3128 is the number of people that lost their lives last year due to mental illness in Australia, this is an average of 8 a day,6 of these are men. For men, this is double the road toll. Yet it’s not something that is openly talked about.
From July 8 until the 28th, I’ll be completing the push-up challenge ( https://www.thepushupchallenge.com.au ). I will be doing 3128 pushups over the 21 days, this is around 150 a day. To up the ante I’m going to do them with a weight vest weighing 9kg, because some days you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world.
The point of this isn’t really about donations, whilst they are nice and they go to a wonderful cause. If you talk or listen to one person with a mental illness or simply checkin with someone, then that’s mission accomplished.
Here are some links for donations and starting a conversation with someone.
Day 1 is completed, I did 10 every 1 minute to see how I’d fair. The first 80-90 weren’t too bad. You’ll notice the final ones were a tad harder.
I will try and keep that rep scheme on the larger days- some of which are 200+ reps
Here is a video of day 1
Today’s target is 177 push-ups. This represents the estimated 17.7 million visits to GPs in Australia relating to mental health in 2018. Mental health issues cost Australians an estimated $60 billion every year. To put that in perspective, the total annual cost of diabetes in Australia is estimated to be almost $15 billion. So when it comes to mental health issues, that’s a cost of around $4,000, per Australian, per year.
Today’s target was 213 Push-ups, I changed my strategy to 5 push-ups every 30 seconds rather than 10 every minute.
High levels of sugar in your diet may make it more likely you will develop mental ill health in the future. It has also been suggested by researchers that increased sugar intake is associated with more severe symptoms in someone who has depression. 213 calories from sugar per day, which is 55g or 13 teaspoons, is the maximum recommended by the Australian guidelines. If you’re trying to decrease the amount of sugar you eat, check your foods for added sugars. These are sugars that are put in by manufacturers to make foods more appealing, but they don’t come with any extra nutrients. In contrast, the sugar in a piece of fruit comes with fibre and vitamins crucial to health. Avoid the added sugars and stick to the ones that occur naturally.
Sadly today I was sick, so I didn’t complete them, there were 124 push ups. I will make them up over the coming days.
Under Medicare, Australians are entitled to six to ten visits to a clinical psychologist for mental health counselling every year, covered up to the value of $124.50 per session. You can access these sessions under a “Mental Health Care Plan”, which can be put into place by your GP, so don’t feel like help is out of reach.
Today was a ripper, there were 200 push ups. Representing the shocking statistic where Indigenous Australians are 200% more likely to take their own life if they have a mental illness when compared to the rest of Australia. I completed these push-ups in addition to the 124 from Day 4 that I hadn’t done. I did this while watching the movie Shazam! (not the best movie, but its okay)
End of week 1! Today was a cheeky 105, I completed these after a workout at CrossFit Oxygen. I did 5 every 30 seconds, here is the video sped up 6x.
Day 7 – Rest Day
Today got toasty, I’d just finished the CrossFit WOD at CrossFit Box Hill which involved strict pull-ups and a ski erg.
Today was 160 Push-ups, representing that in a 400ml cup of coffee there can be 160mg of caffeine which has some evidence of helping with depression.
*taken from thepushupchallenge.com*
Today’s target is 235 push-ups.
This number represents almost 2,350 males who lost their lives to suicide in 2017, which is approximately 75% of deaths due to suicide in Australia. Females experience mental health issues at higher rates than males, but males are less likely to seek help for them. Some spaces within our communities exist especially to support the mental health of the males in our lives, like the Men’s Shed. Men’s Shed provides open workspaces where males can socialise, work, or help out their communities.
Check out their website here: https://mensshed.org/ Or, if you or a male you know needs to talk to someone about mental health, Mensline is a national service for males providing referrals, counselling and support. Call 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day).
Today was a lighter amount, 150 which felt like a walk in the park compared to yesterday.
Today represented an illness similar to depression, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which shows up in winter when vitamin D is harder to come by. However, supplementing vitamin D doesn’t necessarily improve someone’s mood. While we aren’t quite sure how the relationship between vitamin D and depression works yet, research is ongoing. Target levels for vitamin D are approximately 50-150nmol/L. People at risk include the elderly, those with dark skin tones, and people who wear clothing covering most of their body.
Today was one of the first days I was really starting to feel it, I was under a bit of time pressure to get it done as I had to go out shortly after. But I had my three main supporters at the Box watching me – Ash, Addi & Poppy. You’ll see me chatting to them in the video. It certainly made the time go faster. The first 30-40 were the worst, after that I was warmed up and ready to go! Tomorrow will be a cheeky 166.
Improving mental health in Australia is good for business. One publication estimated that for every dollar an employer puts into improving the mental health of their employees, they can expect a return of $2.30. That’s a 230% return on investment, which is huge. Improving the mental health of employees can mean less sick days, more engagement, and higher productivity for businesses. Some examples of programs to boost mental health in the workplace include mental health first aid training, worksite physical activity programs, resilience training, and Cognitive-Based Therapy-return-to-work programs.
Today was a nice cheeky 166 push ups, which felt like a warm up compared to yesterdays. This morning I woke up a little bit sore, but thankfully it wore off by the end of tomorrow.
Today I had some company from some close friends of mine. It certainly made it a lot easier and I was eternally grateful!
Well over half way now, tomorrow is 90 and then a day of rest on Sunday. Apologies for the video, I had the camera focus on the wrong setting so it kept adjusting!
Today’s target is 166 push-ups. This represents up to 16.6% of Australian mothers who will experience post-natal depression. That’s one in six. Symptoms of post-natal depression can include feeling overwhelmed or scared, getting unusually irritable, blaming yourself excessively, and not feeling able to look forward to things. Post-natal depression is also common in men – up to one in ten will experience it. You can find more information and help here: https://www.panda.org.auThe Push-Up Challenge Facebook Page.
Update – 27/07
I haven’t had a chance to update this page with the recent videos. Today is the second last day of the challenge.
The day following my last update was 90 push-ups, I completed these as handstand push-ups (I have this on video and will upload soon). I started them off as 3 every 30 seconds, after 22 rounds (66 reps) I moved to 3 every minute and for the last couple they were 3 every 1 – 1.30 minutes. I was stoked with finishing them.
This week has been a real burner, with 2x days over 200 reps! Last night was 240 reps, thankfully a friend of mine Ben joined me for the 20 minutes. We changed our game plan to 6 every 30 seconds, instead of the usual 5. It doesn’t sound like much but it really was.
I kept with the same rep scheme this morning for a quick 123 reps. The last day is a nice cruisey 120 reps! Cannot wait.