Sadly our men are not doing so well as the ladies in the health stakes. Could it be the dinkum Aussie attitude, ‘She’ll be right mate’ or ‘I’ve been doing that for years and I’m fine’?
Physiotherapist, acupuncturist and nutritionist, Verona Chadwick says ‘Many men chose to push on at work with nagging injuries to their detriment, whereas getting the right diet and exercise advice in the early stages post injury could make a huge difference to recovery’.
Lifestyle factors such as tobacco smoking, consuming more than 4 standard alcoholic drinks per day and obesity, considered the three most prominent chronic health risks in our society are a daily reality for the average Aussie bloke. These risk factors are a ticking time bomb that not only impact on health, but affect their ability to enjoy life in retirement.
In the younger years you seem to be able to get away with it but by the late 50’s and early 60’s, many of our men suffer the consequences of poor health choices in their earlier years and experience a health crisis.
Just this week on the news it has come to our attention that 27 percent of the population suffer chronic disease and as our population ages, this figure is rising.
Some telling statistics from the national health survey:
- Chronic heart disease was more than twice as common among males as females.
- More males had chronic conditions caused by injury (1.6 times higher)
- 44% of Australian males will have been diagnosed with cancer at some stage of their life by the age of 75 years, compared with 30% of females.
- More men are obese (66% compared with 54% women)
Diets high in carbohydrates (sugars) are nutrient poor and the cause of many chronic diseases, accelerated aging, low energy and libido, and often drive chronic pain, says Verona.
The diabetes association acknowledges a strong positive association between obesity and diabetes risk.
‘We are what we eat, and if you don’t put it in your mouth it ain’t there,’ says Verona. ‘A large portion of the population is just not getting enough essential nutrients to maintain good health and repair.’
Not surprisingly, the 2008 health survey found only 4.8% of men and 7.6% of women aged 15 years or over were eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. So where are we falling down with the education on diet and health?’
Arthritis is a disease of the elderly but according to Arthritis Australia studies show significant improvements in both pain and physical function in arthritis sufferers after eating a low inflammatory diet combined with exercise.
‘It’s never too late to improve your health. Startup graduated exercise, get good advice on nutrition, a good night’s sleep and limit stress and you can turn your life around, live healthier and longer’ says Verona. ‘If you haven’t exercised for some time it might be wise to have a physiotherapist check your muscle and joint flexibility to prevent an injury when getting started’.