Is 40 really the new 25? There are thousands of articles about women over 40, but what about men over 40? Men just get better, right? After all, there is scientific proof that intellectual production peaks in your 40s. If you are going to win a Nobel Prize, your major research work is done in your 40s. If you are pursuing online dating, your 40s are on the up run towards peak desirability. However, you might notice a few more gray hairs or an occasional twinge here and there. Did you know there are some simple and smart health habits for men over 40 to make getting better with age a reality?
Health Habits for Men Over 40 You Need to Know
Time Waits for No Man
You don’t suddenly wake up on your 40th birthday with a Logan’s Run flashing light. There is no evil fairy handing out flab, erectile dysfunction, and nose hair in honor of you attaining quadragenarian status. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some inconveniences with getting older. There are several changes in the male body as it ages. Adjusting your nutrition, exercise, and grooming routine make the changes less drastic.
Adjust your medical care routine too. While men’s aging is less dramatic than women’s menopause, the slow diminishing of testosterone changes the skin, brain function, muscle tissue, and more.
Testosterone Levels in 40 Year Old Men
The most powerful male hormone, testosterone, controls sex drive and sperm production. It contributes to muscle mass and influences energy, vigor, and competitive drive.
The level of testosterone in your body peaks around 18 or 19 and then gradually decreases. By your 40s these changes are noticeable. Lower testosterone levels can result in a variety of symptoms.
Low testosterone levels can cause changes in sexual function, including:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced libido
- Low sperm count
Low testosterone can also result in:
- Reduced muscle bulk and strength
- Bone density loss
- Lack of concentration
If you may have low testosterone levels, your doctor can order tests and prescribe hormone replacement therapy if necessary.
Heart Health After 40
Over 40, see your doctor regularly. Taking care of your heart and circulatory system is a priority. As your body ages, your tissues begin to lose elasticity. Add in some, cholesterol sludge buildup in your arteries and you have some serious health issues.
Regularly monitor your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and overall heart health. If you find yourself gaining weight, adjust your diet and exercise level. If you use tobacco products, quit.
Stress can take its toll on your heart health. Get adequate rest and exercise to keep your mind healthy along with your body. Meditation can be good for the heart and the mind.
Cardio health is good health! Daily exercise of some sort is an excellent habit to have in your 40s.
Signs of Skin Aging
Thinning skin and loss of elasticity affects men, too. Wrinkles and eye puffiness can leave you looking angry, fatigued, or just plain old. Most men eschew cosmetics. Make a habit of regular applications of sunscreen daily to prevent premature aging and cancer.
As a general health habit for men over 40, you should also see a dermatologist for skin cancer screening every year. Years of sun exposure as a child can catch up, so note those suspicious moles and freckles. Signs to look for:
- New moles or freckles appearing
- Moles that get bigger or change shape
- A mole with a notched outline or that becomes notched
- Moles or freckles that are multicolored or that change colors
- A mole that grows rough, scaly, or ulcerated
- Moles that itch, bleed, or ooze
- Any spots that look or feel different
Let your doctor know if you notice any of these signs. Not all abnormal skin growths are cancer, thank goodness. Men over 40 often develop an actinic (solar) keratosis, a rough, scaly patch skin on sun-exposed areas.
As you age, you may find weight loss more difficult than when you were younger. Part of this is due to loss of muscle mass. Other changes include issues with digestion or changes in your sense of smell and taste.
The most important health tip for men over 40 is to start a strength training program if you haven’t already. This will help you to build and maintain muscle mass as you age. Not only will this help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will also increase your bone density. Along with your metabolism slowing, your ability to heal after injury slows too.
Changes in digestion should be examined by a doctor. If you don’t already enjoy plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, make fiber and increased water intake a daily habit. If you are part of a known risk group, have your colon health checked before your 50th birthday.
Eyes, Ears, and Mouth
Eyes and ears start to decline in your 40s. You may find that you are reaching for the light of your phone when you need to read the menu in a candlelit restaurant, for example. Likewise, you might struggle to understand certain sounds in crowded places. See a professional for regular eye exams and protect your vision with UV coated sunglasses.
To protect your hearing, avoid regular exposure to noise. Wear earplugs or other protective gear in loud environments. A dry mouth can plague you as you age. Remember that lack of saliva encourages tooth decay and gum disease. Unhealthy gums can pass an infection to the bloodstream and affect your heart, so see your dentist regularly.
It’s Not All Downhill from Here
Implemeting a few of these healthy habits for men over 40 starting today will allow you to enjoy many more active years to come. Simple improvements in diet, exercise, and sun exposure make a huge difference in disease prevention.
After age 40, regular checkups and testing are vital to prevent stroke, heart attack, cancer, and hundreds of other illnesses. We do encourage you to make habits of good nutrition, good rest, increased exercise, and self-care. See your doctor for regular preventative checks, too.