Move for Movember
Movember isn’t just about having a furry upper lip for the sake of it. It’s about helping men live happier, healthier, longer lives. The point of the filthy mos you see getting around in November is to raise awareness of the serious health issues faced by men including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Although there has been great progress recently, in general men don’t openly discuss their health, let alone their mental health.
This year the organisers of Movember have announced Move, an option to raise awareness for men’s health for the people who want to help but can’t (or probably shouldn’t) grow a bushy nose caterpillar. I am one of those men that can grow a beard but a solo mo, on me, is downright creepy. We had a mo-inspired dress up for the last Movember I attempted, and because of my pitiful bit of face lace, my only option was to go as a 15-year-old schoolboy.
Not wanting to dust off the old school uniform, and still be involved with the Emote Digital fundraiser efforts, I have decided to Move. I am a strong advocate for exercise as a tool for improving mental health & wellbeing. Running has pulled me through some of my toughest days, and I often go for a run to improve my mood or productivity. Studies have shown in certain cases of mild depression, exercise can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression as effectively as anti-depressant medication, but without the side effects.
The benefits of exercise are well documented, from the release of endorphins to boost your mood to the increase of norepinephrine that can moderate your brain’s response to stress, but these findings are stored in sterile medical studies. Movember strives to find innovative ways to educate and motivate men into improving their mental wellbeing, by exercise or other means.
Poor mental health touches everyone. Almost half (48.1%) of Australian men experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Even the most friendly, bubbly person can be battling with demons inside. I have lost loved ones to the battle with mental health issues, and I have witnessed others muster up the strength to ask for help and tackle it head on. The strength of these people is what is motivating me to push myself for the month of November, even though their fight lasts much longer.
With work and my commute from Geelong, I sit for at least 12 hours a day. I manage to get a couple of runs in per week but I’ll be challenging myself to become more active throughout the month and hopefully motivate others as well.
I will run or walk at least 35km each week in the hope of raising awareness and much needed funds for the Move and Movember cause. This works out at 5km a day, or 140km for the month. That is equivalent of running from Hawthorn to Nagambie. If I go for a ride, 1km on the bike will add 0.5km to the total.
I will be updating my Movember page with weekly totals, and would love your support in this endeavor. All money raised will go to a great cause.