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Health Mistakes No One Over 40 Should Make

Experts warn to stop these six bad habits now!
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

No matter how clean of a lifestyle we try to live, we all have a bad habit or two, but for men over 40, there's certain health mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. "Men die sooner than women and have lower life expectancy than women. On an average, in many parts of the world, males may live 3-10 years less than women and also, lower than men who abuse drugs, live in neighborhoods with profound material and social deprivation," Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., a professor of public health at New Mexico State University tells us. He adds, "Men also tend to have a greater number of health risk behaviors and lifestyles that are riskier than women. A major problem among many men is the lack of taking health and preventive healthcare seriously, more responsibly, or in a timely manner." Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with health experts who share what habits men over 40 need to stop now and why.  Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Your Body Goes Through Changes After 40

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Dr. Khubchandani says, "Men over 40 must understand that the body goes through a lot of changes with increasing age. So, to know about and get any serious or chronic disease condition diagnosed as early as possible, men over 40 should start planning and undertaking regular physician visits for general check-ups. This will not only ensure prompt diagnosis of a disease, but also inform a person about their overall health status, areas for improvement, and future disease risks." 

2

Limit All Sources of Intoxication

drinking alcohol
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Dr. Khubchandani emphasizes, "people need to avoid or reduce all sources of intoxication such as alcohol, tobacco and other drugs/substances. More than half of the people in the United States have had experiences with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs before the age of 21 years. However, for some, experimenting, casual use, and social trials may end up becoming a lifelong addiction. That's why, currently, more than 10% of adult Americans continue to remain regular smokers and more than a fourth are regular or heavy alcohol drinkers. By the time a person reaches 40 years of age, they should try to seriously cut down or totally quit using tobacco and other drugs and moderate alcohol consumption because after this age you are already prone to chronic diseases and alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can further worsen your chronic disease conditions or increase your risk for being diagnosed early with all these chronic disease conditions like heart disease cancer and stroke (that are the leading causes of death in the United states)." 

3

Be Mindful of Your Weight

Doctor measuring obese man waist body fat.
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According to Dr. Khubchandani, "More than a third of adult Americans are now obese and more than a third are overweight which makes us a country of overweight people where the majority are overweight. As a person grows older the metabolism becomes slower and our body has a tendency to accumulate a lot of fat in the belly (e.g. visceral abdominal fat). Therefore if you have maintained an inactive lifestyle it's time to make sure that you're highly active now and you participate in enough physical activity and exercise once you reach the age of 40. This would help you reduce the risk of the leading causes of death like heart disease and cancer and stroke. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity."

4

Stop Eating Like a Teenager

Man eating pizza having a takeaway at home relaxing resting
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Dr. Khubchandani says, "Young people have a tendency to consume a lot of junk food or unhealthy diets because of their lifestyle, but once a person enters the adulthood life of post 30 years of age, they should carefully watch their diet and consume more fruits and vegetables and unsaturated fats to ensure that they're not putting on too much weight or increasing their risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This is part of aging and unhealthy diets increase the risk of cardio and cerebrovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks and stroke) or increase the probability of having these diseases earlier in life." 

5

Avoid Social Isolation

Lazy man watching television at night alone

"As people get older, especially men, they should try their best to avoid loneliness, isolation, boredom, and manage stress properly," Dr. Khubchandani states. "It is after 40 years of age when your brain and heart become more vulnerable for a variety of diseases (e.g. heart attacks). Being lonely, isolated,  bored, or maintaining a highly stressful lifestyle can increase the risk of many diseases by accelerating the aging process and chronic disease onset. Even for later life diseases like Alzheimer's disease, staying active and communicating with other people, keeping mentally engaged, and managing stress can help ensure that your risk of Alzheimer's disease drops down in later ages. All these activities should start as early as possible in life but especially for those who are approaching the 40th year of life, it should be a critical goal to maintain physical and mental activity."

6

Not Doing Core Strengthening

older man stretching in a gym
Shutterstock / Mladen Zivkovic

Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life shares, "The core is responsible for many different functions during activities of daily living that many people don't think about. As people age, their posture, balance and stability tend to decline.  With that comes increased fall risk.  The good news is that you can minimize or avoid these problems with core strengthening."

7

Not Maintaining Adequate Muscle Mass

fit mature man doing dumbbells workout
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Probst says, "Staying strong and maintaining muscle mass is a biomarker for longevity. Increased muscle mass is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality in people over age 55. In addition to increased muscle mass, other benefits of strength training include:

–Increased walking speed

–Improved cognitive function

–Better balance

–Improved stair climbing ability

–Improved mood

–Increased bone density

–Improved weight management

–Increased grip strength"

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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