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Women's Health

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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 Association.

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."


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:

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