Beer v fitness!


Now, I enjoy a tipple of wine, although I advocate health and wellbeing for a living I am also human and do allow myself to enjoy some alcohol from time to time so I am not criticizing the popularity of the event here but… I wish that the activities and health and wellbeing events we offer across SLL land had the same effect on enthusiasm to get in the buildings as beer!!

On the same day as the Beer Festival the Healthy Hub Stevenage held a Cancer Awareness presentation. OK, given the choice of men spending their time supping beer or listening to a really lovely lady representative from Macmillan regarding cancer awareness and support it’s obvious which is going to win! But, men, help me out here, what can we do to persuade you to seek advice, be aware or maybe, just maybe talk about your health????  A thought has just occurred to me; perhaps we could print it on beer bottles?!!

Of course there will be men reading this blog who regularly take part in exercise and eat a healthy balanced diet and are health conscious; I’m not insinuating that all men are beer swilling coach potatoes!  Men are more likely to be active until the age of 30 when family life and work commitments get in the way. This is when weight gain happens, if you have a ‘beer belly’ your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease are increased as this is associated with fat around the internal organs. SLL Leisure Centres can  offer you a simple Boditrax body composition scan to see how much visceral fat, or fat around your internal organs you have; we can even tell you how well you are aging metabolically which can be very different to your birth age!

It is a fact that men have the ability to close their ears internally, women, you have probably noticed this at some point when you are speaking to them about DIY, shopping, the kids, anything that doesn’t involve them? Men, you  also do this when the subject of men’s health issues are brought up. You are less likely to discuss your health problems or worries and are sometimes reluctant to see a GP as you  are concerned about any treatment that may be needed.

In fact, I know it’s hard to believe but some of my male colleagues see my blog pop up on their screen and immediately press delete! I could name and shame but I wouldn’t dream of it would I Smiffy?!! (This will prove that he doesn’t read them!!) Ignorance is bliss I guess….

I would like to think that the fact that average life expectancy for men in the UK is four years less than women would be enough to encourage men to have little look at their lifestyle but sadly no. Without meaning to bring the mood down further 24% of all male deaths in the UK could potentially be avoided.

What does concern me is that we see a lot of men through the Exercise Referral schemes across SLL land after they have had a heart attack, stroke, been diagnosed with diabetes or a whole host of other medical conditions which, in many cases could have been prevented if some lifestyle changes had been made.

To be healthy doesn’t have to be boring, ‘If I can’t have a smoke, drink beer , eat what I like then what’s the point?’ Does that sound familiar? It doesn’t mean you can never have a drink again or that you have to be strapped to a treadmill for three hours until all that’s left of you is a sweaty heap of sports clothes. It just means to be sensible with food choices, drink responsibly, stop smoking and be more active. I know I’m pushing my luck with some of you at the moment and my good intentions here will be translated as nagging but, hey, ho, that’s my job!

‘I don’t have time, I’m too old, I’m too overweight, I’m fit enough, it’s too exepensive,I hate the gym, It’s full of posers, there’s nowhere to put my fag…. We’ve heard all the excuses  before and  we have an answer for every barrier you put up!

Hopefully now that the lure of beer has pulled these men towards the Leisure Centre they may have found the leaflets I surreptitiously left out, they may even have a thought to come back and have a chat with one of our lovely fitness instructors who can help them to choose an activity which they will enjoy and give them information on positive lifestyle choices.

So, here’s to you men, a fitter, healthier you. Cheers, your very good health!

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