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The ‘man flu’ is real—and speaks to the strength of women 💪

According to new research, those poor guys may not be exaggerating their despair.

The ‘man flu’ is real—and speaks to the strength of women 💪

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the “man flu” is defined as a “cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.” But, according to new research, those poor guys may not be exaggerating their despair—women just have stronger immune systems and coping mechanisms.


In the published report on the science of the man flu, Dr. Kyle Sue, an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, says he sought to get to the bottom of it as a result of feeling “tired of being accused of overreacting.”

He notes research that shows men are hospitalized at higher rates than women worldwide for the flu and respiratory illnesses. This, Sue suggests, indicates men have “weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women.”

To combat the man flu, Sue has a few ideas:

“There are benefits to energy conservation when ill. Lying on the couch, not getting out of bed, or receiving assistance with activities of daily living could also be evolutionarily behaviors that protect against predators. Perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.”

This may not provide much comfort to the women left to pick up some slack while men convalesce, there is one key takeaway: If Sue’s right and it’s time to rethink stereotypes about the “man flu,” then it’s also appropriate for us to revisit old cliches about the “stronger sex.”

For more evidence:

Of course, this shouldn’t make men feel bad. Or, at least, any worse than they already do when they come down with a case of the sniffles.?

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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