Men’s Health Week: Interview with Mark Cochrane

In celebration of Men’s Health Week, meet member Mark! 

This week marks the 30th celebration of International Men’s Health Week! It’s a special time dedicated to raising awareness about preventable health issues, and encouraging early detection and treatment, for men and boys.  

At PARC, we want to help everyone find ways to live healthier lives. According to the Australian Men’s Health Forum, many men aren’t active enough to stay healthy, learn more by visiting their page on the 10-man facts. This week, more than ever, we encourage you to check on your own and others’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

As a spotlight for Men’s Health Week we interviewed Mark, a dedicated member of our PARC community. Jump into our Q&A below to find out why being healthy is important to Mark and what Men’s Health Week means to him. 


Meet Mark 

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you joined PARC. 

A:  Well, my name is Mark, and I’ve been a member of PARC since 2017. I’m in my mid 40’s and have kids who are nearing adulthood!  

I originally joined PARC with the goal to lose weight, In 2017 I found that I couldn’t keep up with my kids, especially as they weren’t taking naps, and I couldn’t catch up on rest times. It was the exact wake up call I needed to become more active.  I wanted to work on not just my weight but my diet and overall outlook on life 

When I came in for a membership consultation, I knew that PARC would be the best place for me to start this health journey. I remember the staff member who took me through the consultation asked, “What do you want to achieve? What do you want?” and then she said how PARC could help me accomplish my goals, the exact opposite to what I’d seen at other gyms.  


Q: What keeps you coming back to PARC? 

A: Simple – it’s the community at PARC. 

When I started coming here, I only did solo workouts on the gym floor, but one time t sphe gym floor trainer spoke to me and encouraged me to join one of his PowerZone classes and I haven’t looked back.  

I absolutely love all the different group exercise classes and barely ever workout by myself. I found a real sense of community at PARC; it keeps me coming back especially being around a group of likeminded people who have similar goals. 


Q: Why is being active important to you? 

A: Being active is now a major part of my life, so much so I find it hard to be inactive and idle. I just want to be moving, especially after sitting down at work for most of the day. 


Q: What are some benefits you have experienced from being active to your overall wellbeing, both physical and mental? 

A: I’ve really enjoyed so many of the benefits from being active. My physical health has improved significantly since joining PARC, my blood pressure has reduced, my heart rate reduced, and I’ve lost a lot of weight. Even just moving freely around the house has been such a noticeable change. 

On the mental side of things, I really find that exercising helps clear my mind, I get a little bit of a buzz when I finish a workout. It definitely helps improve my mood and it’s such a good way to decompress at the end of the day. 


Q: How do you stay motivated to keep up a consistent exercise routine? 

A: Well, the best way for me to keep my exercise regular is just to make that choice to turn right off the freeway towards PARC. Going especially on those days where I just don’t feel like it helps keep that regular schedule. 

And really the biggest thing that keeps me coming back nearly every day is that I just really like being here, everyone is so welcoming and friendly it’s just a lot of fun coming to PARC. It really does help my motivation a lot. 


Q: Where do you want to be when you are 50? 

A: I really want to be encouraging movement and being active for my kids. I want to be a positive role model for them, not just physically but emotionally and mentally.  


Q: What is some advice you can give to someone who wants to be more active but are not sure where to start? 

A: I really do recommend just trying new things, but make them small. Make small changes that can really start to add up. I’ve actually got this saying that goes “you can’t get across a room in one bound, but you can make enough steps to get across to the end”. To me that means don’t just use your energy for one big change but invest in making small but meaningful impacts on your health. 

When you’re starting out don’t focus on the numbers but rather on how you feel after the exercise. Don’t get lost in what hasn’t changed but in how much you’ve achieved in that time. 


Q: What does men’s health mean to you? 

A: Men’s health is important to recognise. Men’s Health Week is a great opportunity to turn around and say, ‘hey things are not okay, and I might need to change that’. Men can often push down and bury the things that are not okay, when we should actually be saying ‘what are the things I can do to actually improve and help myself?’. 

We need to encourage each other to be active and help support each other in our own health journeys whether that be physical or mental. 


It was  a pleasure to  catch up with Mark and see his positive outlook on his physical and mental wellbeing.  

We at PARC are here for you no matter where you are on your health journey and Men’s Health Week reminds us to prioritise our health and support each other along the way. So, let’s keep moving forward together one step at a time towards happier, healthier lives.  

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