Watch above: The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation launched a nationwide campaign telling men they don’t need to drastically overhaul their lives to be healthy. Mike Le Couteur explains.
TORONTO – Hey, fellas. You know how to get the barbecue going in the summer, and you have all of your favourite channels on high-definition. But a new Canadian organization is asking, how much do you know about your health?
The newly launched Canadian Men’s Health Foundation is rolling out its first campaign and its tasking guys with taking small steps to benefit their health. Canadian doctors along with a lineup of athletes – including Olympic athlete Simon Whitfield and 20-year NHL veteran Trevor Linden – are fronting what they hope is the start of a men’s health movement.
The cause is spearheaded by Vancouver scientist and urologist Dr. Larry Goldenberg. As a men’s health specialist, he’s seen men deal with prostate, sexual health and testosterone issues, among others. Men are often overlooked, he said, when it comes to messaging about health issues.
“One piece of the puzzle has been men’s health. The 20 to 50 age group just doesn’t pay as much attention. We think we’re invincible, so it’s time to address the issues the best we can,” Goldenberg told Global News.
The ads are playful, and the “guy-to-guy” advice is purposefully simple and straightforward. That’s because the organization learned from focus groups that men don’t want to make grand, sweeping changes. Their focus right now is on small adjustments to improve men’s lives.
“Our best message would be to motivate, not lecture,” Goldenberg explained.
He said he knows the campaign – Don’t Change Much – offers small steps. Goldenberg said there are six groups of men their research identified: they range from men who keep health as their top priority, to some who rely on their partners or parents to keep them healthy, and even some men who may not know much about their health at all. This initial campaign is reaching out to those who may not have this knowledge readily available or may need that gentle reminder.
Look through the tips on the interactive website here. They include scaling back on the sugary cereal in the morning, drinking more water and swapping some fries for salad during lunch, for example.
They’re ground rules retired Olympic triathlete Simon Whitfield lives by.
“There’s a difference between fitness and health,” Whitfield told Global News. The Olympic gold medallist’s 30-plus hour weeks of training are gone, but he works on making sure he stays active as often as he can.
He also eats healthy – his favourite dish is chicken cooked with coconut oil and red peppers, with a side of avocado, vegetables and honey.
Some of his habits from his Olympic days still stay with him. When he’s tired and looking for motivation, he finds the silver lining when he needs to work out. For him, it’s listening to audio books.
“When I don’t want to get out of the door, my 50-minute run is about listening to two chapters of my audio book. Reframe it in your mind,” Whitfield advises.
Learn more about dontchangemuch.ca here.