5 Rules of Health for Men

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I’m asked about men’s health a lot, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. I’ve got credentials—but so does half the world. Credentials aren’t the main reason men talk to me.

No, the main reason people talk to me is because 40 years ago, I was an overweight, heroin- and cocaine-addicted, alcoholic smoker headed down a path that wasn’t likely to end well. Now, I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve maintained the same body weight and fat percentage since 1989. I play competitive tennis in a USTA league, and I play tennis or hike almost every day. I travel all over the country, have written a book a year for the past 15 years, and I have an almost-embarrassing amount of energy. And I’ve been passionately in love with the same partner for over 10 years—and my desire for her grows every year.

On my next birthday, I’ll be 74. That’s why people ask me about men’s health. And it’s an important topic, because while we may consider ourselves the stronger sex, the fact is that men are losing the longevity battle. In 1900, the average female lived to about 48 compared to 46 for the average man—a gender gap of about 2 years. As of 2017, the gender gap had grown to 5 years, with women living to an average of 81 years compared to 76 years for men. More than half of all women over age 65 in America are widows, and they outnumber widowers 3:1. Among centenarians, there are four women for every man.



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