Wise Women Learning From Wise Men

man-sleepingA local hospital sent me one of those freebie magazines chock full of health advice and fitness tips.

(Confession Time: I’m a sucker for any written material that comes in the mail. I carefully go through the Valu-Pak coupons. I read the local newspaper that is sporadically and mysteriously sent to me. I even read those faux newspapers with pseudo-articles that are touting the latest in real estate trends or kitchen design. I am, in short, a direct mail marketer’s dream customer.)

Back to the health magazine¬† … One article focused on the healthy habits adopted by women that help them outlive men. The “habits women have right” include: (1) eating right and exercising so they look attractive, (2) practicing prevention from a young age, (3) expressing their emotions and surrounding themselves with friends, and (4) listening to public health campaigns.

But, what I found MOST fascinating was the sidebar that detailed “3 Habits Men Have Right.” Referencing Debbie Mandel’s book Addicted to Stress: A Woman’s 7-Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, the magazine urged women to learn from these wise habits:

  • Men use their free time to unwind.
  • Men express what they want around the house.
  • Men know how to delegate.

Mandel then went on to explain how the above habits reduce stress that leads to cardiovascular problems and increased mortality risk.

To me, the article reframed the age-old tension of how men and women spend their “down time” at home. In many households, women complain that they must scurry around with their to-do’s list while men kick back, usually in front of the TV. After reading Mandel’s list, one could argue that men are taking care of their health by plopping on the couch while women are ignoring their well-being by rushing around until they collapse into bed exhausted.

What do you think of this after-work gender dynamic (how’s that for a fancy phrase?) and the health implications? Do Mandel’s points take any of the edge off the resentment you may experience at home?


  • Cindy's Coffeehouse Says:
    11-11-2010 11:58:09

    I think that, in general, we women work too hard and move too fast. I think we should both ease up and slow down. I’m convinced that returning to a lighter touch and healthier pace would benefit not only ourselves, but also our families, our communities and even our country!

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    How is it that so often ... I get the feeling I've worked hard to learn something I already know, or knew, once.
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