November is men’s health month, where we celebrate “Movember” to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Be sure to visit the Movember Foundation to learn more about how to support this initiative.
What are you doing to stay healthy? As we age, it becomes more important than ever to attend to matters of health. Here’s our top five health tips to help men stay fit in their 60’s and beyond.
- Embrace Social Activities: The benefits of social interaction are well documented for individuals of any age. Those who continue to maintain close friendships and interact socially live longer than those who do not. Social activities can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of mental health issues such as depression. It may also potentially reduce risk for dementia and cardiovascular disease. Regular social events like visiting a friend, having a group dinner, or participating in a regular card game or book club, can have far-reaching effects of your physical and mental well-being.
- Engage your Mind: An active mind is just as important as an active body. With age comes a wealth of experience, and it can be tempting to say that we’re done learning. Yet it is the act of learning and engaging in new activities that helps keep our minds sharp as we age. Seek out mentally stimulating exercises to engage your mind, such as crossword puzzles, learning a new language, or picking up a new craft or skill. Many seniors choose to volunteer or take on part-time work, which can give mental, physical, and social benefits, too.
- Stay Active: Staying active doesn’t have to mean training like an athlete, especially as you get older. A brisk walk, mowing the lawn, playing table tennis, gardening, lifting dumbbells, or swimming for just thirty minutes a day can make a difference. In fact, the biggest health gains are seen in those who go from sedentary to moderately active lifestyles. Regular activity can help you prevent muscle loss and accidents that could lead to injury.
- Perform Regular Maintenance: When it comes to taking care of our homes or vehicles, we all understand the importance of regular maintenance. Regular checkups and preventative care is also vital to us as we age, too. After 60, there are a number of important exams that men should have regularly to ensure proper health. Staying on top of these appointments means you’re more likely to uncover any potential health issues long before it becomes a major problem. Stay up to date on your flu and pneumonia shots each year, and get regular cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes tests. Ask your doctor about prostate cancer screenings and be sure to schedule a colonoscopy every 10 years.
- Kick Bad Habits: It’s never too late to enjoy the benefits of kicking a bad habit like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. What you consume is also even more important for older adults. Eating a healthy diet can help you control blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension. As we age, our sense of taste and smell may change. Some medications also impact our sense of taste. You may find that foods which you previously enjoyed now cause stomach upset and should be avoided. Lactose intolerance – in which the body becomes unable to digest dairy products, resulting in painful cramps and stomach upset – is more common in seniors. Changing your diet to reflect changes in how your body reacts to food is important in maintaining overall health.