How to Be a Healthier Man: Part 2
Tony Marsh, Joe Naufahu and more discuss the importance of health and wellbeing today.
It’s part two of our health panel to mark Men’s Health Week, and today we talk to Men’s Health Week ambassador and strength and conditioning trainer Tony Marsh, actor and owner of Ludus Magnus gym Joe Naufahu, BodyTech founder Peter Rana, street style photographer Dan Roberts and landscaper and one of New Zealand’s top male models, Kieran Price. Visit the official website to take the survey to find out where you rate on the health scale, and visit any Life or Unichem pharmacy to get free Men’s Health Pit Stop checks throughout June.
What advice can you give to men about being proactive about their health and wellbeing?
Tony Marsh: Own up, take charge and look after your biggest asset — you. We only get one chance at this and to be the best we can be. Love yourself and it starts with health.
Joe Naufahu: Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This can be anything from playing with your kids, to doing some yoga, or going to Ludus Magnus for a workout! Complete the online survey and challenge your mates to do the same and compete for the best score — it’s a quick, easy way to see how you are tracking. Make sure you go and get a full health screening every year. You can book this at your local GP and it will only take you 10 minutes to get it done. Worth every second.
Peter Rana: Being proactive about your health suggests you have already made the decision that you alone are solely responsible for your health and fitness. Whatever steps you’re taking aligned to supporting your health and fitness, stay committed until they become habitual. If I may quote the late Stephen Covey, best-selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this simply means “exercise integrity at the moment of choice”. Say no to anything that deters you away from the very thing you have committed to doing.
Dan Roberts: Be realistic about your available time, and then set achievable goals with that in mind. We all live different lives so don’t expect to look at what someone else is doing and then turn around and become that person. Take bits and pieces from various sources that you can tailor to your own lifestyle. For example, while I’m away working overseas for five to six weeks at a time, with the workload and deadlines that are expected of me, it’s hard to find time to exercise and my diet isn’t always the best. So when I’m back home I make sure I work hard at being fit and eating well as a counterbalance.
Kieran Price: Exercise ... the most important part of health and well-being. You have to stick to the “no excuses” policy and allow yourself some “you” time to exercise, allowing yourself this time gives you a personal feeling of achievement. For those that don’t exercise and are wanting to start, a simple early morning or evening walk is a great way to ease yourself in. Once a routine is in place and your fitness increases you will find you will challenge yourself more. Diet is important too. I don’t stick to any one diet, I believe in “all in moderation”, a balanced diet, I try to stay clear of any processed food. I eat a lot of chicken, fish and plenty of greens. I eat meat once or twice a week, as it’s still important to get a good source of iron.
The suicide rate for men is three times that of women. What are your thoughts on this and how can men better look after not only their physical health but also their mental well-being?
Tony Marsh: Why has NZ got such a high male suicide rate? To me it’s crazy and there must be trends/patterns that exist that we need to examine more closely if it isn’t already being done. We all live busy lives which are often stressful and full on. Staying connected, staying true to who you are, and managing challenges that we face isn’t easy. We don’t have to have all the answers but it’s okay to ask someone who does, or someone for help. It shows strength and confidence for oneself to reach out when you need it. Try to keep it simple.
Joe Naufahu: Take time out to do things that make you happy on a regular basis. Find a hobby or a passion like playing a musical instrument. Do something for yourself at least once a month. This can be anything from playing a game of golf to going out fishing, or working on your project car. Find time to talk to people who are close to you. If you can share the things that trouble you with people around you, they can help alleviate your stresses. You might even find that they are going through similar issues.
Dan Roberts: There is still a lot of stigma around mental health across the board in our society, and I don’t think we should make comparisons between gender so much as look at the total figures in suicide to know that we need to be dealing with mental illness more effectively. There is research that demonstrates that, yes, men show a higher rate in suicide, but this is only if you look at “successful attempts”. If you were to look at “all attempts”, then the ratio between men and woman is something different. That being said, societal guidelines haven’t exactly built a platform where men feel comfortable talking about their feelings or emotions, which personally I think is an archaic way of thinking. I’m comfortable to say that like everyone I’ve been through low points, and talking to close friends and family definitely helped me through those times. Men shouldn’t feel ashamed to talk about these things, and if need be, to seek professional help. There are incredible organisations and people doing great work within our communities.
Kieran Price: Kiwi men are known around the world as hard workers, which comes hand in hand with the “staunch presents” which in turn makes us a very competitive nation. Competitive whether it be in business or sports, therefore we are very hard on ourselves when it comes to defeat, again whether it be sports or a business deal. Accepting defeat and learning where or how you went wrong and rebuilding is what’s important. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.” I think a major factor is that Kiwi men need to take better care of themselves, looking good is feeling good, dress up and represent yourself. You should walk out the door every morning looking the part, therefore feeling like you can take on the world. Stay fresh, buy a new shirt, tie, underwear, dye your grey hairs. Groom yourself! Men’s grooming is a fast growing industry.
What are you doing at the moment to better take care of your health?
Tony Marsh: After being in the sporting arena and now working in the fitness industry, I have a very good understanding of my body and what I can and can’t do mentally and physically. In recent years I have been involved in triathlon but, apart from being average, I found that it was very demanding and had a massive impact on my well-being and life. I realised that I needed to pull back and be a bit nicer to myself. I still train six days a week, eat well and have just started meditation and I try to have fun. Don’t underestimate it.
Joe Naufahu: I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol for seven months. I don’t smoke. I exercise regularly... Most importantly I go for an annual health screening every year at my local GP. Apart from that I just try to live life to the fullest every opportunity, and cherish every moment I have.
Peter Rana: I recently attended an evidence-based exercise conference in the US. A clear message among delegates was that muscle mass - how much muscle you have - is inversely associated with all-cause mortality from the prevalence of metabolic disorders such as intolerance to blood sugar, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and the like. The process of losing muscle is coined sarcopenia and starts somewhere in young adulthood (mid-30s). Because of this, I’m more dedicated than ever to three short training sessions of proper strength training (HIT) - and it takes only 60 minutes a week.
Dan Roberts: I just started an alcohol-free period, which is mostly about giving myself the time and energy to get a few projects done over the next few months. I’m running a few times a week and I’d say 90 per cent of what I’m eating is organic produce. I’m also making a conscious effort to take time out of what is usually a hectic week to just relax with a book, or go for a walk, and not necessarily a run.
Kieran Price: I use two products from a company called Nuzest. One being ‘Good Green Stuff’. It’s a gluten free, dairy free, soy free, GMO free super blend with 75 ingredients, with such a busy schedule it’s the easiest way to get all my essential nutrients in one hit. The other product is ‘Clean Lean Protein’. It’s golden pea protein that is also gluten free, GMO free and vegetarian and has 90 per cent protein content and is all natural. (I’m not a vegetarian). I personally train one to two times daily. I feel like something is “missing” if I don’t get my daily training. I train at Ludus Magnus, a gym focused on strength and conditioning. They cater for all shapes, sizes, ages and genders.