7 Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wives

Thank the fairer sex for these smart ideas.

ByK. Aleisha Fetters
May 13, 2014, 4:36 PM
PHOTO: Thank the fairer sex for these smart health habits.
Thank the fairer sex for these smart health habits.
Getty Images

May 14, 2014— -- intro: Despite your stubbornness, your wife is always right. Always. And every once in a while, it really would benefit you to take notice.

Case in point: these seven simple health “secrets” only women swear by, but every guy should follow. Give them a try. You don’t have to admit you stole the ideas from her.

quicklist: 1category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Washing Your Face Before Bedurl:text: Does your wife hit the sack looking like someone else?

Washing her face before bed removes zit-inducing oil, dirt, and makeup, so her skin can repair itself and prepare for another day. But even if you don’t have an inch-thick layer of makeup to remove, you can still benefit from a pre-bed wash, says Ariel Ostad, M.D., clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center.

“You have to remember that you touch your face all day long—without even realizing it!—which can spread bacteria. Cleansing the skin at night reduces oil and prevents this bacteria from clogging pores,” he says.

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quicklist: 2category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Weighing Yourself Every Dayurl:text: Her daily step on the scale can seem obsessive—and sure, it’s sometimes accompanied by cursing—but monitoring your weight is perhaps the easiest way to keep your gut in check, says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., medical director of bistroMD.

In fact, in one University of Minnesota study, people who stepped on the scale every day lost twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less often. And the slim-down effects might be even more pronounced for men, since, unlike women, guys can’t always rely on tight clothes to call out their bulge.

“Men tend to gain weight in their abdomen and can gain a lot of weight above their belt before their pants are too much tighter,” she says. Abdominal weight gain, which sits around the body’s internal organs, is the most harmful for a man’s heath—seriously upping the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

quicklist: 3category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Carrying Around Antibacterial Gelurl:text: Somewhere within the black hole that is a woman’s purse sits a little container of antibacterial gel. And not because she’s a germaphobe—because a woman comes prepared.

“Bacteria lurk wherever we go, but proper hand hygiene can prevent the spread of infections,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical dermatological research at The Mount Sinai Hospital. “Carrying around, and more importantly, using antibacterial gels is an easy, effective way to keep your hands sanitized and yourself healthier.”

Opt for a gel with at least 60 percent alcohol and vigorously rub it on both sides of your hands. You should use enough that it takes 15-plus seconds for your hands to dry, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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quicklist: 4category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Eating More Fiberurl:text: If yogurt commercials are to be believed, fiber is all about helping women have a good poo... which no guy really wants to think about. But fiber is good for much more—like helping guys lose weight and lower their cholesterol.

And consider this: Men with lower cholesterol have a lower risk of erectile dysfunction and an easier time getting it up, says Samantha Cassetty, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition for Luvo. She recommends getting at least 25 grams of fiber a day from whole foods like nuts, beans, whole grains, and fruits and veggies. “These foods also contain other heart-protecting nutrients that you won't find in foods enhanced with fibers.”

quicklist: 5category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Going on Friend Datesurl:text: Okay, you don’t have to call it a “date,” but regularly getting together with your buddies and—here’s the kicker—actually talking can do your health some good, says Coral Arvon, Ph.D., director of behavioral health and wellness at Pritikin Longevity Center.

“Men have always been taught to man up and keep things to themselves, and women have been taught to express themselves,” she says. “Women share with their friends regularly and stay healthier because of it.”

In fact, in one study of 70-somethings, Australian researchers found that those with the most friends lived 7 years longer.

quicklist: 6category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Taking Bathsurl:text: Women take baths and men shower, which might be the reason why she smells better than you and her skin is always so damn soft.

“Bathing in warm water opens up pores and cleanses impurities from the exterior of the skin while also lifting out harmful toxins, so your skin is fresh and unbelievably clean,” Dr. Ostad says.

Plus, if you add some natural bath salts to the water—girly, we know—you can even reduce the look of fine lines and other signs of aging—and no one likes a wrinkly butt. Just remember to apply lotion afterward to lock moisture into your skin. And if you’re really not into this whole soaking-in-the-tub thing, ask your wife to join you. Problem solved.

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quicklist: 7category: Health Secrets Guys Should Steal From Their Wivestitle: Taking Group Exercise Classesurl:text: No, you don’t have to take up Zumba or Jazzercise, but breaking a sweat with others ups your odds of sticking with your workout, according to research from Brock University in Canada. Plus, if you’re used to lifting weights and running day in and day out, mixing things up with some yoga or kickboxing can help keep your muscles guessing—and growing.

If you really can’t get into your gym’s exercise classes, try starting an intramural league with your friends or colleagues. One study of Oxford University rowers found that team members who worked out together doubled their bodies’ release of feel-good endorphins compared to those who exercised by themselves.

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