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MetroEast Natural Healing knows education is the best tool for our patients to have a thorough understanding of how our bodies are designed to heal naturally. We also want our patients to know who we are, how we operate, and how we work with you to heal your body through personalized nutrition and detoxification.

How To Talk To The Men You

Love About Their Health

There is a strong societal consensus that men are the stronger gender. This idea often rings true when considering speed, muscle mass, and even bone density. From the perspective of other health markers, unfortunately, the male gender does not always take the lead.

Consider the longevity gap. The average life expectancy for men is 76.1 years, and 81.1 years for women. Along with a shorter lifespan, men also tend to be more burdened by disease. Men are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and have a higher prevalence for serious chronic conditions, including many types of cancer.

Men are also less likely to seek care from healthcare providers, according to surveys conducted by the CDC. To top it off, men are more likely to engage in risky and health damaging behaviors, such as drinking, smoking, and eating an unhealthy diet. All of this combined has created a situation where in nearly 90% of heterosexual couples, the female takes the lead as the health advocate.

For those who identify as the health conscious but concerned spouse or partner, let’s dive into some ways to talk to men about taking care of themselves/ taking control of their health.

*It is not only men who may be resistant to adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking care of themselves. These tips can be utilized to encourage any loved one, whether it’s a partner, sibling, or parent, to seek a better state of health and wellness. Consider the he/him/his as they/them/theirs.

1. Communicate the reasons for encouraging him to be healthy. Motivation that comes from a positive place focused on the future, such as time with family, travel, or many active years together, is more likely to stick. Help him identify his “why” within the partnership, and for himself as an individual. If weight is an issue, ensure that he understands this is about feeling better, not simply looking better, to avoid making him feel self conscious.

2. Frame motivating factors in an optimistic light. Focusing on preventing disease or other negative outcomes may seem daunting. Instead, emphasize the positives of eating more nutritious food and moving more. Additionally, let him know that his presence is more important than anything else

3. Focus on and accentuate positive behaviors. Highlight the good health habits already in place, especially when he is actively engaging in them. These can be related to exercise, diet, or stress management. Instead of nagging or complaining about an unhealthy behavior, compliment what will ultimately help him be healthier. This will create more open communication and increase the likelihood that other habits will be considered in the future.

4. Set realistic expectations. The movement and eating habits that work well for the health minded partner may be drastically different than that of their loved one. Don’t expect a sudden shift from couch potato to crossfit enthusiast or pizza lover to salad aficionado. Set him up for success by focusing on small changes that he is interested in. Perhaps it’s one less soda per day, or 10 more minutes of physical activity. Any step in the right direction is a win.

5. Take the lead. Some diseases, such as type II diabetes, have similar rates among genders, highlighting the importance for everyone to take control of their health via habit shifts. Before asking him to change his habits, ensure that the example is being set. The standards for health should be similar for both members of a couple.

Reduce consumption of processed grains and foods with added sugars.

Aim to consume 3-4 cups (6-8 servings) of vegetables, and 1-2 cups (2-4 servings) of fruit per day.

Choose fresh, whole foods prepared at home more than take-out or fast food.

Emphasize stress reducing habits, such as journaling, yoga, or meditation.

Adopt healthy movement habits, ideally 150 minutes per week, including strength training.

Give these ideas a try, and give new habits time to sink in. Work to create an environment that sets him up for success by removing junk food from the house and encouraging doable physical activity. Sometimes, an outside source of advice is needed to truly impact health change. The holistic nutrition professionals at MetroEast Natural Healing Center in Oakdale, MN specialize in individualized health improvement plans, and are always here to help.

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