By Mario Gonzalez
This month’s blog will focus on the guys. While everything we’ll discuss will also apply to women, we’re highlighting men because June is Men’s Health Month. We’ll be diving into how we eat, how we move and how we connect, specifically when it comes to men.
When we talk health for men it can be easy to see it as something that’s clear-cut: you run marathons, workout at a gym seven days a week and go for 50 mile bikes rides or you have a beer belly, love brats and are a notorious couch potato. In reality, there are so many places in between. In the coming weeks we’ll dive deeper into men’s health and well-being to show how healthier men live longer, better lives.
Staying on top of your health game can take many forms. I’m going to take a couple of activities I participate in as examples of how they can impact well-being. Let’s start with golf. The obvious benefit of playing a round is all the steps you can get walking the course. More of a cart guy? Golf can still provide benefits to your well-being. You tend to play with a group of people so you’re getting that much needed social interaction, connecting with friends and with your local community. And for those 3-4 hours you’re out there, it can provide a break from the stresses of life. The game, for the most part, helps clear your mind and improve your mental well-being (I say for the most part because anyone who slices their tee shot knows you’re anything but relaxed once that happens). The walking factor is still there because you still need to get in and out of the cart and over to your ball. So yes, golf offers physical activity, but also provides other well-being benefits.
June marks the unofficial start to summer here in Wisconsin and with it, several opportunities to team up with friends to play in a league. I play in a softball league competing once a week through August. As players get to the ballpark, there’s generally talk about work or a personal issue they’re facing as we lace up our cleats and warm up with some practice swings. Then, it’s game time! The next hour is spent catching fly balls, fielding grounders, sliding into bases, and competing to push more runs across than the guys in the other dugout. When the game ends, it’s 15-20 minutes of hanging out, replaying moments of the game, chatting and joking before finally calling it a night. That’s an hour of physical activity. Those are social connections being made with the talks almost being therapeutic. You’re in the parks taking advantage of those community assets. All of these things have a positive impact on your well-being.
So, with every tee shot or throw across the diamond, know you’re improving your well-being and quality of life. What’s something you, your husband, your son, or friends do that positively impacts health and well-being in ways that might not be so obvious?