Talking Health With Men: Understanding the Language of Cavemen


If there is any headline that will catch my attention or scare the triple-decker burger or beer right out of my hand, it’s: “DEAD AT 50 FROM HEART ATTACK,” and when you hit 34-years old, like I did recently, this really starts to catch your attention.

A few weeks ago, we all saw this headline again. This time, it involved one of Hollywood’s A-list actors who portrayed one of television’s most well-known characters from the HBO series, The Sopranos, James Gandolfini, who died in late June of heart complications at 51-years old.

The headline hit home for me because, like Gandolfini, I’m a husband and father of two, and I can’t imagine my life without my family. Likewise, I don’t want to imagine my family’s life without me.


We men are a very bull-headed species, and it’s safe to say we haven’t changed much over the centuries. In our minds, we don’t need yearly physicals, we don’t need advice about how we eat, and we darn sure don’t need someone telling us how to work out!

And, why not? I’ll explain in a series of man grunts. Stay with me here:

Argh!: “If there’s something wrong I don’t want to know about it!”

Err!: “The doctor’s gonna find something wrong, ‘cause all they want to do is take your money and keep you coming back.”

I’ve said these things before. I’ve even discussed them with a group of guys,and we’ve all high-fived each other, because its cooler to walk around as a ticking time bomb than to know our issues and to start making lifestyle changes that add years to our lives.

If you’re allowing your health to go unchecked, it’s time to change.

Make an appointment today, diffuse the bomb and stop taking risk, for your family’s sake. Know what’s going on with your health, and if you get some unsettlingly news, you now have the information to start taking corrective action to either reduce or eliminate your issue.


Ergh!: “If the doctor finds something I don’t want to have to take medications.”

I’m no physician, and I feel sympathy for those who are and have to deal with my species. Speaking only from my interactions with my physician, taking medications may not be the first course of action.

When I meet with people in my wellness consultations, more often than not, they’ve been given another alternative! That other alternative is usually modifying diet and exercise, and here comes the loudest grunt of them all:

Uhngh!: “I know how to workout, and I eat pretty good.”

No you don’t. You wouldn’t be in this situation if you did.

Now, I know some people have genetic factors, but it doesn’t exclude them from taking control of their health. In fact, it’s a great reason to start a proper diet and exercise program to help keep health issues in check.

I’m also speaking to the man who’s beating his chest thinking nothing can happen to him and that everything’s just fine, all while he’s gasping for air after five minutes of playing with his kids.

To make a change, align yourself with professionals.

Meet with your physician every year for you check ups, consult the expertise of a certified personal trainer (not with the goof ball with the “huge arms bro” rotating between the chest press and bicep curl). But with a real trainer, whose sole purpose isn’t to try and kill you during your first training session.

Look for a trainer who’s interested in helping you feel better, move better and accomplish a weight loss goal without wrecking your body and psyche in the process.

Schedule a meeting with a registered dietitian instead of taking advice from said goofball, telling you to do something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle and that possibly makes things even worse. If along the way, you find yourself paired with a professional who doesn’t put your needs first, drop them and get with someone who will.


Guys, I’m not selling you out, I’m one of you! I’m lucky I have someone in my life that makes me take these precautions to ensure I’m around for the long haul.

So, what’s your motivation? Is it your family, a personal goal or the desire to avoid that dreaded headline? Find your motivation and start taking small steps to a healthier you.

Gain knowledge from people who make health and wellness their life and who live to help others and start forming a strong “lifestyle coaching team” whose focus is keeping you ready for the game day of everyday life.

No matter the sport, professional or amateur, from team sports to tennis or golf, they all need coaches drawing a plan for success, and your life is no different. Find your motivation, and start working to add years to your life.

The Neanderthal lives in us all, but there’s a reason why they’re extinct!

About the author

Matthew Ward
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Matthew is the Weight Management Program Supervisor and a Fitness Specialist at the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas and is currently working towards his B.S. in Business and Sociology.

2 thoughts on “Talking Health With Men: Understanding the Language of Cavemen”

  1. Hi Kristen,

    I feel at times, as men, we focus so much on providing for our family that we forget that our families are dependent on us for so much more than that. That means being around for years to come.

    As his partner, I would sit down and have a heart-to-heart with him and discuss why his health is important and that there are others in his life to consider. A lot of the time, the hardest part for us is the hassle of making the appointment. So let him know you’ll make the appointment for him, put it in his calendar and all he has to do is show up.

    Like most things, after the first time each year will become easier for him, and when issues arise, he won’t be so hesitant.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article, and I hope this helps!

  2. Excellent article, Matthew! How can we, as loving wives (batting eyelashes), encourage our husbands to schedule yearly exams and to consider going to the doctor when issues arise?

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Talking Health With Men: Understanding the Language of Cavemen