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ask mh Fire in the hole! A sneeze launches your nasal contents at speeds that can exceed 160km/h. What happens if you try to keep a sneeze from blasting off? You risk serious damage to the launch facility: blocking a sneeze can generate pressure more than 38 times that of a normal sneeze. Damage from blocked sneezes includes fractures of the eye socket and the cartilage in the larynx, as well as forceful injection of air into the chest cavity and the tissues of your neck. (Vigorous nose blowing, while

nowhere near as explosive, can cause infections of the sinuses and middle ear.) How likely is any of this to happen? No-one really knows. But since the only reason to block a sneeze is to avoid spreading viruses (which you can do just as effectively by sneezing into the crook of your elbow), the next time you have a sneeze in final countdown, clear the pad and go for launch.

My eight-year-old’s soccer coach thinks he should – GH play in a year-round league. Good idea? Sure, if Ronaldo Jr. is into it – and your coach builds in regular breaks. Based on a review of previous studies, researchers at Loyola University, Northwestern University and Chicago Children’s Hospital concluded that training in a single sport can lead to injuries. “Skeletally immature joints can’t withstand the trauma of repetitive overuse without appropriate rest and time to recover,” says Dr William N Levine. But let’s say your boy is physically mature for his age. Researchers at Queen’s

University found that elite youth soccer players who progressed to pro status logged more hours of unstructured soccer time before age 12 than their amateur peers did. Translation: those future pros played more for fun. “If you give a child of that age something year-round, he may not want it anymore,” says John Engh, CEO of the US’s National Alliance for Youth Sports. Bottom line: if your kid’s coach insists on a 24-7-365 commitment, move on.


Ask the MH girls the questions you can’t ask anyone else. They’re three women with strong opinions, so don’t expect sugarcoated responses

Got a question for Ask Men’s Health or The Girls in the Office? Email or head to


I met this girl and I thought I was in love, but suddenly she stopped talking to me and I haven’t seen her since. I’m trying to get back into the dating game, but I can’t forget about her. Any advice? – CT Crystelle Seriously, CT? SHE DOESN’T WANT TO BE WITH YOU. Grow some cojones and move on! Alice Come now, Stelle. My advice? Time, CT. That, plus a distraction. If you can’t disguise your heartbreak, log onto Tinder and hide behind a screen while easing yourself back onto the dating scene. Cassie Ouch, Crystelle! Sounds like someone’s had his heart broken for the first time. CT, it sucks to be you right now, but by trying to get back in the saddle, you’re doing the best you can. Take your time and soon enough someone will come along who’ll make you forget all about what’s-her-face.

I’m 22 and still a virgin. I met a woman at the pub who wanted to go home with me, but I freaked out and ran away. I’ve always respected women and never thought I’d sleep with someone unless I knew her – but is that normal? I know almost everyone has one-night stands, but I just can’t get my head around it. – AL Alice Help a brother out and give this woman’s digits to CT. Crystelle Just because you respect a woman doesn’t mean you can’t have sex with her when she’s keen, AL. Sex between two consenting adults is something to be celebrated and excited about, not freaked out by. Ultimately, though, just do what makes you comfortable. If you want to wait, then stick to your guns and be happy with your decision, rather than worrying over what’s “normal”. Cassie You’re overthinking it, AL. My advice? Next time you get propositioned: deep breath in, pants down and get the job done. Alice If nothing else, your attitude is commendable, AL. If you opt for premature forced fun in the bedroom, there’s a chance your soldier will permanently be at ease. Limit your risk of a bruised ego by waiting ’til you bed a more familiar female.


I’ve been dating my girlfriend for seven months and she recently told me that she was diagnosed with HIV in her twenties. I’ve never had unprotected sex with her, though. What should I do? – RS Cassie If I were you, I’d be long gone by now, RS. It’s not the HIV that’s the problem, it’s that she hid it from you. What a massive


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thing to keep secret, especially when it can have such an enormous effect on your life. Surely the alarm bells would have sent you deaf by now? I don’t reckon I could move past this level of deception. Crystelle Wow. RS, that’s heavy stuff. I suggest you guys get HIV couples counselling. You’re probably going to have a lot of questions and emotions come up, so it’s best to have a professional help guide you through everything. Good luck. Alice Swing by your local medical centre to get your vitals checked out. And while you’re at it, maybe ask your girl about why she waited so long to ’fess up. Sensitive issue granted, but she needs to know pride has to take a back seat to health.


I’ve been seeing a lot of a girl at work, and we’ve been hooking up whenever we’ve been drunk. Lately, though, we’ve been waking up together and having sober sex. The kicker: she won’t break up with her long-term boyfriend, even though she told me she doesn’t love him. But it also doesn’t feel like she’s leading me on. What should I do? – AH Cassie Oh, come on! Crystelle First, stop being a jerk and sleeping with someone in a relationship. Not cool, AH. Second, of course she’s leading you on! If she wasn’t, then she would have broken up with her boyfriend already. Duh. Alice Don’t try to plead ignorance in this scenario when your wandering willy is getting up in her grill. Literally. Bow out and let the duo work out their issues. I’m sure there are other unattached ladies out there who are open (cough) to a drunken romp.

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What happens inside my body when I hold – IC in a sneeze?

Ask The Girls in the Office, December 2013  

Monthly Men's Health column

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