Forty is definitely not old, no matter how much society says so. But what’s certain is that your body is definitely getting older, and in your 40s, bad health habits that you may have gotten away with in your 20s and 30s can start looking for payback–and your health is their main target.
At this point in life, it’s time to stop being too complacent with your health. In order to live a longer and healthier life, here are some health mistakes that you should stop doing–especially now that you’re in your 40s.
1. Not visiting your doctor regularly
Study shows that men are less likely to consult a doctor than women, choosing to seek help after the disease has progressed. Although men do care about their health, the reluctance to go to a doctor can lead to faster progression of illnesses and in some cases, even premature death.
If you are guilty of this behavior, it’s important to start regularizing your doctor’s visits, now more than ever. Regular health screenings help catch diseases in their early stages and provide better prognoses. Moreover, receiving health advice regularly can help you better take care of yourself and avoid chronic conditions later on in life.
2. Neglecting your sexual health
Low testosterone becomes more common in men over 45. Although low testosterone does not relate to being able to obtain and maintain an erection, it can cause low desire and libido, which can affect your sexual and mental health, as well as your relationship with your partner. That said, it is crucial that you get tested for low testosterone once you hit 40.
On the other hand, failure to maintain an erection (or get one) should be addressed promptly. Do not be ashamed to go to the doctor about this problem (as most men are) because for one, it’s a very common health issue. Furthermore, there are a lot of treatment options available to you, such as the popular GAINSWave ED treatment, which helps restore blood flow to the penis.
3. Being sedentary
Living a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of obesity, which can open up a whole new world of health problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain). But if it’s been too long since you’ve exercised, don’t fret, it’s not too late to make up for years of being a couch potato.
Incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise into your routine every week. You don’t have to go to the gym to do this; simply brisk-walking around the neighborhood or hiking can give you the physical activity that you need.
4. Smoking and excessive drinking
Nothing good comes out of smoking, and now is the best time to stop. As you grow older, the effects of smoking are going to creep up on you in the form of kidney problems, respiratory issues, and other health problems.
The same goes for excessive drinking. Alcohol can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease, just to name a few. If you drink more than two drinks a day, it’s time to start cutting back on your habit to avoid the negative effects of alcohol.
Get professional help if you find it hard to quit smoking or excessive drinking by yourself.
5. Eating like a young person
As we grow old, our caloric needs decrease, meaning that our eating habits should change accordingly over time. So if you still eat like you’re 30, you may be putting yourself at risk of obesity, or perhaps you already weigh more than you should.
Reduce your consumption of high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-fat foods. Instead, fuel your body with whole foods like fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meat, and unsaturated fats.
6. Ignoring your mental health
Your mental health should be a priority at every point of your life. Even if you have made it through the past 40 years of your life without help, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need it. In fact, seeking help for your mental health becomes more important as you age because growing old also means you are more susceptible to physical illnesses caused by poor mental health.
That said, find a therapist if you feel that you need one; don’t wait for your emotions to overwhelm you before seeking the help that you need.
These are just some of the health mistakes that a lot of 40-something men tend to make, but they are some of the most common. If you are guilty of making one or more of these mistakes, it’s not too late to turn them around and build a healthier ‘you’.