Month: June 2021

Exercising to Improve Men’s Mental Health

Exercising to Improve Men’s Mental Health

Currently on average, seven out of every nine suicides each day in Australia are men.

This tragic statistic can be attributed to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety which increase a man’s risk of self harm or suicide. The current statistics in Australia show that one in eight men will experience depression, and one in five will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives.

These men are our brothers, fathers, sons, husbands, partners and mates and we all need to do our bit to look out for them. We can do this through education, increasing our awareness of men’s mental health issues, and gaining greater knowledge of the tools and resources that can help these men.

Remember: when experiencing a crisis:

THE BIG ISSUE:

The Australian culture of toughness and stoicism surrounding men speaking up about their feelings needs to change. Boys and men of all ages need to feel comfortable about speaking to someone when they are not feeling 100% so that the issues can be unpacked before it becomes a greater issue.

Warning signs of poor mental health may include:

    • Feeling sad or down
    • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
    • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
    • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
    • Withdrawal from friends and activities
    • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
    • Problems with alcohol or drug use
    • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
    • Suicidal thinking

 
However, not only is it important to recognise the symptoms and signs within us, but also to do our part to check in on those close to us.

Utilising resources made available through organisations such as Beyond Blue can be useful in knowing what to say to our male loved ones and colleagues, as well as making those aware that help is available from places like Lifeline and other medical allied health professionals like general practitioners and psychologists.

It’s important to make sure that the men in our lives know there is no shame in speaking up and getting help.

THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISE:

Exercise has been shown to be another helpful tool in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression, in addition to other mental health conditions.

Exercise interventions also have lasting effects on those living with these conditions with research demonstrating that patients with symptoms of depression, on follow-up after an exercise intervention, showed long-term improvements in their mental health.

Exercise can also be used as a great tool to start those tough but important conversations with your mates about their mental health and how they’re doing. Whether it’s a kick of the football, a game of cricket in the park, a hike or an afternoon run, exercise and sport can give you a chance to have a chat in a relaxed environment.

TYPES OF EXERCISE RECOMMENDED:

Research has shown that those who are more physically active will have reduced incidence and severity of symptoms of depression, so the most important thing to do is to start.

To get started, it’s recommended to do the form of exercise you enjoy the most, whether this be aerobic exercise in the form of walking, cycling, running or swimming, or resistance exercise including bodyweight or weight training. The outcomes for aerobic and resistance exercise to alleviate mental health symptoms are similar, so do what you enjoy!

Once you get going, the goal is to build the amount of physical activity you complete over time to reach the physical activity guidelines, which recommend to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, including muscular strengthening activities on at least two days per week.

This will ensure you not only improve your mental health but improve other aspects of your health and reduce your overall disease risk.

CHECK OUT OUR MEN’S HEALTH EBOOK:

This latest eBook by Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) has been designed to encourage Australian men to become more active for their physical and mental health. It also covers the benefits of exercise for a wide range of common conditions adult men may encounter.

SPEAK TO THE EXERCISE PROFESSIONALS:

This is all easier said than done when you’re experiencing poor mental health which can lead to a lack of motivation, reduced interest in activities, and trouble concentrating. So, once you have started, how do you stay on board? How do you continue to improve? How do you know what to do?

This is where an accredited exercise professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Scientist or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, can help. An accredited exercise professional is qualified to prescribe you a tailored exercise program that considers your current mental health state and existing medical history (this may include old or current injuries, any medication you take as well as your exercise likes and dislikes).

If you haven’t started undertaking some physical activity or completing an exercise program, now is a great time to start! Reach out to an accredited exercise professional for some extra support to help you get the best possible results, long term!

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Written by Mitchell Vautin, Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Exercise Healthcare Australia

It’s Not Going to Turn Out the Way You Thought


It will happen later. His best friend will ask you out instead. You’ll be kissed in the movies instead of on a beach. You’ll end up going to a different school because the one you thought you’d get into didn’t work out.

She’ll move away. Someone else will move in next door. She’ll be a little weird at first, a little more shy, but ultimately really good at riding bikes and playing dolls.

That part you always wanted will go to that other girl instead. And you’ll rock it out in the chorus like your life depended on it. Because on some level it does.

The road you were going to take will be flooded and closed. The inn where you were going to stay will be under renovations. He’ll be taller than you thought. And have a funny accent. But will be a good kisser nonetheless.

You’ll get a flat tire on the way to that crucial meeting and end up peeing your pants laughing with the gas station attendant over a copy of Us Magazine. And someone else will fill in for you because they always do.

You won’t get that dream job like you thought you would. It will go to someone else with far less creative drive and vision than you. Someone far better suited for a cubicle than you.

You’ll be put in groups with people who put your panties in a wrinkle. You’ll sit next to someone on the plane who you’d never talk to except that they won’t shut up…and you’ll end up staying in touch for years and taking family vacations together.

Five years after you graduate life won’t look anything like you would have imagined. You’ll be single when you thought you’d be married. You’ll have kids when you thought you’d be in the Peace Corps. That trip to Laos will get delayed because you’ve got to stay home and take care of your grandmother. Laos will be there. Your grandmother won’t always.

He’ll move over seas and oddly the Atlantic Ocean between you will bring you closer than you ever dreamed possible. You won’t get engaged, married, or pregnant when you thought. You’ll miss the bus/train/plane/ferry that you thought you just HAD to be on.

You’ll fall off the turnip truck. You’ll jump on a different bandwagon than you intended. You’ll get fired when you thought you ought to be getting hired.

You’ll realize you forgot the outfit you had planned to wear and that the shoes are all wrong now that you have a full-length mirror to see the whole outfit. Your shirt will be wrinkled and you’ll spill red wine on your white jeans.

Your dog will eat your five-year plan. You’ll drop your Blackberry in the toilet (at least once.) Your computer will crash and you’ll delete the first draft of your magnum opus. You’ll accidentally delete your hard drive and end up with a clean slate.

You’ll show up late to the date with the guy you were sure was going to fit into your husband suit and realize he’s less than graceful under stress and not so flexible. (Better to know now than later.)

When you thought you’d be baking pie and living behind your very own white picket fence you’ll find yourself doing something so entirely different you couldn’t have even imagined it a year before.

There will be moments when you’ll look around and not even recognize your own life…in a good way.

You’ll take a wrong turn and end up in an entirely different city than you intended. You’ll dial the wrong number and end up in love with an entirely different person than you intended.

You’ll flunk out and end up taking five years instead of four to graduate. You’ll have your heart broken when you were sure you were with the one and then meet the other one a month later. You’ll move to a new city to start a new business with those perfect new business partners and then it will all go to shit. And you’ll move across the country again only to realize that that’s where you belonged the whole time.

You’ll drive as far away from home as possible thinking that it will make you feel free. Then you’ll get homesick and drive back four months later because you suddenly feel trapped.

You’ll imagine the open road, country music playing loud, you singing at the top of your lungs, and flirting with a new man in every town. And then you’ll invite someone to come with you on a whim and realize driving around the country by yourself was a terrible idea anyway…and that it’s way more fun when you’re traveling with someone you love.

You won’t do it at the right time.

You’ll be late.

You’ll be early.

You’ll get re-routed.

You’ll get delayed.

You’ll change your mind.

You’ll change your heart.

It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would.

IT WILL BE BETTER.

Want a beautifully designed reminder that it’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would, it will be better in your home or office? Grab your poster of this blog here!


Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and mother who supports ambitious, motivated and successful women to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less. Her first book, Money: A Love Story, has been published in 5 languages. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, and she’s spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences, and more. Kate lives with her husband and business partner, Mike, and their daughter Penelope in Maine. Find out more and receive your free copy of the 5 Simple and effective ways to get the results you want in your business at katenorthrup.com.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Borba.

Don’t Have Your Dream Job? Try Changing Your Outlook until You Do.

Let’s be real and admit most people don’t have day jobs that light them up. Most of us go to work because we have to. We have bills, kids and hungry bellies, so work is more of a means to an end rather than an exciting part of our lives, right?

We get stuck in day job routines where we lose sight of what attributes we bring to the table, even in the smallest of ways.

I was in a Subway restaurant recently and the people who work there are called Sandwich Artists. I saw that and smiled. I thought to myself,

“What if we all viewed our jobs as a way of being an artist of whatever task we’re performing?”

An artist of office work.

An artist of dentistry.

An artist of teaching.

An artist of caring for our family.

The word artist has connotations of performing something unique to who you are. Whether you’re doing construction work or conducting an orchestra, no one else will do it just how you’ll do it because, well, no one else is you, right?

I imagine most of us are not so great at looking at our jobs through such a lens.

We get tired and bored and view our jobs as simply something we have to do to avoid being naked and hungry. Rarely do we pause to feel the satisfaction of doing the work we do.

Sometimes our jobs feel like a heavy weight to bear that comes with being an adult. Working can be a mix of drudgery and routine, and it takes a step back sometimes to refresh the way we look at how we bring ourselves to each day instead of shoving the day on auto-pilot.

Not many of us are lucky enough to have jobs that match the vision we had in our heads as kids. If we had a choice, most of us would choose jobs that are totally in line with our passions. But what happens when life serves up situations that fall short from the visions we conjured?

We roll with it. We see ourselves as artists at work, putting our spin on the job we do that only we can bring by being uniquely ourselves. We see how the work we do reaches the people we come in contact with and put an extra personalized touch to our work.

How do we do this?

I have a day job where I answer the same questions over and over each day, so I remind myself even though it’s the 10th time I’m answering this question, it’s the first time the person on the phone is asking it. So I’ll answer it like I’m not exhausted from it. I’ll help her because she needs it, and I’ll do it with patience and friendliness because good energy begets more good energy, and I want that rather than getting sucked into a vortex of grumpiness.

I make it a point to have fun at work. I listen to music and laugh with coworkers. I have a standup desk to keep me energized. I jot down personal goals as they come to me throughout the day to look forward to personally and professionally.

If I look at each day as a project and challenge to make that day the best it can be, I find my work more rewarding. If I take time to appreciate where I am instead of where I am not, my day has more depth.

I once visited my grandma in the nursing home before she passed, and I asked her how they were treating her there. She sighed, “Oh, they’re nice enough, but I can tell they rush through things because they just want to get home to their own families.” I responded saying how awful that is, and she answered, “Oh, no it’s fine. I get it. I would be the same way.”

We’re all guilty of wanting to be somewhere else other than where we are, especially at work, right?

Our minds drift to when we get done, so our “real lives” can begin. We sometimes put half our effort and energy into projects because we no longer see the purpose or importance of our work or the people who are on the receiving end of our work.

That thinking is a slippery slope to no longer being engaged at work, and we’ve all been there, I imagine.

I recently saw a dancer on public TV who was in his nineties. He said dancing never felt like work to him because every single fiber in his body was immersed in joy when he danced. I have no activities at work that do that for me. Work feels like work. I am not immersed in joy so much that it doesn’t feel like work, so I’m not going to set the bar of expectation so high in my life that I choke myself on it.

The truth is, it’s okay to feel the effects of work. It challenges us and makes us feel like we contributed in some way. My biggest goal in raising my kids is that they have strong work ethics. I don’t care if they make a lot of money. I just want them to have the gift of being able to feel the joy that comes with working hard and touching others.

I had to write a letter to my daughter and put it in a time capsule for her graduation day five years from now. In the letter I told her to work hard and put her heart in all she does. I told her if she needs to wash toilets to make money, be the person who washes them the best with happiness in your heart while you sing along to the radio. I told her the pride and joy in her work will be contagious and learning to have that outlook in life will make her content, no matter the job.

And that’s the real goal, right? To always keep striving for more, but to also dig into the job we’re currently doing to cultivate joy and happiness right where we are instead of fooling ourselves we’ll arrive there only when we get the work of our dreams.

Our dream job starts today with the artistry we bring to our work.

Work is an honor and privilege. And it’s also a major pain in the butt. Both truths can coexist rather comfortably. It’s a conscious choice to spend more time on the optimistic side of this coin. That’s where our best selves live, and if we’re firing from that engine instead of from the one that whines, we’ll see the world differently.

If we can accomplish that change in how we look at work, it just might extend over into our personal lives and relationships. Then we’ll be the richest “artists” of all.

What ways can you change the way you see your work and acknowledge the value you bring to the world? I bet it’s more than you realize.


Rebecca Rine is a writer and speaker at RebeccaRine.com where she writes with raw honesty about the joys and challenges of an ordinary life, feeling it all and living simply and deeply while not being a bag of turds to others. Readers say her writing connects with them because she openly writes about her life and shortcomings regarding marriage, parenting, spirituality, and aging with a goal of embracing your imperfect, authentic self. She is an opinion contributor to Dayton Daily News and public radio, and has been published in places such as: Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, Fatherly, and The Write Life. Her podcast “Real Life out Loud” can be heard on various platforms, and her short videos about “one thing to think about” can be found on YouTube. You can follow her on Facebook, and subscribe to her website to get updates on her upcoming book of essays,“What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse Than You Imagined”.

Image courtesy of Ivan Samkov.

Brice Rhodes /// 489 /// 490

Brice Rhodes /// 489 /// 490 

www.TrueCrimeGarage.com 

Brice Rhodes has been a major thorn in the side of the Kentucky Courts for the last five years. He is accused of three homicides. All three cases were quickly and easily linked to Brice as the perpetrator with a mountain of evidence against him in all three cases. But he is yet to be convicted. This week we review the crimes and the investigation that made the arrest and try to understand why this loser is not currently scheduled for his date with a lethal injection. 

Beer of the Week – Who’d Like to Hold My Clipboard – Peach by Hoof Hearted 

Garage Grade – 4 and a Quarter Bottle Caps 

 

Four simple strategies to form healthy habits

Four simple strategies to form healthy habits

When it comes to habits, we’re all aware of the good ones and the not so good ones. The mantra ‘old habits die hard’ can be all too true! If we’ve developed a habit of sitting on the couch, or grabbing a couple of biscuits with every morning coffee, those patterns are always there tucked away inside our heads.

Being aware of our habits is one thing, but changing them…that’s where things can get tricky. As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with over 10 years experience, I’ve assisted many patients to not only establish a healthier relationship with exercise and physical activity, but also improve their mindset around health and well-being that will last long into the future. Those who develop a habit for regular exercise are the ones best placed both in the short and long-term.

I’d like to share four techniques to help you form healthy habits, achieve your wellness goals and live the lifestyle you desire.

1. Link an action with the expected reward

Let’s investigate the importance of cravings in creating habits, using the example of exercise. In 2002 researchers at an American University studied 266 individuals, most of whom already exercised at least 3x per week. They discovered that many of them started exercising or lifting weights almost on a whim, or because they wanted to deal with unexpected stress. However, the reason they continued (essentially, why exercise became a habit) was because of a specific reward they began to crave.

Of one group of participants, 92% stated that they continued exercising as it made them “feel good” – they grew to enjoy and crave the feel- good endorphin hit exercise provided. Of another group, 67% said working out gave them a sense of “accomplishment” – they began to crave tracking their performance and seeing improvement. It was this progress tracking and self-reward that helped rubber stamp exercise as a habit.

The take away message is that when your brain starts expecting a reward, for example lacing up your joggers with an endorphin hit, or lifting weights and tracking a new personal best lift, preparing for exercise and hitting the gym will become habitual.

2. Replace the routine to get the reward

When it comes to breaking old habits, let’s look at the research behind habit loops. Here’s a common habit loop that you may recognise.

healthy habits

In this example, the bored person isn’t craving a coke and afternoon biscuit, they’re simply craving a break from work. Once aware of the ACTUAL craving, the sugary snack can be replaced with a walk to the water cooler and a quick chat with a colleague.

3.Track your daily habits to make progress

Another effective strategy to replace current, less healthful habits with more health supporting habits is to start writing down your food intake. Not for a full week though, simply for one day. In 2009, a group of researchers assembled a group of 1600 obese people and had them document their food intake for at least one day per week.

It is reported that although initially the subjects forgot to record their meals for even one day per week or missed certain details, they began to fall into a habit of recording this information. Then, to the researchers surprise, the participants began to identify habits, for example snacking at 3pm in the afternoon. Once identified, it was easy to ensure healthier choices were within reach at this time. Others began planning more healthy dinners in advance rather than grabbing takeaway on the commute home. Others extended the food diary to every day of the week. Six months into the study, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who did not!

exercise right

4.Plan for success, engage support and have a go!

Aristotle wrote some two thousand plus years ago that “some thinkers hold that it is by nature that people become good, others that it is by habit, and others that it is by instruction.” He believed that our habits are a reflection of our truest selves.

Fortunately however, every habit is changeable, malleable and modifiable. To achieve this step and modify a habit, you must decide to change. It must become a conscious shift, at least initially, to set the alarm, lace the shoes up and go for that morning walk; to grab your gym gear and get in the car to drive to the gym; to choose that healthier snack at 3pm. It will be challenging at first, but habits soon become routines. There is no substitute for action and simply having a go.

Visualise a time in the not too distant future when you can’t imagine a day without movement and physical activity!

Click here to find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist near you.

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Written by Luke Rabone, Director at Restart Exercise Physiology.

Every Day Is an Adventure When You Spend It with People You Love


A little girl was melting and screaming in agony. Her brother was trying to help her but couldn’t.

I showed Josie a movie of Hiroshima when she was about five years old. Mistake.

Josie woke up crying and hitting her pillow at three in the morning. I held her and talked her to sleep.

Stupid stupid me. Showing her that movie. (“Barefoot Gen”).

Lesson: don’t show little kids videos of other little kids melting in agony.

When I first got divorced I was broke. I was unhappy. I am the type of person who doesn’t like to be alone.

But the worst thing was thinking that when my daughters were crying, I wouldn’t be there to talk them to sleep.

I knew they would inherit it.

The overwhelming fear and anxiety that hit me at 3 in the morning every night for almost 40 years.

I spent last week with Mollie in London and Paris.

She asked to go with me on the trip. When will that ever happen again? Maybe never!

She had had a hard time recently and I wanted to give her a nice treat in return. So on a work trip, I took her.

Every kid has a hard time in life. It’s hard to figure out the rules of being an adult.

Because there are no rules but everyone (parents, teachers, friends, family, society, culture, Instagram “influencers”, media, etc.) tells you there are rules.

How do you teach someone there are no rules?

Rules of cool. Rules of health. Rules of “get a job or die”. Or go to college or die”. Or “this is history. Believe this and nothing else.”

And I wasn’t going to teach her new rules. There’s no way to tell a teenager, “you can’t do this!” Or “you’re wrong”.

Mollie is wrong about everything. But so am I.

  • Whenever I wanted to take a car, she said, “Let’s walk.” And I did.
  • Whenever I found a good restaurant, she found a better one.
  • Whenever anyone asked her, “What do you want to do?” She said, “I don’t know”.
  • I read 1.5 books while we were away. I think she read three.
  • She wrote more than me.
  • I had to work a lot so she spent time exploring. More than I did.
  • She started to come up with ideas about how her life could be bigger. “Maybe I can spend a summer here.”
  • She refuses to go to “clown college”. “But it’s the only school that teaches real skills!”
  • We spent hours sitting in bookstores. Getting lost while sitting right next to each other.
  • We had one miserable experience getting from London to Paris. I apologized to her. She said, “I had fun” and she explained to me why.
  • She came to my comedy/lecture/Q&A in London. “I learned a lot”.
  • On the entire plane ride back she did homework so she wouldn’t have to stay up late the night before school. I slept and watched “Family Guy”.

When I grow up I want to be Mollie.

I cried when we landed and I hugged her goodbye.

But, for once, the future feels better to me than the past.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of ROMAN ODINTSOV.