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Shining a spotlight on men’s health and wellbeing

This week “CityNews” spoke to a number of health experts in Canberra to get their insights on how men can lead happier and healthier lives.

COMPARED to women, men visit doctors and health specialists less frequently, have shorter visits, and only attend when their illness is in later stages, according to the Better Health Channel.

They have also found that Australian men are more likely to suffer from serious health problems than Australian women.

The research organisation says awareness is the key to helping men lead happier and healthier lives, and this week “CityNews” spoke to a number of local experts
to get their health tips.

Jimmy (Scott) Niggles, founder of Skin Check Champions.

Friendly rivalry for skin cancer awareness

THIS winter, King O’Malley’s is encouraging men to grow a longer or new beard, or sponsor other men growing beards, to raise awareness about skin cancer, says owner Peter Barclay.

“We are supporting a charity called Skin Check Champions, which encourages men and women to have a look at their skin, look at what protection they’re using, and make sure they don’t have any skin cancers developing because they’re so prevalent in Australia,” says Peter.

Raising awareness about skin cancer is important for Peter, whose late father had skin and prostate cancer.

“He didn’t complain much about the prostate cancer but he had skin cancers on his head and leg and experienced a lot of pain,” Peter says.

He says there will be a pop up clinic inside the pub for people to get advice about skin cancer and have a skin check. 

“We’ll be having a few pop ups where people can come into the pub and have a chat with doctors,” he says.

King O’Malley’s will host a beard competition on August 28 to show off “Canberra’s finest beards”.

King O’Malley’s, 131 City Walk, Canberra. Call 6257 0111, or visit

Exercise physiologist Eva Boland, right, supporting a client.

Stay fit, strong, and reduce pain

THE highly trained team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists at Higher Function, use the latest scientific research in their evidence-based treatments and classes, says CEO Janet Fabbri.

“We’re the best place for helping people reach their higher functioning goals,” says Janet.

“We offer sport specific Clinical Exercise Classes like Golf Fit, Snow Fit and Running Strength, as well as other classes to improve bone density, stability, strength, flexibility and reduce pain and risk of falls.

“At Higher Function we try to empower people by educating them,” she says.

“In our classes we talk about why we’re doing a certain exercise.

“We help our patients perform better physically, reducing pain and stiffness, by giving them the science behind their exercise, specific physio and exercise physiology treatment, and ongoing support and care.”

Janet, who’s been in the industry for more than 35 years, says one of the most popular forms of exercise for staying healthy is walking, but to keep walking and enjoying other activities, people also have to be strong and have good balance.

She says the team at Higher Function have the expertise to help maintain that functionality.

“Things won’t happen overnight, consistency is key, but really seeing people improve over time is wonderful,” she says.

Higher Function Physio & Pilates, Suite 4, Level 1/23 Petrie Plaza. Call 6262 9664 or visit

Gym takes a ‘different approach’ to fitness

DIRECTOR of Evo Health Club Jason Barry says their small, but expert team of trainers and coaches take a different approach to fitness. 

“We use sound methods and the latest technology to help you reach your goals,” says Jason.

“Focusing on your abilities and taking account of where you need development, we want to train your body so you have the strength to sustain your busy life.”

Featuring an extensive variety of exercise facilities, including a 25 metre lap pool, Jason says Evo is a gym that brings people “life satisfaction beyond their fitness goals.”

“Coming into winter and those colder months, it’s nice to come inside to exercise in an indoor heated pool,” says Jason.

“We also have a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy spa as part of that offering.”

Jason says members can book the pool at a time suited to them through a mobile app which makes the process much more convenient, and that there are many membership options that people can choose from to suit their goals.

“Some members do one on one personal training sessions once a month, other members do up to two or three a week, it’s really up to them,” he says.

“Our group fitness classes are small and intimate which is great because it means the trainers get to spend most of their time with the members, give them cues on form and really focus on each individual.”

Evo Health Club, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton. Call 6162 0808 or visit

Orthopaedics ACT, Phillip. Photo: Geoff Comfort.

Strengthening health from all angles

ORTHOPAEDICS ACT has been helping people live an active life since 2013, says practice manager Deborah Henry.

According to the highly trained team of specialists, resistance training is an  excellent way to help people maintain strength and mobility.

“The Australian movement guidelines state that moving for 30 minutes, five days a week is ideal, but this can be an effort as short as 10 minutes at a time,” says the team.

“It doesn’t have to be sport but could be gardening, housework, taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus one stop early.”

According to Deborah, Orthopaedics ACT brings together the expertise and skills of nine surgeons, one pain management specialist, and a clinical nurse that work as a team with a number of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy providers to keep patients as active as possible.

For people with early arthritis, Deboarh says Orthopaedics ACT’s surgeons and sports physicians recommend an exercise program called GLA:D which is run by physiotherapists and strengthens the knees and hips, and can reduce pain and medication requirements.

When necessary, whether due to age, trauma or sporting injuries, Deborah says that Orthopaedics ACT can improve quality of life through surgical intervention.

“Whether minor or major surgery, it’s aimed at allowing our patients to resume a healthy, active lifestyle,” she says.

“Having nine surgeons means we have all parts of the body covered, head to toe. [But] we can’t just fix bones, we fix people.”

Orthopaedics ACT, Woden Specialist Medical Centre, Level 2, 90 Corinna Street, Phillip. Call 6221 9320 or visit


New ways to approach weight loss

Sue Oliver.

SUE Oliver says her “Care For Yourself Weight Loss Program” focuses on helping male clients struggling with weight issues, to lose weight effortlessly and permanently.

An expert in the industry, having worked as an energy healing therapist for 20 years, Sue says her guidance for beginners is to “always remain curious as to why someone is having weight issues”.

“If it were straightforward to solve, no one would have weight issues.”

She says her business stands out because it’s not about being on a diet or restricting food intake, but about seeing each client as an individual with habits, beliefs and experiences that have created who they are today.

“During the 12-session program I discover the reasons they are struggling with weight issues and use a range of techniques to clear them,” she says.

“There are 12 weight blockers or reasons the body holds on to excess weight, and they all need to be addressed to help a client lose weight and keep it off.”

Sue says she does this work because she loves the challenge of discovering how she can help someone be the best they can be.

“The most rewarding part is renewing clients’ hope and motivation about their future, thinner selves and sharing in their excitement as they achieve their weight-loss goals,” she says.

Care For Yourself. Call 0403 145976 or visit

Men get real with Mick

MICK Andrews runs The Men’s Group, where men can get together to talk about things that are “more than pub talk.”

“A lot of guys still think that they’re not allowed to cry and they’re not allowed to show emotion,” says Mick.

But Mick says The Men’s Group gives men a chance to talk about whatever is on their mind.

“During one of the men’s group sessions, a guy opened up about losing his dad. We started talking about grief and how people handle it differently,” he says.

Mick, who started the Bungendore Men’s Shed in 2009, says there’s not many places men can go to talk about their problems. 

“There’s not a lot out there for guys,” he says.

“It’s nice to sit around, have a hot chocolate, a cup of tea or coffee and a chat,” he says.

All men are welcome to attend The Men’s Group, which prides itself on being respectful, honest, and trustworthy, says Mick.

“What the men talk about isn’t going anywhere, and they won’t be judged.”

The Men’s Group, Pearce Community Centre. Call 0417 212261, or visit

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