For those of us lucky enough to get older, the idea of fading into the sunset is worrying. Staying as strong and healthy as possible into your golden years is a great goal, but the work has to start early.
Men and women can start to suffer muscle mass loss in their mid-thirties. This age related loss, or sarcopenia, is more common in sedentary folks.
Resisting sarcopenia takes resistance exercise. It also takes weight bearing exercise, flexibility work and a focus on diet.
Most common health issues in men over 40
Stress can get to be a big problem for men in their 40s, so keeping an eye on your blood pressure is critical. It is also a good time to start working on increasing your flexibility instead of just working to build muscle.
The 4th decade is also often the time when old injuries come home to roost. The knees that worked so well in high school football can get creaky. You may notice spinal injuries flaring up more often, and old accidents will get chatty when the weather changes. Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, is common at this time.
How can guys keep a young and healthy body in adulthood?
What is done is done. Whether you had a fall off a skateboard or wrecked on a bike, those old injuries may continue to be an issue. However, there are many things you can do, moving forward, to hang onto muscle mass and keep your body limber and strong
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Invest in good gear. Great basketball shoes are cheaper than a brace. Get there earl and make sure you warm up, stretch a bit, and warm up some more. Don’t every hit the court cold.
2. Active lifestyle
Make time for exercise. You cannot cram for fitness, or workout harder on Saturday and Sunday to make up for what you missed on Wednesday. Try to book your workout early in the day before things get crazy. If you can, change up your commute to allow for a longer walk or time on the bike trail.
3. Muscle mass gain
If you are noticing a lot of muscle mass loss, feeling exhausted or just feeling weak, it’s time to get your HGH levels checked to make sure your pituitary gland is functioning correctly. Properly prescribed and managed, Testosterone intake (study the instructions for Depo-Testosterone injections before use) can make up for an endocrine system that is not functioning normally.
Take a look at your ancestors. At what age did they die, and what killed them? Like it or not, our genetic forebears can tell us a lot. If your dad dealt with a lot of health issues from cigarettes, red meat, and gravy, you have an anti-map of what not to do. Your body can’t run on poison. Focus on lean proteins, fresh veggies and whole grains.
5. Energy restoration
The best thing to do when you are tired is to rest. If you can’t find time to do that, the short term fixes, such as caffeine and sugar, are going to steal more energy away next time. Set a bedtime as well as a regular time to get up and stick with it for a month to see how you feel. Be aware that 40ish is the age when that post lunch coffee or soda cuts into your sleep, so stop drinking coffee at 10 a.m.
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6. Emotions control
Stress will kill you. The escapes we use from stress, such as alcohol, will kill you. Not expressing yourself, which is often forced on men by the culture, will kill you. It’s also important to note that, for men, depression often looks like anger. If you are isolated, frustrated, angry, or feeling low, talk to someone.
7. Health and activity
If you and your partner enjoy a healthy life, change nothing. If you are single, use condoms. If you are in a partnership that has lost the pleasure, it may be time to see a counselor. Your partner is likely also facing stress, exhaustion, and pressure. If you can, make a date and get away for a weekend to try to celebrate one another again.
8. Alkalizing the body
Acidity is a major source of inflammation in the body. If you have a family history of heart disease, there are indications that a diet high in alkaline foods can reduce that inflammation and lower blood pressure over time. Discuss these plans with your physician, especially if you are on blood pressure medications.
9. Hormonal balance
Feeling a bit slower as you age is normal. However, if something feels especially out of whack, you may need a blood test to get your endocrine system checked out. It’s extremely important to note that out of balance hormones can be an indication of pituitary tumor, so don’t let this wait.
Always carry water. Invest in a stainless steel bottle and fill it with filtered water before bed so you have water at hand in the morning. If you wait until you are thirsty, your whole body will have to work much harder because it has no lubrication. Water can help with everything from joint pain to kidney stones to constipation. Get in the habit of carrying water.
Your 40s are a great time to build a stronger social circle. Step back from the competitiveness of youth and focus on connection. Take up a new sport or help coach someone else who is trying to get moving. Invest in the necessary gear to support your older bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons as you strive to meet your fitness goals.