Men's Health Week: Men on the Move striving towards healthier lifestyles
*Men's Health Week: Men on the Move striving towards healthier lifestyles *
- ‘I’ve had to buy a new suit- my own one is falling off me’ *
A quote from one of the male participants from Men on the Move who lost a staggering 18 cm from he’s waist circumference as part of the 12 week physical activity programme delivered through the GAA club.
Thirty five participants from the Men on the Move programme delivered through 3 GAA clubs enjoyed a trip to Croke Park to celebrate the completion of the 12 week evidence based physical activity intervention.
Men on the Move is a physical activity programme that is aimed at adult men over the age of thirty to support them to become active, have fun and improve their fitness levels. It involves twice weekly structured physical activity sessions over 12 weeks that are led by a qualified instructor to a level and pace that suits the participants.
Men on the Move which is funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE) aims to improve the physical fitness, weight and general health and lives of the men who participate. Workshops on nutrition and well-being for men are also delivered during the 12-week programme.
As part of the GAA’s Healthy Club project (HCP) the GAA and Waterford IT are evaluating the Men on the Move programme within a GAA setting. Three participating GAA clubs, Ballinderreen (Galway); Aghamore (Mayo) and Mungret St Pauls (Limerick) have took part in the programme over 12 weeks in partnership with their respective local sports partnership (LSP).
The evaluation is pending but the preliminary findings are compelling and mirror that of a larger study carried out by Paula Carroll, National Men on the Move Project Co-ordinator and Principal Investigator in WIT, suggesting that the health benefits in terms of weight loss and increased physical fitness are long standing after 52 weeks follow up.
While the majority of men saw reductions in their waist line, one man in particular lost a staggering 18 cm from he’s waist circumference which equates to a 36% reduction in cardiovascular risk, which includes heart attack and stroke.
Social connectedness was a strong emerging theme as the programme brought men together in a safe environment and provided them with the opportunity to exercise at their own pace and have fun together. Integrating individuals who may have been socially disconnected from the club and or community is life- changing. Some of the personal developments reported by the men included enhanced confidence, communication and self- care:
“The Men on The Move programme has created new friendships and left me feeling more positive about myself”
“I looked forward to the sessions to switch off and have a bit of crack with the lads after a tough day at work”
Benefits for the GAA Healthy Clubs was also evident as they opened up their doors to men from the wider community to participate in Men on the Move and there are plans to run the programme again, attracting new people to the club and perhaps increasing their volunteer base. They also developed strong partnerships with their local sports partnership (LSP) who have mutual goals in terms of increasing participation in sport. The club was responsible for recruiting the men and providing the venue whereas the LSP provided the expertise and resources for the programme delivery.
The results of the programme will be published by the Health Centre for Behaviour Research in Waterford IT in December 2017 with the intention to deliver this intervention in more GAA clubs across the country as part of the GAA’s Healthy Clubs project.
The Community and Health team in Croke Park frequently receives requests from GAA clubs across the country about how to engage the non- playing male population within their clubs and wider community. This cohort of men who may have retired from team sports or who may have never played team sports seem to be hard to reach in terms of delivering health messages and programmes. To support the National Men’s Health Week the GAA is encouraging all men to get curious about their health and check whether you are achieving the recommended daily physical activity levels… (Download PDF at bottom for full Infographic)
*This week the GAA challenges you to Get UP, Get Out and Get Moving! *Making just a few small changes to your everyday routine can make a big difference to your health. You can choose from some the examples listed below:
- Wash your car by hand every week
- Play active games with your children
- *Take your dog for a walk *
- *Find a hobby that suits you *
- Join a team or group (GAA Healthy Clubs are located in every county in Ireland and offer a range of activities beyond core games)
- Cut the grass and dig over the flower beds
- Play video games that get you moving, such as Wii Sports or Kinect
- Walk or cycle to work
- Jump off the bus a stop or two before your destination
- Use the stairs rather than the lift
- Find out more about what your GAA club can do to support men’s health by visiting http://www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/community-and-health/
- *To find out more about Men’s Health Week visit www.mhfi.org *