Week 4 of Movember: Physical Activity

This post is part of a weekly Movember series publishing every Friday in November 2015. Read previous posts: Joining the Movember MovementPreventing Prostate Cancer and Addressing Mental Health.

Adam Garone, CEO and Co-founder of the Movember Foundation summed up the importance of physical activity in this powerful quote:

“The human body was designed for walking. It was not built for a sedentary lifestyle. Worryingly, research is telling us that not enough people are participating in regular physical activity; with many in the western world sitting for more than half of their waking hours. Knowing that physical inactivity contributes to many preventable causes of death, we’re committed to encouraging men to get active and decreasing sedentary behaviors.”

Well, ladies and gentleman, November is coming to an end and a few of my mustache hairs have just started to venture over my upper lip. Yet another family Thanksgiving photo was enhanced by a cheesy ‘stache and the harassment from my uncle was at an all-time high. Nonetheless, I stand proud in my support for Movember; it’s been a great month.

This year, the Movember Foundation added a fourth pillar of men’s health awareness: Physical inactivity. And, they added it for good reason. Did you know that being physically inactive is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths globally per year? Being active is essential to prevent and reduce the risks of many diseases as well as improve general physical and mental health.

Contrary to popular belief, physical inactivity isn’t just a problem here in the states, it’s a global issue. According to Movember Foundation research, 1 in 4 adults across the globe aren’t active enough. What’s even more alarming is that in high-income countries (the United States, *cough*, *cough*), 41% of men don’t get enough exercise.

Why is that a big deal? Being physically inactive puts you at a much higher risk for obesity, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases. When we look beyond the scope of our physical health, the mental health impacts are significant, too. Being active helps us as men to stay socially connected and build positive behaviors.

We all know exercise is good for us, and most of us could stand to do a little more. In fact, moving on a regular basis can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer by up to 50%!

This year, the Movember Foundation implemented a new challenge called “MOVE.” The goal of this challenge was to get active every day for all thirty days of November! Big or small, any kind of physical activity counted. They wanted to encourage people to become a champion of men’s health, starting with our own.

There are lots of ways that Movember is working to combat physical inactivity. But I encourage you to think about how you are combating it in your own life. Becoming physically active is one of the easiest ways we as men can improve our health and make a positive change for ourselves and those we love. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better and you’ll be an all-around better man. Take care of your body; it’s the only one you get.

This is our last week! Donate through Team ProMedica to help support the work the Movember Foundation does for men’s health here: http://moteam.co/team-promedica

Until next year, stay hairy my friends.

Graham_M WACGraham Miller is a personal trainer at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club where he works with members to achieve their personal or athletic goals, improve their fitness or lose weight.