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Men's Health Week 2018: Let's Say 'On Your Bike' to Diabetes

When I first heard about Men's Health Week, my first thought was ‘Why do men need a special week of their own?’ The Men’s Health Forum states that this week is ‘a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it.

Glenn Christiansen, Director of Safety, Health & Wellbeing at Eiffage Kier

This year, it also coincides with Bike Week and these are both campaigns close to my heart. I’m a cyclist; I’m a man, and like many men I talk very little but worry a lot about my health.

Men’s Health Week has previously covered topics such as Beating Stress, the well-titled ‘Hazardous Waist’ looking at obesity, and now for 2018 it looks to educate people on the very serious subject of Diabetes.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition where your blood glucose level is too high. There are two main types, 1 and 2. They’re different conditions, but they’re both serious.

There is nothing we can do to prevent Type 1 diabetes, but 12.3 million people in the UK are at risk of developing Type 2, and three in five cases of these could be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.

There is a wealth of information available about the things people can do to prevent the condition, and what may make some more at risk than others.

Treatment is made more effective by observing the same things recommended for prevention. There are risks of complications but most people with the condition live full lives and participate in all the things they want to.

In fact, there are dozens of cyclists with diabetes who have raced at a world class level, which brings us back to Bike Week.

The cyclist Lance Armstrong once said, in a moment of factual accuracy, that “it’s not about the bike”. He was right. It not about the bike, it’s about the ride.

Riding a bike is one of the many activities you can do to be more active to prevent diabetes and statistically male bike owners ride up to four times more than females, but whatever your gender, why not celebrate both Men’s Health Week and Bike Week with a ride?

Most of us remember that childhood feeling of the freedom bikes brought. Freewheeling, visiting friends, travelling to unreachable places. That feeling is never more than a pedal stroke away so if you haven’t ridden for a while, dust off your bike. If you haven’t got a bike ask about borrowing one, or look for one of the many Hire Docks in our cities and join one of the events being run around the country in support of Bike Week.

Given I have ridden since the early 1980’s I was once asked who I thought the best cyclist was.

I said it was me, but not because I’m fastest or fittest, but because to me the best cyclist is the one having the most fun!

Having fun, and being active. Don’t be the one missing out.

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