A Healthier Husband
Health Hurdle #3: Exercise and Diet
Smart nudge: Adopt a healthy lifestyle with him — or without him.
Blame it on "hungry man" portions and an NFL season that never seems
to end: Sixty-seven percent of men are overweight, reports the American Obesity
How to get your husband to shape up? Tailor your tactics to his personality,
Dr. Moyad suggests. One guy — like a patient of his who lost 50 pounds — might
be inspired by a motivational speaker. Another could do well with a group
program. Whatever he tries, keep supporting him, says Siegfried J. Kra, M.D., a
cardiologist at the Yale School of Medicine and author of How to Keep Your
Husband Alive. "By himself, he may do fine for a while. Then, unless he
gets reinforcement, he may give up."
Tampa disc jockey "Marvelous" Marvin Boone, 52, credits his wife for
helping him stay slim. Shortly after losing 120 pounds, Boone, who hosts a
greatest-hits radio program, married Pamela in a Las Vegas ceremony that
featured an Elvis impersonator escorting the bride down the aisle. Since then,
Boone says his wife has "loved him tender" by revamping their menu.
"Although Pamela was always very slender, she did eat a lot of fast
food," says Boone. "Now we're into fruits and vegetables, whole grains,
and fish. We're doing it together."
And if your guy can't give up double cheeseburgers or get into an exercise
routine, adopt healthy habits for yourself, sans lectures. (Remember what the
Duke and Yale researchers found: Simply changing your behavior can have a
profound influence on what your spouse does.) "As you get results,"
says Pollack, "he may be inspired to join in."
Say it like this: . Hear that silence? Lectures won't work here. Nonverbal
action will, say our experts. And if your husband does start to change, don't
become a lifestyle cop. "Men worry that they'll slip up, and everyone will
come down on them," says Pollack. "They need a sense of trust."
CHECKING UP: HEALTH TESTS MEN NEED
If your guy's been avoiding the doctor, talk with him about scheduling an
exam so that he's up-to-date on these lifesaving checks: