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Why is exercise important for men’s health?

The lifestyles men lead can influence how healthy they are in the short and long term. So why is exercise important for men’s health?

Men have a lower life expectancy than women. In Australia, men have an average life expectancy of 79 years, compared to 84 years for women. Men also suffer more illness than their female counterparts.

Exercise plays a vital role in keeping Aussie blokes healthier, happier and alive for longer.

Why is exercise important?

“Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of many chronic conditions and injuries,” says Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Daniel Berkelmans.

“A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness is also one of the best predictors of overall health and well-being.”

Despite the benefits, less than half of men aged 18–64 are sufficiently active. This number drops to 1 in 4 for men aged over 65. In addition, 7 in 10 Australian males are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

But it isn’t just your physical health that benefits from regular exercise.

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Exercise for mental health

Regular movement is vital for maintaining positive mental health, which is especially important in men. 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, it’s not all bad news! Research repeatedly shows that exercise is an incredibly powerful tool for the prevention and management of mental health conditions.

“Being physically active has a positive impact on mood, helps to manage stress and anxiety, and can help to reduce your risk of mental illnesses like depression. In fact, inactive men are 60% more likely to experience depression than those who are active,” adds Dan.

“Even a small dose of exercise can have a big impact on your mental health. In fact, research shows that just one hour a week can help to prevent depression. Remember; something is better than nothing!”

Where to find the right advice

We want Aussie men to start prioritising their health and to find time to move. Reaching out to a university-qualified exercise professional can help men to overcome the barriers to being active and improves their chances of creating long-lasting lifestyle change.

By consulting an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Accredited Exercise Scientist, you will be working with an exercise expert who is equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve health, fitness, well-being, performance, and assist in the prevention and management of chronic conditions.

To find an expert near you, click here. 

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