Women outlive men by 7 years. Women get sick much less frequently than men as they age. These statistics are a little ego-booster for women, but if you think further into the future, it’s just plain heart breaking to think that the man you love might not be around as long as you’d like. The good news is that 78 percent of married men, or those in a serious relationship, say that that their significant other is a big influence in their decision to go to the doctor. Here are some ways to motivate your man to look out for his health more, without feeling like a total nag:
1. Say it Once and With Feeling:
Say his name in a loving way, look him in the eye, touch him and say “you really should take better care of your
x, y or z.” If you repeat the advice, it will just start to sound patronizing, and it’s particularly annoying if you just say it in passing while you’re flipping through a magazine or perusing the fridge. Say it once and make it genuine. He will remember.
2. Workout Together:
If you’re worried your guy will react to the words “honey, you should work out” too sensitively, try a different approach. Find an activity you could both enjoy and schedule it regularly. This could mean trying your hand at tennis, soccer or some sport you didn’t really have any interest in before. But you will both get a great work out. In fact, one study found that couples who work out together work out more than those in a relationship who work out separately.
3. Talk About His Family History:
Most men don’t go to the doctor unless they feel unwell. But symptoms of many genetic health issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure go unnoticed until after a major event like a heart attack or stroke. Men like hard evidence, so if you gently remind him that his father struggles with his cholesterol or that his mother suffered a stroke, this could open his eyes up to the reality of the danger.
4. Make Eating Healthy Feel Manly:
It’s kind of emasculating for a guy when his girlfriend or wife pushes him to order the Summer Strawberry Salad, or the burger without the bun. You get the point. Find ways to make eating healthy still enjoyable for him. One great way is to encourage him to use his favorite cooking device—the grill. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to prepare meet because the fatty residue drips off. Make it easier for him by doing the shopping. Buy lean cuts of meat, pre-make meat and veggie shish kebabs for him to grill or buy him a grilling basket for fish.
5. Go With Him To The Doctor:
Both men and women can get so anxious in the doctors office, they miss most of what the doctor says. Provide your non-anxious set of ears at his appointment so if your man forgets (or simply doesn’t implement) his doctor’s advice, you can gently remind him, “remember what your doctor said…”
6. Apply For Insurance:
This has immediate and long term benefits. First off, it appeals to the provider instinct in men. He wants to ensure his family is taken care of should anything go wrong. The more immediate benefit is that blood work and a physical exam are required for insurance applicants, so it’s just one more way to get him to the doctor for a checkup.
7. Write Up A Health-Screening Schedule:
Men like concise directions. Women often think aloud and add superfluous information like “you should really get your heart checked out because Marcy’s husband had a mild heart attack last week and I saw on the news that 40% of men who….” See what I mean? “Get your blood pressure checked on July 10th.” Those are concise directions that he will actually pay attention to. Write up a health-screen schedule including the following:
Blood pressure check every 2 years
Cholesterol checked every 5 years
Ear and eye exams starting at 40, every 2 to 4 years
Regular colon exams after 50
I know, the last thing you want to be is the nagger, the “motherly type” to your boyfriend or husband. But, let’s face it: men will always need a little mothering. Luckily, if you’re tricky about it, he just won’t realize you’re doing it.
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