Men's Health: Staying Active to keep your mental health in check

Things happen in life, like difficulties with work or finances, the breakdown of a relationship, overwhelming family responsibilities, or a significant setback. These challenges can take a serious toll on your mental health, if left unchecked. Many men tough it out and struggle alone.

Poor mental health is a huge issue facing men in Australia and in the world:

·      1 in 2 Australian men have had a mental health problem at some point in their life

·      On average, 6 men each day take their life through suicide in Australia

·      Around the world, on average we lose a man to suicide every minute of everyday

·      3 out of 4 suicides are men.

Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men. The distress a man experiences at these times can distort his thinking so it becomes harder for him to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support.

There are several factors that have been linked to an increased risk of suicide, including:

  • Previous family or personal history of mental illness
  • Harmful drug and alcohol use
  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Ongoing stressful life situations such as unemployment, relationship difficulties or chronic health issues

What can you do?

Establishing and maintaining relationships, talking about the hard stuff in life and taking action when times are tough are proven ways for men stay mentally healthy and cope with the stress of everyday life. Good overall health and wellbeing is linked to not only to better mental health but also reduces the likelihood of suicide.

The role of exercise in mental health

There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is an effective treatment method for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness, with some studies suggesting that exercise is just as effective, if not more effective than pharmacological intervention in alleviating depressive symptoms.

Exercise can make a big difference in mood and needs to be a fundamental part of mental health treatment. Even one work out a week is known to have great benefits. Exercise can also counteract the side effects of some medications such as reducing the risk of falling by strengthening muscles and helping control body weight and blood pressure.

Why exercise is so important for Men’s Mental Health

·      Exercise helps our body pump out endorphins. Endorphins are basically the body’s ‘feel great’ drug, so we get a natural high when we get moving

·      It gives you time – when your life is busy with work, family and friends, going out to do some exercise can give yourself a bit of time to do no thinking and more focussing on you

·      If you enjoy team sports, then it’s a great way to work on social connections that help us create a more fulfilled life

·      Exercise helps the body combat and prevent chronic disease, meaning that you will live a longer, healthier life and a better quality of life. Many chronic conditions are linked with an increase in mental health conditions.

·      When you exercise you are creating a healthier version of yourself – this will help you feel more confident!

Don’t know where to start and need some help from a qualified professional?

Our team here at Balanced Bodies Lifestyle Clinic is more than happy to help you get started in becoming healthier. We assess and design individual exercise programs to cater towards your needs and goals! We have worked with many people with different health concerns, including that of mental health and are more than willing to help you in your exercise! If you would like to enquire about how we can help you, please contact us on 0419 287 631 or info@bblifestyleclinic.com.au.