Proven Habits For Men on Healthy Aging
The experience of aging can feel complicated in our youth-obsessed culture. While women have aging-related challenges when it comes to feeling valued past the time of youthful looks, aging men also face unique concerns.
The traditional model of masculinity prizes qualities that you can't easily maintain as the body ages, such as a reluctance to ask for help or admit to the presence of health issues. That said, it’s possible to stay in fantastic physical condition well into your senior years. A wellness-focused lifestyle that emphasizes nutrition, fitness, and stress management can help you enter your later years with strength and confidence. We want to encourage you to take a pro-aging stance while challenging masculine stereotypes that keep you from accepting yourself where you are.
Whether you’re starting to see subtle signs of aging in your thirties and forties, or you’re facing more dramatic changes in your fifties and sixties, know that you’re awesome now — as you are. While the realities of aging can feel challenging for everyone at times, this is also an opportunity to reframe your thinking of what it means to be a man at varying stages of life. Here are four ways to embrace healthy aging for men, no matter how old you are.
Question Your Thinking About Aging
Freeing your thinking from a lifetime of cultural messaging around masculinity is not necessarily easy. That said, you can push back and challenge any notion that says that you’re less of a man because you’re getting older.
The idea that men shouldn’t show vulnerability can mess with a guy’s head throughout life, especially as you age. Also, this concept is nonsense: Men who communicate from a place of emotional transparency are as badass as can be. Don’t get it twisted — there’s massive emotional intelligence inherent in healthy vulnerability. And it makes for better relationships, too.
Stay Connected and Socially Engaged
One of the most important ways to ensure healthy aging is to take care of your friendships and relationships. Studies show people who age well do so in part because they sustain community throughout life.
Staying connected with people is critical for emotional support as you get older. You can also increase your quality of life by sharing fun or meaningful activities with friends and family.
Drop Your Assumptions About Aging
You’ve earned a lifetime’s worth of wisdom and experience, and you deserve to feel respected for that.
No matter how dysfunctional cultural messaging may be towards older people, you can celebrate yourself and your life’s journey. While physical changes are inevitable as the years pass, you can stay healthy, vibrant, and engaged with the world around you. When you decide that aging is an opportunity and not a liability, you can more easily make choices that will help keep you mentally and physically healthy throughout all stages of life.
Take Care Of Your Health
People in the Blue Zone regions of the world tend to live the longest and enjoy vibrant health well into old age. Studies of these cultures show that lifestyle, even more so than genetics, is the strongest predictor of how well people age.
Traditional communities in Blue Zones have several key lifestyle traits in common. They eat a whole-foods, a plant-based diet, stay physically active, and get enough sleep. They also maintain strong social networks throughout all life stages. Plentiful evidence shows that adopting a health-promoting lifestyle is the most powerful step you can take when it comes to healthy aging for men and women alike.
While you can’t control all aspects of the aging process, there are steps you can take to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible as the years pass.