Active Men a new project aimed at tackling & promoting mens health. It’s about raising the profile & encouraging men to start talking about health and the issues that affect them. Using physical activity and exercise to engage, build confidence and self esteem.
A New Face
Having worked within communities doing physical activity and health based events and projects, for the past 30 years. We welcome Errol Barrows to Manor & Castle Development Trust Ltd (MCDT).
With over 25 years as a Dance Development and Physical Activities Officer for Kirklees Council. Errol has plenty of experience to bring to his new role at MCDT as the Men’s Health Development Worker. His experience includes working within schools and communities to encourage people to be more active through dance and physical activity. He was also responsible for young people’s physical activity and working with those that were at risk of been overweight or obese within the disadvantaged areas of Kirklees. He also worked on Priority Communities which was about looking at health and physical activity interventions that could be put into targeting those in disadvantaged areas within Kirklees.
Back in October 2016, having been made redundant from Kirklees Council, Errol continued his work independently in Sheffield launching group exercise classes and sessions getting people active within community centres.
What is Active Men?
As Errol settles into his new role he says, ‘At the moment, Active Men is an open book.’ This year is to work towards and focus on promoting men’s health in the local area, starting with a men’s health event to highlight the health issues that affect men. The aim is to get more local men to thinking about getting a little more active and to come together to tackle the health issues that face them.
It tends to be that men are less likely to do group exercise activities. While women are happier in a group exercise environment. Men if they do any activity they tend to stick to the more, individual related core activities, things like heavy weights or running which tends to be more about the aesthetics value of fitness.
The primary focus will be about engaging with men. Allowing them to come to talk to us or we will go to them. Having that initial talk and getting them to tell us what interests them. This will be our starting point to start to make a change.
‘Initially there will be a few taster sessions and various activities, just to get men to give them a go, try a few different things. The tasters might be about activities like football, circuit training, kettlebells or some of the Rebound work I’ve done!’ says Errol.
|But the focus will be primarily about engaging with them. In doing so it may highlight things we’ve not thought about that would help them to be more active.’
‘It is about lifestyle change, if they make that little change, it can make a massive difference not only in terms of their self-esteem, but in their life too.’
‘If men just start doing half an hour a day exercise, they can extend their lifespan by somewhere in the region of 10 – 15 years.’
24 Hour Fitness’s video – 23 and 1/2 Hours
What does Active Men hope to do?
We plan to host an event in February. It will not be just about men though, it will be about dads & sons and include women too. Women play a big part in their lives and can be a big influence on them and can encourage them to start talking.
It maybe that they have a concern about their son, boyfriend or husband in some aspect of their health. Maybe helping to get them to talk about their health might help address some of these issues they deal with. It’s just about having that confidence to talk and women can be a catalyst in pushing them to do that.
Most of all we are looking to work in partnership with others. Maybe have links with Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United and others coming onboard with the event in February.
There will be opportunities where the men can have health checks, get their height, weight and blood pressure done and there will be chance as well to hear about other things that are happening that might be of interest.