It shouldn’t come as a surprise that men age differently than women. It isn’t just the way they look that changes. Their physical and mental health also change. Most men focus on erectile dysfunction but don’t know a lot about testicular and prostate cancer. They also don’t focus as much on their mental health as they could and ways to improve it.
How can men’s age-related changes be managed?
- Prostate and bladder cancer become more common in men as they age. Testicular cancer usually affects younger males. Prostate enlargement and shrinking of the testicles are physical changes that aren’t preventable. Erectile dysfunction is not caused by aging most of the time. It’s usually related to a medical problem such as diabetes or the result of taking medications.
- As men age, the healthier they eat, the better their quality of life. Healthy food will also keep their minds sharp. Older adults need to increase their intake of vitamin C and D in order to maintain strong bones. Fiber is good for your heart as well as good bowel function. Potassium can help to lower your blood pressure.
- Men will lose as much as 30% of their muscle mass over their lifetimes. The loss of muscle mass can start as early as the late 20’s. By middle age, blood vessels start to stiffen and blood pressure will slowly creep up. While loss of muscle continues, ligaments get stiff and tight. This can lead to weakness and disability. About this time many men will start to put on weight. This is the time to increase physical activity. Park your SUV and start walking more than you drive. Walking takes off pounds, keeps your heart in good shape and helps with anxiety and depression, another common factor as men age.
- The nervous system changes as we age. Many men find they get much less sleep than they once did. Along with this and other changes can come depression. Many men ignore their feelings of anxiety and depression. This could be why the suicide rate among adult males and senior males has risen over the years.
The Movember Foundation in Canada is funding programs around the world, aimed at improving both the physical and mental health of men. They work with men globally to help them understand how they can improve their physical and mental health. To read about the foundation and ways that you can improve your health, click here.