When it was bucketing down last week, many of us had the perfect excuse not to exercise. Not David Iliffe. That’s how much his attitude has changed in the last year, having made a commitment to improve his health and wellbeing.
“The fact is that if you let things like rain stop you, then there’s no end to the excuses you’ll be able to come up with,” said the breakfast radio presenter.
So, when dropping his teenage son off at his Crossfit class this week, David kept his promise to himself.
“I know my son was super impressed when I told him that I was going for my walk/run even though it was pouring rain.”
Like most men his age, David came to the realisation that he needed to change his habits whilst standing in front of the bathroom mirror in early 2020.
“I immediately thought of Marie Kondo (the famous tidying expert who was on Netflix at the time) and her mantra about getting rid of anything that no longer gives you joy.
“If I followed her advice to the letter, this meant ditching the entire front half of my torso or about 10kg. I was sick of being out of breath just climbing the short set of stairs from the carpark to the office.”
Alarmingly 42% of Australian men are overweight, and 28% are classified as obese according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Over the last year, David’s secret to success has been an exercise app which he uses three times a week. It starts with a brisk 30-minute walk but with 30 second sections where the app instructs you to start running. Each session, the duration of the running section increases slightly – such a small amount that its barely noticeable.
His message to other men is to find what works for you, pursue your hobbies, and stay socially connected, because it all contributes to your mental and physical health.
“It’s so important, but I think men, in general, struggle a bit more with acknowledging health issues and they don’t ask for help.
“There are so many things that affect our lives these days that we feel powerless to control. But you can absolutely control what you eat and what you don’t, how much exercise you get, how much sleep you get, the quality of your sleep, how much you work, what you do with your downtime.
“We’ve all heard stories of people who have ignored their health and dropped dead at 55. I had a workmate that walked out of the office on the day he retired, had a massive heart attack and died in the carpark.
“I want to be around to see my children and grandchildren reach all of their milestones. What more incentive do you need?”
In the coming weeks, David will host the Men’s Health Matters workshop at Toowoomba City Golf Club.
The workshop was originally due to go ahead in late March but was postponed at short notice due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Greater Brisbane.
Starting at 6:30pm with light refreshments, men and their partners are invited to make an evening of it and come along to this FREE event focused on men’s health and wellbeing.
A clinical psychologist will lead the discussion, covering everything from nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, important checkups for men, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and wellbeing and relationships.
There’ll also be free health checks, gift bags, a lucky door prize and your chance to win a Weber® Baby Q® Premium worth $349 (T&Cs apply, winner notified 1 June, 2021).
This community health campaign is delivered by CheckUP in partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.
Places are limited. To register or to find out more visit www.checkup.org.au/menshealthmatters
A six-part webinar series is also being delivered as part of the campaign. The next webinar is on chronic disease prevention and early detection and will be held on Tuesday 13th April at 6:30pm.
Photo: Breakfast radio presenter David Iliffe will host the Toowoomba Men’s Health Matters workshop in the coming weeks.