Health Habits Men Should Take From Women

April 27, 2018  |  
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Gettyimages.com/Three women in the park running or jogging together. They are side by side, smiling. The one in the middle is mixed race Hispanic and African American. They are in their late 30s, early 40s.

After having a few serious boyfriends in my lifetime and many good male friends, I’ve learned something to be pretty universally true about men: dudes can be a bit sloppy about their wellness. My boyfriend hadn’t been in for a physical in three years when I asked when his last checkup was. Clearly, I forced him to make the appointment ASAP. He also had digestive issues he had just never mentioned to his doctor. He just figured they were normal. He assumed that being in pain every day was normal. What?! Oh, and he just wasn’t flossing. Nope. He wasn’t doing it. He figured that dental cleanings would handle that, and while that isn’t true, it also doesn’t matter because he hadn’t been to a dentist in three years, either. Women are just better at looking out for their health than men are. Here are wellness habits men should pick up from women.

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Talk to friends about symptoms

When women get together, we tell each other about every new ache, pain, weird bump, funny skin condition, and digestive discomfort. As information comes out, we begin to share what we know—we tell each other about another friend who had that, and what her diagnosis was, or what food she cut out to fix it. When we communicate, we can learn about our bodies.

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Talk to our parents about our health

Any time I discover a new health issue of mine, I call my mom and ask her if she’s ever experienced it. Many conditions are hereditary, after all, so my mom might be able to instantly tell me what’s (probably) up. Either way, I talk to her about health, so she brings up things that run in our family and issues I should look out for.

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Meeting for walks

Women meet up for walks a lot. We love to catch up over a good power walk. I don’t know why this has gotten such a female-only reputation but men should do it, too! It’s a much healthier way to catch up than over video games or beer.

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Meeting at the Farmer’s Market

We also love to meet at the Farmer’s Market, which is a great way to be more conscious about what we eat and buy, and make healthier shopping choices. By meeting at the Farmer’s Market, we make sure we set aside time to buy fresh food, without sacrificing social time.

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Over-sharing with our doctors

There’s really no such thing as over-sharing with your doctor. It’s better he has information he doesn’t need, than not have information he needs. I’ve noticed men can be a bit reserved in what they share with their doctors, but that can have dire consequences.

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Keeping a scale

Almost zero of my male friends own scales. Okay, okay—maybe women weigh themselves too much. But men don’t seem to weigh themselves at all. I can’t tell you how many of my male friends just “accidentally gained 25 pounds.” Women don’t do that. We don’t let a new extra five pounds go unnoticed.

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Being aware of bowel habits

Perhaps it’s tied to the fact that we feel like we have to have flat tummies to be beautiful but, women seem more in tune with and aware of their bowel habits than men. All of my female friends know exactly how often they go to the bathroom and have a set schedule. Most of my male friends really couldn’t tell me their bowel habits—they hadn’t noticed them. Whoops.

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Yoga

Yoga can make us more flexible and prevent injuries in the future, or at least minimize the damages of injuries. But if you pop into just about any yoga class, you’ll find mostly women there.

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Meditation

Meditation is another habit that has tremendous benefits for our wellbeing, but it’s also another routine that men seem to believe is feminine.

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Expressing ourselves

Women don’t feel the same pressure be “stoic” as men do. So, we vent. We let it out when we’re upset. We cry. We complain. We express ourselves. And that’s good for our emotional and physical wellbeing.

women sisters friends

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Making more time for friends

Women seem to be better about keeping an active social life. Men are happy to be hermits, but we get really healthy hormone boosts from being around close friends. So maybe men should make friendship more of a priority, like women do.

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Grocery shopping

All of my male friends, and every boyfriend I’ve ever had, have sadly empty refrigerators. All I find is condiments and beer. And they all make last minute, unhealthy eating choices because by the time they’re hungry, it’s too late to grocery shop and cook. Men: fill your fridges. Steal your female friend or girlfriend’s shopping list.

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Opting for wine

Women love their wine, and maybe men should, too. Hey, if you are going to have a drink each night anyways, it may as well come with the heart health points of wine.

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Visiting spas

Spas offer so many health benefits, from opening up pores, to flushing out toxins, to relaxing the muscles, and relieving stress. But they are noticeably filled with…women. Men don’t really plan spa days together, but they should.

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Staying on top of appointments

Perhaps it’s because women are better at keeping calendars in general, but we’re pretty good at setting reminders for ourselves to book our annual physicals, teeth cleanings, and well women’s exams on time.

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