By Guest Contributor Maggie Martin
This article offers seven tips for maintaining good physical and sexual health into and beyond middle age. In order, advice is offered on smoking, the prostate, exercise, muscle mass, stress and depression, diet, and sex.
Go into a random store and look at the magazines. You will see row after row of publications aimed at middle-aged women: how a woman should approach the menopause, how! Can finally learn to love her body, which health checks she should have, and so on. Women are also good at expressing their emotions, taking care of their health, and seeking advice, both from friends and physicians. But for middle-aged men, the situation is different. Much less information is available, and far too many men still believe taking care of their body is somehow vain, weak, and effeminate.
1. No More Excuses: Stop Smoking!
If you have passed 40 and are still smoking, you are foolish. In your teens and 20s perhaps it did make you look cool, but you are an adult now. To say smoking is bad for you is an understatement. If you continue to smoke, there is a good chance that it will kill you. Even if it does not, it will significantly impair your quality of life.
2. Befriend Your Prostate
The majority of men will experience problems with their prostate at some point, whether that is merely a constant need to urinate, or something as severe as cancer. Do all you can to care for this troublesome little organ: cut down on eggs and poultry; eat lots of tomatoes, fried if possible; add flaxseed to your diet; and take zinc and turmeric supplements.
3. Get Moving
Ignore those who tell you that a midlife spread is inevitable. That is nonsense. It is true that the metabolism slows with age, but that just means you must exercise more. When it comes to sexual health, the benefits are enormous. But avoid cycling or horse riding, as these can damage the prostate. Instead, try swimming, walking, and yoga. And when you hit the gym, pay attention to your legs. Squats and leg extensions will increase blood flow to the penis and pelvic region. There are many yoga exercises specifically aimed at increasing sexual energy and erection strength, so look for them online.
4. Build Muscle Mass
After your late 40s, you will lose around 1 percent of your muscle mass every year. This is bad news, as it leads to weakened posture, stiff joints, and possibly even heart disease or diabetes. The only answer is to commit to a routine of resistance training. But be sensible. You will get the best results not by showing off at the gym once or twice a week, but by doing a little weight training every day.
5. Do All You Can To Reduce Stress And Depression?
Life in middle age can be especially stressful. Many people are trying to simultaneously raise children and care for aging parents On top of that; there are usually mortgage worries and stress at work. Begin by eating foods that help lift mood: walnuts, oily fish, mineral water, and pumpkin seeds, for example. It may also be worthwhile taking a course in mindfulness meditation. Stress is inevitable, but it needs to be watched. Think of stress as a fire in dry grass: stamp on it before it spreads and consumes everything. And don't forget that stress can itself trigger depression.
6. Change Your Diet
You know what is coming! Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, nuts, and seeds, and cut down on sugar, alcohol, microwave foods, and refined carbs. In your teens and late 20s you can party all night, then eat a pizza or cheeseburger, and suffer few consequences. But too many people continue these bad habits well into their 30s and beyond. It is time to stop the junk food. Change your diet and you will notice huge benefits; energy levels will rise, sleeping patterns will improve, the mood will lighten, and sexual energy will increase.
7. Have More Sex
Sex is good, both for your physical and psychological health. But you must make the effort. If you and your partner do not set aside some time for physical intimacy, you will soon find you have stopped altogether. Of course, no matter how much care you take of your body, you will never have the sexual drive and erection strength of your teenage self. Instead of quantity, focus on quality. Many people have the best sex of their lives in their 4os, the 50s, and even 60s. If you wish to be one of them, develop a more mature attitude. Penetration isn't everything. Take time to hug, kiss, and massage your partner without expecting it to lead to sex.
Every stage of life has its upside and it’s down side. The key is to prepare for what's coming. Following the advice offered here would be a good start.
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Maggie Martin is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing some great and informative blogs about Food, Healthy Lifestyles, Beauty, and Fashion.