EnRico Montalvo: Men’s Health Week
Palace for Life Foundation are supporting Men’s Health Week to raise awareness on issues that affect men, focusing on health problems that they may have or could develop in the future.
Men’s Health Week aims to not only educate on these potential problems but also give courage to those who need to do something about it.
We spoke to Palace for Life’s Health & Wellbeing Officer, EnRico Montalvo about men’s health, why awareness is needed and what the Foundation is doing to support.
Q: Why is Men’s Health Week Important?
EnRico: Men’s Health Week is important because it provides the chance to discuss and raise awareness about how men perceive and address their overall health and wellbeing. It also allows organisations such as ours to reflect on how we are helping to shape a culture of healthy living in the community.
Q: What does men’s health mean to you?
EnRico: To me, men’s health is an umbrella term for physical health, mental and emotional wellbeing. I think a lot of people associate it with just being physically fit but true health encompasses a lot more than just the physical fitness side. It incorporates the mental aspect as well.
It is also about recognising that it’s ok to not be ok and that our mental wellbeing varies. There’s a big misconception that a man is “weak” if he asks for help during a rough time but that just isn’t true. Knowing how to ask for support can make all the difference.
Q: How does Palace for Life Foundation support men’s health?
EnRico: We have a wide range of programmes that aim to address the health needs of multiple age groups in men.
We run a weekly walking football group for men aged 40+, we have Fitter Fans that get men 18+ together to exercise and socialise, we also have Extra Time for older adults, which tackles social isolation.
Q: What are the health benefits of being on one of our programmes?
EnRico: In our programmes, we pride ourselves on creating a sense of community so that as soon as you start here, you’re a part of a group that will welcome you with open arms.
Aside from social inclusion, our programmes allow you to stay active. I think exercise is a key driver for overall quality of life and the programmes that have been mentioned all aim to keep participates active and engaged every week in a fun environment.
Q: What are your 3 top tips for men to stay fit and healthy?
- Stay Physically Active. Try to get at least an hour of physical activity a day. It can be broken into smaller bouts throughout your day if you are busy. There are so many benefits to physical activity. It can decrease the likelihood of developing illness as you age, boosts your self-esteem and has been shown to lead to better quality of sleep. Exercise is also a great way to meet new people. Through football, my social circle expanded which was important to me because I moved to the UK by myself.
- Use the NHS Eat Well Guide. Ensure that you are getting balanced meals throughout your day or week by using the Eat Well Guide. It is a great resource for making sure that you get all 5 major food groups when cooking. Food has a big impact on our mood, decision making and how we perform in our day to day lives. Aim to balance your food choices by cooking with whole foods, eating at least 5 fruits and vegetables and drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.
- Reflect on your mental diet. Your mental diet consists of what you watch, what you read, who you spend time with, what you say and what you think. Make time to reflect and It is really easy to get caught in the constant blistering pace of London life. To avoid that burned out feeling, protect 10-30 minutes of personal time every day to just breathe and reflect on the things that are important to you and make you happy. This awareness will help you to manage your physical health and mental wellbeing effectively.
To find out more about Palace for Life Health and Wellbeing projects, click here.