not active enough, nearly all (97%) don’t eat enough vegetables, and a quarter ‘drink alcohol at levels that exceed the lifetime risk guarantees.’*

This Men’s Health Week we’re featuring stories and tips that might encourage you to put your health at the top of your to-do list.

Jamie Elphinstone, from North West Tasmania, is a radio host with Coast FM and has long been an advocate for inclusion and the benefits of sport for people with disability.

“For my physical health I try to go out for a push at least once a week,” Jamie shares.

“I also see an exercise physiologist twice a week, who gets me to do different exercises to maintain my mobility and independence.”

Jamie’s found that achieving a long held goal is positive for his mental health.

“Working at the radio station, specifically on air, has been great for my mental health as it’s a challenge and something that I’ve wanted to do since I was 16 years old.

“Until recent times I let the feelings of ‘what if something goes wrong?’ and the fear of failure stop me from starting things & getting out of my comfort zone.”

Jamie’s now well out of that zone, with a solo on-air slot Thursday mornings and a co-hosting gig on the station’s Saturday sports program.

Focusing on physical and mental health, even making small changes, is the subject of a new campaign this year from Healthy Male, in partnership with the University of Western Sydney.

Called ‘Good Health Heroes’, it aims ‘to encourage blokes to adopt manageable, achievable and sustainable habits to improve health outcomes.’

Animated Health Heroes champion ‘the most essential and effective habits for better wellbeing: physical activity, nutrition, reducing risk taking, sleep, connection and education.’

Among their reminders are that exercise is essential, not optional; that food is a fuel that can change way you function, and that strong, supportive relationships ‘are critical for a long and healthy life.’

Learn more here: Good Health Heroes | Men’s Health Week 2024 | Healthy Male .

While you’re there you can do a 45-second test to check in on your level of health – making it a priority in 2024.

 

*Stats from Centre for Male Health, University of Western Sydney