Men’s Health Week runs from 10 to 16 June. The week aims to enhance awareness of the information, services, and treatment boys and men need to live healthier, longer, and more fulfilling lives. But this week is for and about everyone who identifies as a man, whether trans or cisgender. Some of the information may be relevant to trans and non-binary people, too.

Men’s Health Forum want men to talk about prostates and share their stories. But beyond advising men to check their risk for prostate cancer and speak to their GP, I’m going to talk about walking…

Why walk?

We’ve written before about walking our way to happiness. Besides making us happy, walking is also a great to way to general health. Walking increases heart and lung fitness and reduces risk of heart disease and stroke. It also strengthens our bones, improves balance, and increases muscle strength and endurance. Regular walking ticks a lot of boxes!

Walking for Dementia UK

I walked regularly as a kid with my parents. Literally up mountains (the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis) and around dales and moors in Yorkshire and forest parks in Northern Ireland. During my father’s later life, a stroke left him unable to enjoy some of the things he loved most. Including walking. And he developed dementia before dying at age 89 in 2010.

Dementia UK began an online campaign during May which caught my eye: raise money for them by walking 100k in June. Dementia UK provide life-changing care to families affected by all forms of dementia. And as so much of my life is office based, I’ve found myself sitting down far too much and not being as active as I used to be. So I signed up!

5 Ways to Wellbeing and The CAN DO Challenge

Raising money for Dementia UK during June was a way to honour my father and families affected by dementia. But it was also a way to engage with the 5 ways to wellbeing and The Can Do Challenge during Men’s Health Week.  Everyone’s encouraged to get involved with one of the ways every day of the week.

Connect #Connect Monday

Connect with the people around you: with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, at home, work, school  

Be Active #ActiveTuesday

Go for a walk or run, step outside, play a game, garden or dance – exercising makes you feel good.

Take Notice #NoticeWednesday

Be curious, catch sight of the beautiful, remark on the unusual, notice the changing seasons, savour the moment and be aware of the world around you.

Keep Learning #DiscoverThursday

Try something new, set a learning goal that you will you enjoy achieving.

Give #OfferFriday

Do something nice for a friend or a stranger, thank someone, smile, volunteer your time or join a community group.

Beyond the week

During Men’s Health Week, by walking for Dementia UK, I’ll be active, giving and connecting. But every time I go for a walk, I’ll also be noticing and discovering new surroundings. Throughout June, while I try and reach my target of 100k, I’ll be engaging in every way to wellbeing almost every day.

Find ways to enhance your health during this week, and allow them to become a habit!

Here’s more information to enhance men’s health during this vital awareness week:

  • One You East Sussex offers free, personalised health and wellbeing coaching to people living in East Sussex. They can help you reach your own goals, whether that’s quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, improving mental wellbeing or juggling the pressures in your life. You can get 1:1 and community group support.
  • Men’s Mental Health Walk On the first and last Sunday of every month, Hastings Burrough Council in collaboration with Mind are providing an evening walk and talk session for men from 9-11pm, meeting at the Alexandra Park bandstand – TN34 2LW.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from preventable diseases. Check with your GP if you’re not sure if you’re up to date and what you’re eligible for.