Your Norfolk

Former Norwich City footballer helps tackle men’s health

Darren Eadie

High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, anxiety and depression are just some of the health concerns that regularly affect men aged 40-74.

Canaries legend Darren Eadie has just signed up to help Norfolk County Council tackle some of these issues in a nine-month campaign called ‘Menkind’.

“When I was a professional footballer I took my health for granted,” explained Darren. “But I would always go and see my GP if I thought there was something wrong with me. It’s a shock to learn that women are five times more likely to see their doctor than men.”

Darren was forced to retire from football when he was 28 due to an injury but he’s still very close to the sport, and now spends a lot of his time training young people.

“Now I’m 43 it’s time to admit that I’m not quite as healthy as I once was. We all have to start looking after ourselves, and making small changes now could make all the difference to prolonging your life. Being motivated to take that first step to improving your mental or physical health is the most important thing, but it’s also the hardest. Thankfully there is help out there, tools such as the Couch to 5k app and the Active 10 walking tracker can help get you started on your road to fitness.” 

But it’s not just his own health that Darren’s thinking about. His brother suffered with heart issues all his life and had a stroke at an early age.

“He knows more than anyone how important it is to get yourself regularly checked. You might be fearful that there is something wrong, but as you get older, problems such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke and mental illness are all real risks we’re facing.

"Dealing with issues now makes it much easier to treat and avoid serious illness later in life.

“My advice would be to ‘just go for it’, make that small change. Once you switch your mindset you’ll find yourself on a roll and it’s surprising how quickly things start to improve.”

Read Darren’s monthly men’s health blog at www.norfolk.gov.uk/menkind

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