Aging is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and watch your body manifest signs of aging. Just like women are worried about their looks, men too worry about the ticking of the biological clock that causes irreversible signs of advancing age. Thankfully, men can adopt anti-aging measures that improve health and promote longevity.
While the market is flooded with anti-aging supplements like DHEA and testosterone to cater to the burgeoning number of men seeking to reverse the effects of aging, there is no proverbial fountain of youth. However, there are wellness strategies that men can incorporate into their daily lives to combat aging, enjoy better health and increase their life expectancy.
- You are What You Eat
Be careful of what you put into your mouth. Keep away from fast food as much as possible, as it is replete with salt. Did you know eating too much salt increases the chances of getting elevated blood pressure and cardiovascular disease?
It is best to consume a healthy diet comprising fresh veggies, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, and fresh fruits. Also, studies in laboratory settings reveal that consuming 25 to 40 calories less than what the body requires can promote longevity. Other studies clearly show the human body benefits immensely from a balanced diet.
Rather than eating three big meals a day, divide your portions into five to eight smaller servings and eat every two to three hours. This will keep your digestive system healthy and ensure your intestine absorb the necessary nutrients. Be sure to incorporate fruits and veggies into your meals. The antioxidants present in them will destroy free radicals, which are one of the main reasons for aging.
- Maintain Healthy Body Weight
If you are overweight, you are inviting ill-health and general malaise. As you age, your body becomes ill-equipped to fight diseases; and being overweight and obese can lead to heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure problems, stroke, and cholesterol.
A study by the US National Institutes of Health has found that being overly obese can reduce a person’s life expectancy by up to 14 years. Researchers found that as the body mass index (BMI) increases, the risk of dying due to health-related problems also increases.
- Drink Alcohol Sparingly
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends men should drink no more than two drinks a day. Alcohol consumption increases your risk of liver disease, sleep disorders, heart disease, certain types of cancer, bleeding from the stomach, depression, and stroke. And, if you already have elevated blood pressure or diabetes, you may find it difficult to manage your health condition because of the alcohol.
So if you are fond of sitting with friends every day to enjoy a drink or two, think again. You are not doing your body any good. You are hastening the aging process and making your body susceptible to life-threatening health problems.
- Quit Smoking
Not only does smoking cause you to have an unpleasant odor due to the smoking lingering on your clothes, hair and skin, it also increases your risk of lung cancer and other lung problems, like emphysema. These lung-related diseases can lower your life expectancy.
Quitting today will add several years to your life. A study published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that men who stopped smoking added 6.9 to 8.5 years to their life expectancy compared to men who continued smoking.
- Be Physically Active
Cardio workouts strengthen your heart and lungs, making them less likely to get diseases. As a result, it promotes longevity. However, you should also incorporate resistance training into your fitness regimen as you will have reduced muscle mass and bone density as you grow older.
You can join a neighborhood gym to stay motivated to workout regularly under an instructor. Also, as much as possible, try to be physically active. Take your dog for a walk, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and run errands on foot. These will also help burn calories and give your body the exercise it needs.
- Learn to Manage Stress
Modern day life is quite stressful. Work and personal obligations can elevate your stress levels, and chronic stress results in heart attacks, lowered immunity, and high blood pressure. These health issues can adversely affect your longevity.
Find ways to manage your stress. Yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises are the most common methods to combat stress. You can also take up a hobby, such as gardening, dancing, and/or painting, that allows you to forget the rigors of life and relax while you indulge in a constructive activity.