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It’s a commonly accepted fact that women outlive men by several years. Wherever you live, there’s a good chance that the men will die eight years earlier than a woman of the same age group.

It’s fair to say that women are better at living than men.

Sure, staying alive the longest isn’t a competition, but if it were, women are unequivocally beating the pants off men. They are the ’85 Bears, we are the 2017 Cleveland Browns.

With that in mind, maybe it’s time we think about stepping up our game and taking better care of ourselves. To assist you with that, here is some useful information and a handful of tips to help you outlive the average.

What factors contribute to men dying sooner?

Traditionally, the factors linking men to an early mortality rate were related to having more dangerous jobs. But with gender roles being challenged and women gaining the same jobs, along with evolving OSHA regulations the mortality gap still shows no end in sight.

Men’s medical challenges are, in part, due to cultural conditioning. They’re hesitant to seek treatment for actual ailments because of certain mantras instilled in them from a very young age.

These can sound like, “don’t be a wimp”, “walk it off”, “man up”, and “rub some dirt on it”.

Women who feel like something might be wrong with their bodies are not hesitant to speak up. After years of neglect due to gender bias, women have learned how to fight for themselves – even in terms of healthcare.

Gender roles dictated by society play a big role in why men don’t seek necessary treatment or preventative measures when it comes to their health.

Society expects men, or men think society expects them to deal with most of their problems simply by “sucking it up”. So, what can be done to improve men’s health?

Staying alive the longest isn’t a competition, but if it were, women are unequivocally beating the pants off men. They are the ’85 Bears, we are the 2017 Cleveland Browns.

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Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month. This is an initiative launched to raise awareness about health care for the male gender. It focuses on encouraging young boys, men, and their families to implement healthy living choices including eating habits and exercising.

The gender health gap is becoming more and more evident as time goes on. So what can be done to promote a lasting change?

Raising Awareness

The first step of fixing a problem is to admit there is one. When you make the problem more visible, men will learn to identify and change damaging patterns and harmful behaviors in themselves.

This will also allow health care professionals to better identify and treat warning signs of health problems.

Accepting Change

Amplifying a change in lifestyle and reducing the stigma tied to seeking help could be paramount in adjusting to the preventative emphasis on healthcare.

In addition to Men’s Health Month, there’s also International Men’s Health Week (IMHW), which was launched to:

  • increase awareness regarding men’s health issues globally
  • encourage inter and intranational institutions to develop health services and policies facilitating the specific needs of boys, men, and their families.

Lifestyle Changes You Could Make to Outlive the Average

If you’re ready to take a step towards extending your life expectancy, here are a few things you can do to outlive the average:

1.   Have a heart-to-heart with your doctor

Be open and candid with your doctor. Symptoms that are seen as “embarrassing” can be tied to more dire health conditions. i.e., erectile dysfunction is also tied to heart disease and diabetes.

Describe your symptoms. Doctors are there to help you and cater to your needs. Feeling shy may cost you a few years off of your life.

2.   Vaccinate

Men’s immune systems are less ruthless than women’s. To combat this, get regular check-ups, vaccinate on time, eat right, and practice safe sex.

Men die from seven of the ten most common infections and at a higher rate than women. STDs, tuberculosis, cancer, and osteoporosis are major concerns.

3.   Manage your testosterone levels

Testosterone starts to dip by 1% every year after you reach the 30th benchmark. Lowered testosterone is tied to the decrease in muscle mass, memory, stamina, vitality, libido, and concentration.

This has a great effect on men’s mental health, potentially leading to depression and significantly increasing the risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Treatments are available to combat the drop in testosterone levels.

Talk to your doctor about your next steps if you notice a decrease in your quality of life after age 30.

4.   Assess your risk of coronary disease

Discuss your risk of coronary heart disease with your doctor. Is there any type of familial predisposition that raises your chances?

Do you know of any relatives that have died due to coronary disease? What are your cholesterol levels? Your doctor will address all your concerns and give you proper guidelines on how to avoid the disease.

Conclusion

When it comes to being proactive about your wellbeing or just not suffering from a health issue, trying to “walk it off” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Especially when we as men pride ourselves on being able to fix things. Why is our health any different?

Sure, some conversations about your health may be uncomfortable as well as following the doctor’s orders, but “man up”, right? Plus, if you have a family, adding more years to your life will give you extra time to spend with them.

At Quotacy, we understand the importance of being able to provide for your loved ones, which is why it’s so important to have a life insurance policy in place to protect your family’s future. Especially if they rely on your income.

To see prices and compare life insurance policies, start with a free quote.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.