You’re never too young or too old to take care of your health. But depending on your age, there are different steps you can take to stay well. Here are healthy living tips men can use during each decade:
In Your 20s
- Balance your plate. It can be easy to fall back on takeout and frozen dinners. Instead, build your own balanced meals. Fill 50% of your plate with non-starchy veggies, 25% with lean protein, and 25% with carbs.
- Build your kitchen IQ. Being able to cook can benefit your health for years to come. If you aren’t yet comfortable in the kitchen, now is the time to learn. If you don’t have much practice with cooking, enlist a food-savvy friend or relative, or search YouTube videos. You can also check out our recipes list for some inspiration!
- Mix up your fitness routine. It’s great if you’re lifting weights to build muscle. But it’s important to also find time for cardio, which helps your heart. Another good addition: stretching or yoga. This will help you stay flexible.
- Know your family medical history. If you are able, interview close relatives — especially parents and siblings — about their health. Save the information someplace you won’t lose it. You never know when it will come in handy in the future.
- Make time for mental health. Both men and women are impacted by mental illness. Men, however, are less likely to be treated for a mental health condition. Take advantage of mental health resources that might be available to you. From therapists to online programs, help is there when you need it.
- Prioritize sleep. Shortchanging your snooze time doesn’t do you any good in the long run. Be sure your room is set up in a way that encourages healthy sleep.
In Your 30s
- See your doctor. Your 30s are the time to find a primary care provider, if you don’t already have one. Schedule visits once a year, or as often as your provider recommends. Even if you feel fine, it’s important to have routine tests and screenings. This will help you know if you’re having a health issue or need to make lifestyle changes.
- Squeeze in activity. Life can get busy, and time for movement can be hard to come by. Maybe playing organized sports can’t fit into your schedule. So instead, focus on what you can do to get moving. Take a walk on your lunch break, bike ride with your kids, use a workout app on the weekends, or do anything else that feels good and works for you. Find the activity that fits your life!
- Maintain mental well-being. Whether you’re on your own or juggling family, career, and more, it can be challenging to maintain good mental health. If you haven’t taken advantage of mental health resources in the past, now is a great time to get started.
- Sleep easy. Changes to sleep patterns that can make slumber restless may begin in your 30s. Good sleep hygiene is key to getting the most out of your hours in bed.
In Your 40s
- Get your checkups. See a doctor every year for your regular visit. You may also need to plan for annual visits with a dermatologist, an eye doctor, and more. Talk to your primary care doctor about your wellness routine.
- Discuss prostate screenings. Depending on your family risk, your doctor may want to start screening you for prostate cancer in your 40s. The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) are important tools in catching this disease early, when it’s more treatable.
- Get screened for colon cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults begin colon cancer screening at age 45.
- Keep up with activity. Our bodies start to lose muscle mass in our 40s. Resistance training is important to offset some of these losses. Cardio continues to be important to keep your heart strong.
- Adapt your healthy sleep and mental health routines. Both areas need to be nurtured throughout your life.
In Your 50s
- Get your shingles shot. Getting vaccinated against shingles is the only way to prevent the disease and its complications. The CDC recommends that adults age 50 and older get the shingles vaccine.
- Keep your back strong. We hold so much tension in our lower backs. Over time, this can cause problems. Try this simple exercise routine.
- Stay active. Not as limber as you used to be? That’s okay! Try a new activity that doesn’t put as much strain on your body.
- Continue to adjust to your always-changing sleep and mental health needs.
In Your 60s
- Keep up connections. Loneliness and social isolation can put you at risk for dementia and other serious health issues. Nearly one-fourth of adults age 65 and older are socially isolated. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start volunteer work, get involved in a religious organization, or become a mentor.
- Build strength. Loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia. This natural part of aging begins after 30 but worsens after age 60. Higher muscle mass is linked with a lower risk of hypertension, osteoarthritis, and disability. Talk to your doctor about a strength-training program that is right for you.
- Check your balance. Balance disorders are a top reason why people are more prone to falls as they age. If you have any symptoms like dizziness, ringing in the ears, or a sense of motion even when you’re standing still, talk to your doctor about being screened for balance problems.
- Keep up on your eye health. Vision changes can occur throughout your life. But after 60, some vision issues can create permanent damage if not corrected. The earlier your doctor detects and treats these problems, the less likely they are to cause harm.
- Snack smarter. Your body needs less energy than it used to. Make sure you’re choosing snacks with produce and protein to feel full longer.
- Continue to make all areas of health and sleep needs a top priority. Having trouble falling asleep? Try this 5-minute sleep meditation.
- Have conversations with your family and providers about how to maintain your health as you age. Think about what your goals are. Communicate them with the people who could help you make health decisions later in life.
70s and Beyond
- Play mind games. Keeping your brain active is one of the best ways to stave off dementia. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, board games, and reading are all linked with better brain health in older adults.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals. You may not feel as hungry as you did when you were younger. If that’s the case, try eating five small meals a day rather than three bigger ones. This can help ensure you get the energy you need to keep your body strong.
- Look for convenient foods. If your eyes or chopping stamina aren’t what they used to be, prepping a big meal can feel overwhelming. But there are plenty of ways to make nutritious food an easy choice. Precut veggies, frozen produce, and low-sodium canned beans are all quick and ready-to-go options that can help you eat well.
- Keep your body active. Even just taking a daily walk can have some amazing health benefits.
- Remember that sleep and mental health needs evolve throughout our lives. Nurture your mental health and take advantage of the support that is available to you. Waking throughout the night? Try these tips to stay asleep longer.
At every stage of life, there are steps you can take to improve your health. Take action today for a healthier future!