Gentlemen: no matter how strong, virile, and energetic you may be in your 20’s and 30’s, there’s no escaping the slowdown of middle age. If you’ve trained your body to run at peak performance, you should be proud, but realize your body is changing as it ages. Bones, joints, muscles, and organs have put on lots of miles over the years, even if you’ve maintained them well. If you’re in less-than-great shape, you can see this as an opportunity to improve your health and fitness. Here are some steps that every man should take to keep their body running smoothly in their 40’s and 50’s.
Set Measurable Goals
Whether your desire is losing weight, conquering erectile dysfunction or hair loss, or feeling more energetic, you’re setting yourself up to fail if you don’t set measurable goals. This is true in all aspects of life, and luckily, health and fitness related goals are some of the clearest to understand. If weight loss is at the top of your mind, set a weekly goal for a certain number of minutes to exercise and a maximum number of calories to consume. If you’re dealing with hair loss or problems in the bedroom, do some research on treatments, and set up inquiries or appointments. Whatever it is, track the goal and your progress towards it. Set up a rewards-system to treat yourself when you hit a milestone.
Try Different Exercises
On the topic of exercise, realize that one size doesn’t fit all. If you haven’t been to a gym in years, you don’t need to suddenly start training for a marathon. Brisk walks can help get your heart, lungs, and muscles moving. If you suffer from joint stiffness, back issues, or other types of pain, consider lower impact exercises like yoga, moving on elliptical machines, or swimming and water aerobics. Health experts recommend 25 minutes of exercise five times a week. Ideally, you should switch up the types of exercise you do daily to create muscle confusion and keep your body guessing. It also rests certain parts of the body on certain days and keeps things more interesting for you.
Experiment with Diet Changes
Experts agree that exercise alone won’t keep you fit in middle age. In fact, many say that diet is more important (though you can’t ignore exercise). Your body may have different nutritional needs due to your fitness level or medical condition. For example, men with high blood pressure should work hard to avoid excess salt. Guys who are diabetic or pre-diabetic need to go easy on sugars. Others need to hit protein hard to build muscle. The good news is there are dozens of diets that you can try based on your needs. You can mix and match as needed, just track the relevant information for your specific food intake.
Above all else, make sure you are seeing your physician for an annual physical. They will run the relevant examinations and lab work for you and make recommendations based upon their findings. Listen to them and use these tips to help live a long, happy, healthy life!