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Technical - Workshop Notes
2023-08  August


2023-08  August

“Stern Reminder about Woodie's HEALTH"


Healthy Habits
Practice Nurse Claire Pyper shares her guidance tips for a longer healthier life

[ This article is a documented version of a presentation in the June 2023 edition of the VMSA Newsletter on page 11-12, and serves as a timely reminder, in fact wake-up call for Woodies. VMSA obtained the information from Claire Pyper, the Practice Nurse at Yackandandah Community Health.  Claire presented a talk to the Woodies at Yackandadah Men's Shed when Derek O'Leary (VMSA) was visiting, and Clarire shared her notes. 


Aimed predominantly at the male members  there is none-the-less good takeaway information for all Woodworkers.    Given the average age of KDWC members in the club at the time of this article, being '71' (across 187 members),  health is indeed an important issue - not to be taken too lightly.  The content here, was presented in a talk by our President, Rodney Williams, during the JULY Monthly meeting, and very well focussed on by all attendees.  It is worthy of more prominance here too for regular lookup.  


Refer as well, to:  International Men's Health Week:          
and to the newsletter resources available from the VMSA  at:                                Gary. ]

International Men’s Health Week theme is healthy habits - encouraging men to identify
lifestyle changes that can benefit their physical and mental health.
· Australian men have a lower life expectancy than women by at least 5 years.
· Men are more likely to be overweight and experience higher rates of a range of chronic diseases and
mental health concerns in comparison to women.
· A man’s overall health is 30% linked to genetics but 70% linked to lifestyle factors such as sedentary
lifestyle, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
· These factors cause or exacerbate certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure,
high cholesterol and coronary heart disease which is the current leading cause of death in Australian men.

· Physical activity is perhaps the most important lifestyle factor that plays a crucial role in your
physical and mental health.
· Less than 50% of men do a sufficient level of physical activity each week.
· Over 50s should do a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week of moderate intensity exercises
e.g. brisk walking or bike riding = 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
· In addition to this, it is also recommended that you include low intensity weight exercises, swimming,
water aerobics, yoga and gardening.
· It’s important to always select activities that are suitable for your current physical condition and that
will minimise impact on joints or exacerbate current injuries.
· Exercise tolerance works on a use it or lose it policy; the less active you are, the harder it is to stay
active especially as you age due to the body’s natural decline.
· Living an active lifestyle not only has a positive impact on your over physical and mental health but is
also great for falls prevention as it is improves strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
· Physical activity also improves your mental health by decreasing depression and anxiety symptoms
as exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, the feel-good chemicals, which actively improve mood
and distract from negative thought patterns.
· Exercise also improves your attention span, increases productivity, improves your memory and
encourages better sleep quality.

· Regular exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing a chronic medical
condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or coronary heart disease by an
average of 50%.
· 97% of men do not eat the recommended serves of vegetables each day and 71% do not consume
enough fruit.
· Recommended that you have a variety of nutrient rich foods = 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of
fruit each day in conjunction with lean protein, low fat dairy and fish.
· Should limit the amount of saturated fats, added salt and added sugar in your diet as this has a direct
impact on your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
· A fibre rich diet with a good amount of water is important to avoid constipation and keep your bowels
working efficiently and effectively.
· Water is a necessary resource required by our body to maintain healthy cells, allow for efficient blood
circulation, lubricate joints, keep the bladder clear of bacteria, aid digestion and moisten the skin.
· Most men do not drink the recommended 10 glasses of fluids a day with a minimum of 6 glasses being
· Avoid having too many caffeine, sugary or alcoholic beverages as they have a negative impact on the
body and tend to dehydr
ate the cells rather than hydrate them.

· Limit the amount of alcohol that you consume especially as you age.
· An average of 30% of men consume alcohol at more than the recommended amount of 10
standard drinks per week and a maximum of 4 standard drinks in a day.
· One standard drink = 285mL of full-strength beer, 100mL of wine or 30mL of spirits.
· Excessive drinking can lead to some cancers, liver damage, immune system disorders and brain
· Can worsen some medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers, osteoporosis,
memory loss and mood disorders.
· As you age, alcohol consumption can also worsen memory decline and prematurely ages the brain
by an average of 10 years.
· Has a negative impact on certain medications by making them ineffective and can cause or worsen
other side effects.

· Smoking reduces health in general as it harms nearly every organ in the human body.
· 13% of Australian men aged over 55 years smoke more than 10 cigarettes each day, a much higher
rate than in women.
· Smoking is a major risk factor for many chronic illnesses especially cardiovascular diseases.
· Cigarette chemicals make the walls of the arteries sticky which increases the amount of plaque that
sticks to the artery walls and builds up over time to cause a narrowing of the vessels which can result
in blockages, the leading cause of heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
· Life expectancy is reduced by an average of 10 years while you continue to smoke.
· Risk of a heart attack is 4 times greater and stroke is 2 times greater as a smoker.
· Ceasing smoking almost immediately starts to improve your health = within 3 months your risk of
having a heart attack starts to reduce and your lung function improves

· Lifestyle choices also have a direct impact on mental health.
· Physical activity, eating well, limiting alcohol consumption and ceasing smoking can have a positive
impact on depression and anxiety symptoms and our overall ability to cope in stressful situations.
· Men generally are less likely than women to engage with health professionals regarding their
mental health or the inability to cope with life’s stressors, particularly men aged over 60 years.
· This is believed to be due to traditional masculine norms such as stoicism, self-reliance and
toughness which have stigmatised help-seeking behaviours.
· It is important to perform a self-check regularly and to check in on your mates.
· By simply asking yourself, a relative or friend are you ok, can help to break down mental health
barriers and encourages open and honest communication that can reduce stigma and improve help-
seeking behaviours.

Making simple lifestyle changes such as exercising more, eating healthier, reducing alcohol
consumption and quitting smoking will have a positive impact on your longevity and overall physical
and mental health so that you can live a long and healthy life

Happy and Healthy, woodworking!                                                              

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