The male body can and will falter, and requires proper maintenance, just like a car. You may think of your body as a temple. Choose your own metaphor, but just know that your body is the only one you’ve got, so don’t take good health for granted.
Some people have been stricken with serious disease at a young age at no fault of their own, and your body’s mileage may vary depending on your travels and choices in life. But most guys at or near 30 have probably come to the realisation that they’re mortal, that a lot of things ache, that it takes longer to recover from injury, and they may need to observe the differences like HDL (good) vs. LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Check out a rundown of 10 common ailments that begin to plague or concern men when the odometer creeps to 30 and after. And if these items aren’t on your radar yet, they will be soon. While every guy should get a full annual checkup and speak with a doctor about managing each issue, these offer some simple solutions and direct you to full explanations.
Sure, this one is cosmetic, but many late-20s and 30-something men struggle emotionally with hair loss. Thank your maternal grandfather. You can go the route of Propecia and Rogaine, or pour your wallet out for hair plugs, or..
The fix: Embrace your baldness. Simple. Easy. Free.
The state of your prostate
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men, but it’s easily treatable. Doctors and researchers continue to vigorously debate whether prostate cancer screenings cause more harm than good, but if you’re experiencing symptoms, the choice seems obvious. About one in six men will be diagnosed in his lifetime, and having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles your risk.
The fix: A doctor can perform a blood test to determine if there’s a problem or you’ll have to bend over for a digital rectal exam. Unfortunately, you can’t take that test online.
It’s not your imagination, it actually is harder to lose weight as an adult, for a few reasons, including slower metabolism and higher stress. So if you’ve been struggling to shed pounds, take some solace in that.
The fix: Gone are the days when you could wolf down calories and burn it off just by living. But you can lose weight with a good exercise regimen and a healthy diet.
Life is stressful for men trying to advance a career, balance time and raise a family. You already knew that, but perhaps you don’t really appreciate the way that stress and mental illnesses like depression can take a toll on your overall well-being. You don’t have to accept extreme stress as the status quo.
The fix: Begin by recognizing what triggers your stress at work and at home. Simple counting and meditation techniques can calm you down. Like everything else, you can combat stress with exercise, getting enough sleep and also by connecting with friends.
At about 27, I noticed I had begun squinting a bit to see sports scores on the bottom ticker of the TV. First I denied it and chalked it up to exhaustion, until it began to worsen and became a regular thing by 30, probably in large part due to working at a computer screen for long periods of time. In fact, I might be ruining my vision right now…
The fix: For starters, take breaks from staring at your screen. Smoking can damage your eyes, too. But you won’t really know your condition until you take an eye test with a professional. Lenseless glasses work for tiresome hipsters, but if you’re getting squinty like me, it may be time to step up for the real thing (or contact lenses).
There’s actually a restaurant in Las Vegas called Heart Attack Grill that serves burgers with ghastly calorie counts and calls its customers “patients.” Talk about gambling. It’s one thing to indulge sometimes but quite another to celebrate the disease that claims more men than any other.
The fix: Like high blood pressure, heart disease can be prevented with a healthy diet that’s low in red meat and high on vegetables. There’s numerous other ways to lower your risk, such as eliminating tobacco use and, of course, regular exercise.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is called a “silent killer” because sufferers are often not even aware that they’re suffering because it doesn’t manifest with warning signs or symptoms. Yet HBP screws up the cardiovascular system of millions of men over 20 and older. Whatever you do, do not trust a reading from a machine in a grocery store.
The fix: Good news is there’s a multitude of ways to reduce your blood pressure, including deep breathing, exercise, diet and drugs. No, not crack or crystal meth, but Rx drugs.
Back pain is very common among men, and there’s a multitude of causes, including sitting behind a wheel or at a desk chair for long periods at a time, poor posture and lifting heavy objects. And, yes, a large belly does count as a heavy object.
The fix: Obviously it depends on the cause, but all of us can work on improving posture. When lifting, use the weight room rule: lift with your legs, not back. And if you’ve got a job that confines you to a desk for hours, get up and walk around more often to keep the blood flowing or get familiar with some exercises you can actually perform in a desk chair to ward off stiffness.
Sure, you were tired as a teenager and 20-something, but did fatigue ever keep you from going out on a Friday night? And how do you feel these days after pulling an all-nighter? Probably like a zombie with a headache that’s been run over by a truck carrying misery. Right?
The fix: Learn the art of power naps. It’s a real, actual thing. More importantly, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. “Nine” might have elicited laughter from some of you, but most adults do need that much to restore their bodies.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine (31 at the time) tore his Achilles tendon during a game of one-on-one basketball with his wife. Another friend (34) plays in a hockey league and can barely walk the day after a game. Young, limber pups have to warm up, too, but it’s mandatory for any guy to loosen up muscles and get blood flowing before posting up against his wife.
The fix: Warm up with some jumping jacks or gentle jogging in addition to active (dynamic) and passive stretching. It’s important to stretch down after a workout, too. Blow stretching off, and you’re bound to pull a muscle you didn’t even know existed when you were 18. There’s nothing stylish about an ACE bandage or leg brace.
Brett Smiley writes for uk.askmen.com