Men’s Health Week

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It’s international Men’s Health Week, and with it comes an opportunity for reflection on this year’s theme, “Healthy Habits.” Here at CHPR, we spend plenty of time each day encouraging people to keep exercising (or, as is occasionally the case – increase their exercise and activity levels) in the hope of promoting improved general health and quality of life. Exercise is, after all, medicine.(1)

 

Over the past year or so, one of the most frequent things I’ve been told in clinic is that people are doing less exercise – mostly due to breaks in their habits since the lockdowns of 2020/2021. This is reflected up by evidence of reduced activity levels world-wide over that time – we’re on average 10% less active than pre-COVID.(2)

Tisen et al 2022

The trend here is important. The benefits of exercise and activity are well documented but as many of us have experienced, habits that have been formed through hard graft are easily disrupted. This in turn deprives us of many of the direct health benefits – including improved heart, metabolic, mental and muscle health.(3)

 

More specifically, if we focus on mental health over that time, it has been reported that depression symptoms have increased by up to 27%.(4) The same review found significant improvements in these symptoms with the addition of exercise to normal psychological therapies.

 

Given the week that’s in it, gents, why not take a moment to reflect on your general exercise habits over the last few years, and if there’s any aspect of your overall health that it could potentially benefit from doing a bit more. If you’d like guidance on how to best achieve changes in your exercise levels, specific to your own health goals, feel free to contact us at CHPR and we’ll help you make a sustainable plan for a more active future!

 

Dónal Ahern

APA Sports & Ex Physio

Works Cited

  1. Sallis RE. Exercise is medicine and physicians need to prescribe it! British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2009;43:3-4.
  2. Tisen et al. World physical activity trends since COVID-19 onset. The Lancet Global Health. 2022;10.
  3. WHO Physical Activity Facts (2022). https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity. Accessed 24.03.2023.
  4. Heissel A, Heinen D, Brokmeier LL, et al. Br J Sports Med. Epub ahead of print: [24.03.2023].
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