By Naomi Berthaut, Third Year Neuroscience
Can’t grow a moustache? Get moving
Facial hair is not for everyone but worry not, there are plenty more ways to get involved with Movember, or should I say MOVEmber. The initiative is to walk or run 60 kilometres over the month of November for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour.
The Movember Foundation strives to improve men’s lives by addressing some of the biggest heath issues that men face: testicular and prostate cancers; mental health and suicide. Too many men take their own lives. Males account for three quarters of the suicides registered each year in the UK (Office of National Statistics UK). So, take up the challenge for yourself and for all the men in your life, and get moving this November!
Move for your own health.
According to the Movember Foundation, physical inactivity is responsible for 3.2 million deaths worldwide and is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality. Exercising has a wide range of positive impacts on both physical and mental wellbeing. Physical activity gives you more energy, it reduces the chances of heart diseases by about 10% and improves sleep. It also makes your bones stronger and builds your muscle, thus reducing the risks of developing osteoporosis. These are just a few of the physical benefits when you get moving, not forgetting about how good exercise is for your head too.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, sometimes called ‘feel-good’ hormones, which help reduce anxiety and put you in a happy mood. Being more active reduces feelings of stress, thanks to better control of cortisol levels in the body. There is also good evidence to show that aerobic exercise (meaning activities that makes your heart and lungs work harder than usual) is efficient to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression (Dunn et al., 2005). In general, exercise can just boost your self- esteem and lift your mood.
Move to fundraise.
Sign up at uk.movember.com, hit those 60 kilometres and don’t forget to get sponsored by your friends and family to make your every moves count towards raising funds and awareness for men’s health. You can even connect your fitness tracker to your ‘Mo space’ once you sign up, and your progress will appear on your fundraising page.
How you can get moving
Being a student at Bristol University, the options to get moving are countless! Whether you are already a great athlete or a simple couch potato, all that matters is that you do a little bit more than you usually would this month, and it’s not too late to get started.
First, THE challenge: run or walk 60 kilometres this month.
Enjoy the beautiful autumnal colours and head up to Leigh Woods or Ashton Court: race with your mates, train for that next half-marathon or have a gentle stroll, anything that suits you. Can’t face the rain today? Jump on the treadmill at the Indoors Sports Centre gym and get that counter up to 60 km. Everything counts, even walking to lectures in the morning.
And in general, just get moving, however you like! There are plenty of clubs to join and indoor exercise classes available with University of Bristol Sport and the Students’ Union for you to get active. Join a sports team, book a tennis court with your friends, or start your day with a few laps at the SU swimming pool.
You don’t need to be the best athlete, even taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to university instead of getting that crowded bus and playing a few games of ping-pong in your JCR will boost your wellbeing. You can also join some B:Active classes, you don’t need any previous experience, they are cheap and a fun way to get sweaty! Prefer staying at home? Create your own exercise routine and get tips at www.bristol.ac.uk/sport/get-exercise-confident/.
The point is, just MOVE(mber).
Featured Image: aquachara/ Unsplash
How are you getting involved for Movember? Let us know!