Men’s Health Tips by the Decade

With every year you continue learning, growing and changing. Your day-to-day routines need to evolve as well. The person you are at 18 is much different from the person you’ll be at 80. It’s important to be aware of the changes in your body over time, and the steps needed to maintain your health. Try these tips to help make healthy choices throughout each decade.


Your 20’s: Create a healthy foundation.

Wellness is more than just physical exercise — it’s a holistic approach to health including your mind and spirit too. Your 20’s are a good time to start building the blueprint for a healthy future by balancing your personal time, exercise, and nutrition in a way that makes sense for you. Some tips include:

  • Find your balance. It’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re busy, and it can be hard to find time to reset and recuperate. Taking time for yourself to avoid getting overwhelmed is important1 to your well-being. Find a hobby or activity that can help you put your stressors aside and enjoy the moment.
  • Exercise Consistently. Develop a consistent workout or exercise routine. Attending classes at your local gym is a great way to meet new people, hold yourself accountable to your routine and keep your workouts interesting and engaging. Or you can try out a new sport. Tennis or golf is a great way to exercise while enjoying the outdoors at the same time. If you need wrist support to participate, you may want to try a wraparound wrist brace. They’re easily adjustable and they can be used on either your right or left hand.


Your 30’s: Listen to your body.

This decade is all about paying attention to your body’s signals. Some steps you can take to encourage a healthy mind and body include:

  • Protect your skin. Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.2 Make sunscreen a part of your routine. Even men with darker skin tones3 are susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer. In addition to sunscreen, try moisturizing skincare products to keep your skin nourished and protected.
  • Schedule regular checkups. These are the years when you need to work with your healthcare partner. Get to know your risk factors — it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels checked on a consistent basis. Also, look out for warning signs of diabetes. Even if you think you’re in excellent health, research shows that up to 25% of adults with diabetes or prediabetes don’t even know that they have it.4


Your 40’s: Focus on self-care.

As you move into your 40’s, it’s important to stay determined with your health goals and to take steps to maintain peak productivity, including:

  • Eat with your heart in mind. Too much salt or sugar can dramatically increase5 your risk of cardiovascular problems, especially during middle age. Instead of reaching for chips or fast food, think leafy green salads, healthy sandwiches made with whole-grain bread, and fruit. A few simple swaps can impact heart health6 and aid digestion. Try a daily multivitamin with minerals to help make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
  • Sleep better. When you were younger, it probably didn’t seem so hard to get through your day with less sleep. But as you continue to age, it’s important7 to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep can contribute8 to increased stress levels and trouble focusing on tasks. If you struggle with falling asleep because you can’t find a comfortable position, position wedges can lend support where you need it.


Your 50’s: Nourish body, mind and spirit.

As you enter this decade, it’s more important than ever to listen to what your body is telling you. Regular exercise remains as important as it has always been, along with:

  • Schedule cancer screenings. Annual or semi-annual cancer screenings shouldn’t be ignored. It’s essential to stay up to date with colon and prostate exams. Common cancers can be easier to treat9 if you catch them early. If cancer is detected, effective treatments are available. But if prostate issues have caused stress incontinence10 you may want to try liners to prevent leaks.
  • Explore meditation. Research suggests that11 meditation can reduce stress and help you sleep better. Experiment with it as part of your bedtime routine. Set aside 10 or 15 minutes in the evening to meditate in a calm place.1


Your 60’s: Maintain bone and joint health.

 Your 60’s don’t have to be a  time for slowing down. Making good choices now can help keep you independent and mobile well into the future. Keep physically fit, as well as:

  • Understand your bone health. Although there’s a common belief that osteoporosis only affects women, that’s not the case. Osteoporosis affects millions of men in the United States,13 and unless you get screened for it, you likely won’t know you have it until you’ve suffered a fracture or break. Schedule osteoporosis screenings as part of your overall wellness plan. If concerned, add a little protection from bruising (or worse) with heel and elbow protectors.
  • Stay kind to your joints. Swimming, biking and group movement classes like Pilates14 can keep you active and flexible. But if you already have some pain in your joints, you may want to try a cane to support you as you walk or exercise.


Your 70’s: Embrace your independence.

During this decade, independence is often the goal. Maintain your foundation of healthy habits along with creating new approaches, including:

  • Focus on digestive health. Digestive changes and challenges can occur as you get older.15 Keep your diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritional choices. At this age, a fiber supplement can help maintain a healthy digestive tract. Just stir it into your favorite beverage or mix it with a healthy snack like applesauce.
  • Create a safer home. Your independence is important, so take steps around your house to reduce the risk of falling. Install grab bars in your bathroom and have a reacher handy so you don’t have to climb on wobbly step ladders or chairs.

Your 80’s and beyond: Look forward to your future.

During your eighth decade, continue building on the foundation of healthy habits you’ve developed throughout your life, while finding new opportunities to explore, including:

  • Make time for new hobbies. Now is the time to pick up some new hobbies and enjoy yourself. Think about joining a community center to learn new skills and meet new friends. These experiences can help keep your brain sharp.16
  • Control your incontinence. Many men begin experiencing incontinence as they get 17 If you start experiencing symptoms, you may want to try something to limit the risk of leaks. Disposable underwear is thin, discreet and body-contoured, featuring anti-leak guards and an ultra-absorbent core. Different from adult diapers, these fit and feel more like fabric underwear, allowing you to focus on enjoying your daily activities.


Celebrate your choices.

You’ve made the best choices at each age to remain active and independent. Striving to achieve those goals provides you the best opportunity to enjoy each decade to the fullest. Enjoy and celebrate the good things life brings you.


Citations:

1Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, April 4). How stress affects your body and behavior. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

2Melanoma strikes men harder. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/melanoma/melanoma-strikes-men-harder

3Dark Skin Tones and Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know. (2016, August 30). Skin Cancer Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/skin-cancer-and-skin-of-color

4New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. (2017, July 18). CDC Online Newsroom. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html.

5The sweet danger of sugar. (2017, May). Harvard Men’s Health Watch, Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar.

6Link, R. M.S. (2018, March 5). 15 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods.

7Sleeping and Aging. (n.d.). John Muir Health. Retrieved from https://www.johnmuirhealth.com/health-education/health-wellness/senior_health/sleep-aging.html.

8Why lack of sleep is bad for your health. (2018, May 30). National Health Service. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-lack-of-sleep-is-bad-for-your-health/.

9Watson, S. (2018. September 30). Cancer Screening Tests for Men: Prostate, Colorectal, Skin, and Lung Cancer. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/cancer-screenings-men#1.

10Healthwise Staff. (2018, December 19). Urinary Incontinence in Men. University of Michigan Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/zp1188.

11Pace, T. W., Negi, L. T., Adame, D. D., Cole, S. P., Sivilli, T. I., Brown, T. D., Raison, C. L. (2009, January). Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(1), 87–98. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18835662.

12Mindful Staff. (2019, January 31) How to Meditate. Mindful. Retrieved from https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/.

13Osteoporosis in Men. (2018, October). NIH Osteoporosis and Related Diseases Resource Center. Retrieved from https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men.

14Abbate, E., CPT (2019, January 2). 8 Things to Know Before You Take Pilates Classes. Fitness, Self. Retrieved from https://www.self.com/story/5-things-to-know-before-you-take-pilates-classes.

15Aging Digestive Tract (n.d.) GI Society, Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Retrieved from https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/aging-digestive-tract/.

16Learning New Skills Keeps an Aging Mind Sharp. (n.d.) Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/learning-new-skills-keeps-an-aging-mind-sharp.html.

17Urinary Incontinence in Men - Causes & Classifications. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/causes-urinary-incontinence-men#2

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