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The longevity gender gap

Updated: May 29


...and what you can do about it


More than 30 years ago, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was a blockbuster bestseller. The nonfiction book explored the differences between men and women, concluding that, at times, it's almost as if men and women are from different planets.

 

The truth is there are big differences between genders, especially when it comes to health and longevity. Women now live more than six years longer than men, on average. And that gap continues to grow.

 

There are lots of reasons for these life expectancy differences, including the fact that men are 50% more likely to die of heart disease than women. Men also tend to avoid doctors and skip routine health screenings, which can mean they don’t get treated for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol.

 

Men: If you’re ready to change that statistic and learn what it takes to live healthier — and longer, start here.

 

Eat your medicine

The old adage is true: You are what you eat. The food you consume influences everything from your energy levels to your risk for diseases. That makes good nutrition crucial to your overall well-being.

 

Instead of viewing food as just calories, work to shift your mindset. Look at it as medicine that can help you avoid or manage chronic conditions. Focus on a diet full of nutrient-dense whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts and healthy fats. And limit your intake of processed foods, added sugars and unhealthy fats.

 

When you make this eating pattern a way of life, it can reduce inflammation, help you achieve a healthy weight and lower your risk for chronic conditions.


 

June is Men's Health Month, a great time to take advantage of all the resources MNPS offers to support your health and well-being.

 

Rest and run (or walk)

Sleep and physical activity are essential components of men’s health. Insufficient sleep can disrupt hormones, impair brain function, reduce immunity and increase disease risks. Most adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

 

Physical activity boosts cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and physical and mental energy. Aim for at least 45 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. For example, try brisk walking five times each week and doing some strength training three days a week. Even small adjustments — like taking the stairs and standing more throughout the day — can help.

 

Check your numbers

Pay close attention to key metrics like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and waist circumference. Work with your doctor to monitor these numbers and make lifestyle changes if they’re outside the healthy range. Getting recommended preventive screenings can dramatically improve your health outlook.

 

Protect your mental health

Conditions like depression, anxiety and stress can significantly impact your quality of life. Practice self-care through counseling or other healthy outlets. Pursue enjoyable hobbies and learn to manage unhealthy thought patterns. Emotional and mental wellness is just as vital as physical wellness.


 

The 90-day Men’s Health Challenge will guide you step-by-step through each of the above items. The next cohort begins June 24. Learn more or join today

 

  

Source: Harvard Health

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