Men's Healthy Habits: How Women Can Benefit
Brothers are doing it for themselves. That's right ladies, when it comes to health, men are representing in three key areas. Because exercise, sleep, and stress can be determining factors in keeping your weight in check, we take our hats off to the guys for doing better than we have been in the past. In case you're wondering, here are some ways we can benefit from thinking like a man when it comes to health.
Men Exercise More
Researchers from Oregon State University found men exercise almost twice as much as women. They outfitted over 1,000 men and women with accelerometers that measured their daily activity. The study published in Preventive Medicine found women got 18 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity to men’s 30 minutes. You may know that the USDA recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week in addition to two days of strength training. If women use the same amount of time to measure up, they’ll have to use their 18 minutes a day doing vigorous activity, such as high impact aerobics, jumping rope, or water jogging. That should get us to the alternative of 75 minutes of vigorous activity. However, to prevent weight gain, the guidelines require 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days. If you’ve lost weight and are looking to keep the weight off, you’re looking at 60-90 minutes of moderate activity. Both men and women in America are a far cry from that. So you know, the USDA found that accumulating approximately 8,000 steps a day is associated with obtaining 30 minutes of activity, while accumulating 7,000 every day of the week is consistent with obtaining 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity weekly.
Men Shoot First
While it would seem that women are under more stress than men, according to a number of studies, this is not the case. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, men and women report similar average stress levels. The reason why women may seem to be more stressed is because we’re less apt to fight our way out of it. A study by University of Southern California researchers found men who are under stress take more risk than females. Where exercising more or changing our eating habits is needed, women may take the safer route in making the switch. But sometimes drastic matters are needed. Changing dinner or wake times, being away from children a little longer, or staving off cleaning by a day may seem like big risks. But, because higher risk is associated with higher reward, men may be more apt to just go for it anyway to reap the benefits. While women do report more social support, we may ask questions first and be slower to sacrifice our current stressful circumstance to get to a healthier, happier existence.
Men Get Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation reports 49 percent of men sleep well most nights compared to just 34 percent of women. Their Sleep in America poll found women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep as well. Reports also show that women have a higher incidence of insomnia. Yet women need more sleep. A report by Dr. Jim Horne, sleep science expert explains on average women need twenty more minutes of sleep than men. He points to the fact that women tend to multi-task more and use more of their brain than men. That’s not slight to men who know how to shut it down after a hard day.
Where Men Need Improvement
Okay, men are not perfect when it comes to health. We’ll start with the big one, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, men are 24 % less likely than women to have visited the doctor in the past year and are 22% more likely to neglect preventive care, such as their cholesterol tests. Women are also beating men out when it comes to healthy eating habits. A report by the International Food Information Council suggests women are more likely than men to eat foods to maintain overall health and wellness. All in all, men have the wherewithal to make changes decidedly to be healthier, but women hold the key to maintain good behavior.
What cues have you taken from the opposite sex to become healthier?