Celebrating Men’s Health

Getting back into the community is a great way to help you. If you know someone who is or may be suffering from depression then invite them to get active, encourage them to start moving and getting active in the community.

David Richmond


Be.Bendigo Board of Directors

My journey began about 5 years ago.

I was in my Mid 30’s, I  had been working in an office environment for about 15 years, and for some reason my body began to give out on me. I had 2 young children, but I couldn’t do the simplest things with them. I felt about 50 years old. Playing with the kids was too difficult. I had developed arthritis in my hips and it was beginning to make my life very uncomfortable. I got to the point where exercising was not only hard work, but it hurt.

My wife and I began getting personal training, to get ourselves moving again. As a kid I played sport all the time and was very active, but as I had become less active, even the simplest activities were daunting.

This was the best thing I had ever done. I started moving again. 5 years on and I have never felt better. I can do things now that I have never been able to do. It has allowed me to be the father I had always wanted to be.

But exercise is not only beneficial to your body, it is also just as beneficial on your mind. In a high stress high intensity role, exercise is my release from the stresses of my job. It is an opportunity to just forget about my work problems. But it is more than this. When I am finished I feel fabulous. I can enter the gym feeling low, tired and stressed, but I walk out feeling on top of the world, absolutely physically exhausted, but feeling great.

I got involved in Secret Men’s Business because I am a firm believer that getting moving and exercise is beneficial to your mental health, and there are many men and women who suffer in silence, and just the simple action of getting exercise can make a huge difference.

There is much evidence that regular exercise is beneficial in preventing or managing moderate depression, generally there are a number of benefits of keeping active. They are;

  • help lift mood through improved fitness
  • help improve sleeping patterns
  • increase energy levels
  • help block negative thoughts or distract people from daily worries
  • help people feel less alone if they exercise with others.

Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones. It has been shown that for those that suffer from depression, exercise should be considered as an important lifestyle change that is used in addition to other treatments for depression.

This is where the Secret Men’s Business program fits in perfectly and now being online it enables even more men who may not have access to a gym or be able to afford a gym membership an opportunity to reap the benefits of not only an exercise program but the online community/support base as well. Through starting with the weekly workouts men are able to begin to turn the tide and begin the road back to good health in body and then in mind, combine this with contact with other like-minded men from all over the country plus the network of coaches we have on board for this program who volunteer their time and you have a fantastic recipe to affect some real long term positive change.

The most important thing to remember is to have a go. Start small and begin to move. Then when you feel confident find a gym or other exercise where you can get out and meet other people. You will find there are many out there who are in the same position. I have found that at my gym the ability to meet new people, the friendships that you form, and the accountability that this generates, make you want to return and go back the next day.

Getting back into the community is a great way to help you. If you know someone who is or may be suffering from depression then invite them to get active, encourage them to start moving and getting active in the community.


Resources: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/depression-and-exercise


Celebrating Men’s Health

Secret Men’s Business was founded by personal trainer Arj Perera in 2014.

It aims to help men battle depression by encouraging them to get active in the gym and catch up with other guys.

“The original idea was to let guys know that the bloke next door has probably gone through something similar. It let’s them know it’s OK to ask, it’s OK to go and catch up and say ‘hey, mate I need a hand’.”

Show your support by joining us for an evening celebrating Men’s Health in Bendigo and the beginning of our annual Secret Men’s Business Program Nationally.

This black tie event is definitely one not to miss with entertainment provided by Ian Seboa and DJ Tonky, a live auction run by the ever charismatic auctioneer Matt Leonard and fantastic food and drinks, provided by our hosts The Gallery Cafe.