Men’s health issues don’t affect only men. They can significantly impact everyone around them. Women live longer than men, and consequently they see their fathers, brothers, sons and husbands suffer or die prematurely.
From the moment a male is born, statistics show that, on average, he will live a shorter life span than his female counterpart by about five years. Why? Males have higher rates in 12 of the 15 leading causes of death, many of which are preventable.
Men need physical exams every year after the age of 40 (not for prostate exams and Viagra) to prevent heart attacks, stroke, stress related illness and cancer. These diseases can be prevented if caught early enough.
If the men in your life are reluctant to get their annual physical exams or avoid getting medical attention, the following approaches may help:
- Appeal to his competitive side and his need to be at the top of the hierarchy. Whether it’s being the head of the household or the CEO of a company, good health means he can continue to be top dog and will be around for a long time.
- Find out whether he is more comfortable seeing a male or female health care provider and make sure he’s seeing the one he prefers. Be sure they are the type of physician that inspires rather than scolds or he will never want to go back.
- Point out the connection between good health and good physical and mental performance in sports, work, play, etc.
- Gently remind him that his children will be influenced by the example he sets when forming life-long health habits.
- If none of the above work, ask him to get a physical as a “gift” to you. Gifts and acts of service can send a powerful message of love. He doesn’t have to worry about shopping for it, returning it, or that you won’t love it!
As for nutrition, if they are reluctant to change their meat and potato macho ways, get sneaky. Little changes are sometimes easier to hide, like switching to whole grain buns and bread for grilled hamburgers and meat sandwiches. Add some cooked cauliflower, a little skim milk and seasonings to mashed potatoes. Grilled peppers and tomatoes make a great addition to burgers and sandwiches. Add a little 2% or skim mile to the whole milk.