A Guide to Men’s Health Fifty and Forward&nbsp

Key Highlights

  • As one ages, one’s priorities regarding life, our health, and materials change.

  • When men reach the age of 50, it is time to take stock of the health status and work on keeping the body healthy.

  • Here’s what benefits men can drawing from exercising regularly in their 50s.

Dear men, once you have entered your 50s, while you rejoice that your children have made it to or graduated out of the coveted colleges and universities, pause a while. 

Remember that by their 50s or 60s, more than nine in 10 older adults have developed or discovered that they have some type of chronic disease, and almost eight in 10 have more than one. So, unless you have really focussed on your own health until now, chances are, you’ll have one sooner or later. But you still have time and opportunity on your side, to set things right so as to lead a healthier life.

It is not just the riches and accolades, most men want to live longer and healthier. As you enter your 50s, you may feel your brain works better and faster than when you were 25. To combat the age-related decline, and to help preserve your brainpower (and memory) – follow a Mediterranean diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive and canola oils. A Harvard newsletter shows 5 ways to make a few basic lifestyle changes to lower the chances of getting many age-related diseases and increase your chances of staying active and independent. 

Let’s face it: You as a 50- or 60-year-old cannot be as energetic, flexible, and strong as the 20-year-old version of you. Get practical and realise that you won’t be able to do the same things — nor should you aspire to or try. But exercise is key to your independence and good quality of life as you age. We draw a few points from a Harvard Medical School Publications writeup on 5 ways exercise helps men live longer and better which is culled from the book A Guide to Men’s Health Fifty and Forward by Harvard Medical School which dwells on guiding men on how to reduce your health risks from heart disease to dementia.

A Guide to Men's Health Fifty and Forward Harvard

What exercising can do for men: 

  1. Control blood sugar levels. Exercise draws on reserve sugar stored in your muscles and liver. As your body rebuilds these stores, it takes sugar from your blood. Though it is a fact that the more strenuous your workout, the longer your blood sugar will be affected, we suggest you do not arbitrarily increase your exercise intensity without consulting your doctor.
  2. Have a healthier heart. There is no such thing as fat but fit. Obesity is accompanied by a host of problems that ultimately plague the heart. Be it elevated lipids levels, triglycerides, cholesterol – call it what you may. The ill-effects of a sedentary lifestyle begin to show on the heart. Blood pressure harms the arteries and the heart walls and valves. Exercising will reduce most of these problems and benefit your cardiac health. But start slow, especially if you haven’t been exercising for a while or when you’re starting some new activity that your body isn’t used to. Begin with 10 minutes and gradually ramp up how long, how often, or how intensely you exercise.
  3. Keep your brain sharp. When your body is enjoying unhindered blood circulation and is not gathering high cholesterol as you are exercising regularly, the risk of a stroke gets diminished. Several studies suggest that exercise might also help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, says the Harvard newsletter.
  4. Possibly lower cancer risk. There is strong evidence that higher levels of physical activity are linked to a lower risk of several types of cancer. In a 2014 meta-analysis of 11 cohort studies and 4 case-control studies, the risk of bladder cancer was 15% lower for individuals with the highest level of recreational or occupational physical activity than in those with the lowest level. Similar conclusions have been arrived at regarding colon, and lung cancer. There is no proof that exercise lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer — but once a man is diagnosed, physical activity can reduce the chances that it will spread.
  5. Stay strong and mobile. Men who have generally been more physically active over the course of their lives are less likely to lose bone mass as they age since exercise has been shown to protect bone density. Regular exercises may help prevent osteoporosis in men by facilitating bone growth, according to the study published in Bone. Science Daily quotes Pam Hinton, an associate professor and the director of nutritional sciences graduate studies in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology on the issue. “Our study is the first to show that exercise-based interventions work to increase bone density in middle-aged men with low bone mass who are otherwise healthy. These exercises could be prescribed to reverse bone loss associated with ageing.”

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.