Shelford on a health cru­sade

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Buck Shelford is one of the tough­est men to ever pull on the All Black jersey. He thought he was in­vin­ci­ble on and off the rugby field.

But he wasn’t; and in his new book Buck Up, The Real Bloke’s Guide to Get­ting Healthy and Liv­ing Longer, Shelford tells New Zealand men they aren’t ei­ther.

It’s time they step up and start tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their health.

In 2005 Shelford was di­ag­nosed with can­cer. The lym­phoma started in his eye and spread throughout his body. But af­ter six months of chemo­ther­apy he beat the dis­ease.

How­ever, it made him ques­tion how more men were get­ting sicker and dy­ing younger than women.

‘‘Af­ter I had my can­cer I was con­tin­u­ally look­ing at the sta­tis­tics for men’s health and they weren’t good,’’ he said.

More re­cently, af­ter a pub­lic bat­tle with his weight, Shelford lost more than 25 kilo­grams with the help of Jenny Craig.

‘‘And it was about that time that I started look­ing at do­ing a book.’’

Men in New Zealand live on av­er­age four years less than women, yet are much less likely to talk to a GP about their health. Death rates for Maori also re­main dou­ble that of non-Maori.

‘‘I look back into Maoridom, and men were the war­riors and they went out and fought to keep their iwi and their whanau safe. Now our war­riors are dy­ing 10 years younger than pakeha peo­ple.’’

Buck Up tells men it is time to front up and take care of them­selves. And it shows them how.

Writ­ten with highly re­garded sports sci­en­tist Dr Grant Schofield, the book is part bi­og­ra­phy, part male health guide.

‘‘It tells a story about a guy who keeps rub­bing his eye and dis­cov­ers he has can­cer. It tells about a life­style that bangs him up to 150kg,’’ Schofield said.

‘‘And then it has some of the sci­ence to do with Buck’s change in life­style.’’

Shelford wants to be a role model for good ag­ing and ne­go­ti­at­ing the ups and downs of male health. But he says the book is not just for the old boys.

‘‘This is for all men. Those who leave school think­ing they are bul­let­proof. Men are staunch and men are lazy about go­ing to a doc­tor.

The book ad­vo­cates three steps to im­prov­ing men’s health. See your doc­tor and get­ting that an­nual ‘‘war­rant of fit­ness’’, do fit­ness ev­ery­day and eat good food: ‘‘lots of qual­ity pro­tein and slow car­bo­hy­drates.’’

It shouldn’t take a dose of can­cer or di­a­betes to make men think about their health, Shelford said.

‘‘Health is the most im­por­tant thing we can have as peo­ple.’’

BUCK UP YOUR IDEAS: Hard words of wis­dom from one of New Zealand rugby’s hard­est ever play­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.