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Men, your bodies need some TLC

Boxing clever: William Mapp takes on Leo Richardson at Controversy Boxing Gym in Hamilton as part of a drive to encourage fitness training for boys (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Men’s health and their role in the community will be at the forefront of the annual Celebrating Wellness health promotion.

The event, put on by the Department of Health, has something to offer for everyone but this year’s focus will be on the theme “Love That Body: Healthy Boys to Men”.

“Women are more likely to have health-seeking behaviours than men so we wanted to put men at the forefront and make sure that men know that they need to take care of themselves as well,” health promotion co-ordinator Virloy Lewin told The Royal Gazette.

“We know that men have higher rates of addiction, violence, crime, accidents and premature death.

“We wanted to put that in the forefront and we want men to know that they can do something about some of the health issues they have and to make men more aware of taking care of themselves.”

But she stressed that they also wanted to motivate men to look at the role they play in the community.

“Looking at the bigger picture of the issues that we do have, especially with our young men, we’ve got to treat the root causes.

“It’s hard when we’re promoting a healthy lifestyle, if you don’t have employment, you’re not thinking about these other things — you’re just thinking about survival, of getting from day to day and that may be at the expense of health.”

But she added that it was important to look at people holistically.

“Health is not only looking at your physical health — it’s looking at all those aspects of health to make a healthy community.”

Healthy Schools co-ordinator Marie Beach-Johnson noted that “healthy people tend to be happy people”, adding that it is hard to be happy while experiencing health problems.

She said: “We don’t think people are lazy as far as the reason why they are not focusing on their health.

“For some people that could be it but I believe that the social issues, the financial survival supersedes health and rightfully so for a lot of people.

“That’s where Department of Health is coming from and so when we have Celebrating Wellness, we’re hoping we’re giving people a means to start to focus on their health, whichever area or areas need improvement, so they can be happy and healthy.”

Ms Beach-Johnson and Dr Lewin added that the event would also help promote organisations doing good in the community.

“We would like to use this as an avenue of bringing those community organisations to one place so people can be aware of what’s happening and what’s available,” Dr Lewin said.

The event, which started in 2011, promotes healthy lifestyles through healthy eating and physical activity. This year’s special feature will be a men’s team competition, that includes an obstacle course and tug-of-war competition among other activities.

“We’re also going to have Five Star Gaming,” Ms Beech Johnson said. “People can use the remote control cars and compete against each other.”

On-stage entertainment will include performances by Jump 2B Fit and motivational speaker Chris Crumpler. Activity sessions hosted by Controversy Boxing Gym will also be available, along with beginners level Pilates and Strong by Zumba, which has been tailored to appeal to male participants. Health screenings include urine, blood pressure and blood glucose screening, Alzheimer’s assessments and lung function testing. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, Women’s Resource Centre and the Coalition for the Protection of Children have also been invited and there will also be a kids zone.

Ms Beach-Johnson added: “A lot of these things don’t come at a cost and that’s why we invite vendors to bring their business cards and all of that so people can suss out what is free, what is paid. Not everything is a high charge. That’s why this is our premiere event — it’s holistic health.”

“There is something for everyone,” Dr Lewin said, adding that everything besides the food would be free.

The event will be held from 5pm to 8pm at City Hall car park on September 28.

To see the Celebrating Wellness flyer, click on the PDF under “Related Media”