Supporting Men’s Health

November 15, 2022

Supporting men’s health 

It’s Movember, and that means it’s time to raise awareness about men’s health matters.  

From supporting men with mental illness and working on suicide prevention, to encourage early detection of prostate and testicular cancer, Movember is all about encouraging blokes to be proactive about their health. 

To celebrate Movember, we spoke to three of our male doctors about how they prioritise their health and well-being. Gentlemen, tune in. 

Dr Peter Cheng – General Practitioner and Skin Cancer Doctor 

How do you set aside time for your health and well-being? 

I do have a fairly busy schedule. However, I approach life with a strong mentality of: “work hard, laugh lots, and play hard.” 

Being a fairly typical Type A personality, I focus on efficiency to attain the best outcomes for my own health and well-being.  

I adopt a firm mentality that our health and well-being take precedence over all else. Focusing on ourselves means we then have the capacity to look after everyone else we love and care for.  

All too often I hear people say, “I don’t have enough time” or “I’m too busy”. 

However, through shifting focus, and compartmentalising my own personal goals, it lends itself for me to structure my life based on my priorities.  

Rather than focusing on the “time”, I try to focus on the non-negotiables – one of which is our own personal health.  

Once your priorities are set, you, therefore, make time to structure the rest of your schedule effectively.   

What do you do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally? 

I take a very candid approach to staying healthy.  

Physically, I aim to exercise at least 3 x per week. With a busy schedule and a young family, I’ve arranged it so that my wife and I do back-to-back sessions with a personal trainer who comes to us. That, for us, is a non-negotiable as important as groceries.  

 As a doctor, I do think it’s important to structure time for yourself to see your own GP. I think of it like seeing the accountant for my tax review, and structure at least annually to make sure I am keeping in the right shape for the years to come.  

Mentally, I try to fit in with hobbies that keep me entertained. With medicine being so technical and always bogged down with being analytical, I find that after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is more analysis. Therefore, I like to do things to churn through the right side of my brain. That means I dabble in pushing my creative juices, such as going out to take street photography, and music (singing, learning an instrument).  

Family is always a big focus. I’m an extrovert at heart, and therefore never find it difficult to be rejuvenated by friends and family.   

What would your message be to other men who may not be prioritising their health and well-being? 

As men, it is very easy to adopt the mentality of, “she’ll be right mate”. In my mind, the most important thing to achieve success is to ensure we adopt goals that elevate us.  

Just as you would see your mechanic for your annual service for your car, or see your accountant for an annual financial health check, I think it’s even more integral to set goals with your family doctor to ensure you are approaching your health with the same mentality.  

What needs revisiting? What is the latest evidence to improve our physical health? Take the proactive approach.  

I choose wellness. Always.  

Dr Krishnan Rasaratnam – General Practitioner 

How do you set aside time for your health and well-being? 

It can sometimes feel very hard to make time, but I find it easier to schedule time for myself.  

I have made it part of my regular routine to play sports on the weekend and catch up with close friends. Because of this, I don’t need to think about when and where I can fit time for myself each week, and it also gives me things I can look forward to each weekend. 

What do you do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally? 

I’ve never been one to go to the gym regularly or for morning runs. Instead, I get my exercise through various sports. I play futsal and badminton on weekends and prior to covid I was playing soccer and doing Judo during the week as well (both of which I need to get back into).  

I have two groups of friends who I catch up with regularly on a fortnightly basis, which makes organising an easy and painless task.  

On days and weeks which are more mentally taxing for me, I like to draw or listen to music. I find that both of these activities help me turn off the rest of the world and destress because they take my full attention. 

What would your message be to other men who may not be prioritising their health and well-being? 

It can be very easy to neglect yourself when you’re juggling so many responsibilities (work, life admin, relationships, kids, home duties, etc). That said, if you burn out or break down you won’t be in a position to do any of those things.  

Setting aside some time for yourself each week can keep you healthy, strong, and positive. 

Dr Kachig Malyan – General Practitioner 

How do you set aside time for health and well-being? 

I don’t take homework with me unless urgent. I plan my exercise time. 

What do you do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally? 

I exercise 5 times a week. I make time for my family. I ensure I get adequate sleep. I see my GP yearly and I don’t treat medical conditions myself.   

Working in an office environment, I ensure I connect with the natural world through hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities. 

What would your message be to other men who may not be prioritising their health and well-being? 

Many health conditions can be mitigated with regular exercise and maintaining good body weight.   

Trying to play catch-up on exercise and diet when you are not in a routine in your 30s and 40s is quite difficult when you are 60.   

Screening tests by your doctor can also mitigate and reduce risks of other health conditions by detecting issues early when they are more likely to be easier to treat.   

 There is no benefit of retiring but not being healthy enough to enjoy it, especially when most men’s health issues are mitigated through improved lifestyle choices. 

Need a health check? 

If you or a male you know is overdue for a health check, it’s time to make a change.  

Book in today with one of our friendly doctors, who can assist with a range of men’s health services, from smoking cessation and weight loss to sexual health, vasectomy advice, and skin checks. 

Book Now