If the man in your life has reached the big 4-0, he may be his own worst enemy when it comes to health. It may be time for a Man Makeover.
Sometimes men get so anxious about changes to their body and their health that they either take unnecessarily drastic measures, or they feel paralyzed and do nothing. The truth is their symptoms can often be fixed with simple solutions.
Age management is about dying young at a chronologically old age. It’s about “squaring the curve” of life so that, rather than experiencing a slow, painful deterioration, starting around age 50, we live at the top of our game (more or less) till just about the end when we die a quick, peaceful death with minimal complications and challenges, preferably sometime after age 90.
Now’s the time for your man to decide if he wants to look and feel his best as he ages, or if he’s content with continuing on a downward spiral. Most men in their 40s still have plenty of time to see the benefits of these lifestyle changes, but don’t kid yourself, a man makeover will get harder with each passing year.
Here are four common health mistakes typically made by men over 40 and my suggestions for fixing them. Ladies, these are things that you can do along with your guy. Having a partner following these same tips might be just the incentive he needs.
- Mouth breathing. Guys who breathe through their mouths, especially while exercising and sleeping, are setting themselves up for problems. The nose filters and warms the air and supports the immune system. Mouth breathing may lead to higher blood pressure, posture problems, depression, and fatigue. It may also cause snoring! Mouth breathing may be the result of something as simple as having a bottleneck in his nasal airway. Guys aren’t always willing to see a doctor about sleep or breathing issues, and honestly, it isn’t always necessary. Try something easy first: a comfortable, over-the-counter nasal dilator called Mute. It goes into the nose and keeps the nasal airway from closing.
- Dwindling energy and metabolism. Getting older no longer has to look like it did in his dad’s day. Now health experts are focused on the idea of aging smartly, gracefully, and happily. Aging starts at the cellular level, way beneath most people’s radar. Skin wrinkling, lack of energy, low libido, and tired eyes, are noticeable, but long before that stuff starts to happen, the body’s poor cells have gotten tired and run down.
One reason for this is that with age, levels of NAD—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide—plummet. NAD is what’s known as a coenzyme. It’s literally required for every operation that takes place in the cell: detoxification, fat burning, and even the creation of energy. Coenzymes make stuff happen at the cellular level. If you think of all those necessary cellular operations that provide youthful energy as being a bunch of pots cooking on the stove, then the coenzyme NAD is like the pilot light. Nothing gets cooked without the pilot light. Advancing age causes the NAD pilot light to start shutting down. And that’s bad news.
Scientists have contemplated the problem of disappearing NAD stores for a long time. Figuring out how to replace or increase NAD stores has been one of the most vexing problems in the field of age management. A new human clinical study out of University of Colorado, Boulder, found that supplementing with a particular and somewhat rare form of vitamin B3 called Tru Niagen safely and effectively raises NAD levels.
- Hair loss and the skin’s appearance. Sure, unlike women, men tend to get a pass on thinning hair and wrinkles as they age. But that doesn’t mean he should just let time run amok with his appearance. Once he turned 40, his body stopped making the collagen responsible for healthy joints, hair, skin, and nails. Bone broth contains natural collagen and other important nutrients that his body craves.
But bone broth is only part of the solution. Promising new research also shows that supplements made with a Malaysian palm tocotrienol complex, derived from palm oil, may help hair follicles to regenerate. Scientists speculate that the tocotrienols, a lesser-known form of vitamin E, may help enrich the skin’s stem cells. In fact, a few major companies have recently launched hair-growth supplements containing tocotrienols. They’re also studying Malaysian palm tocotrienols for their skin-moisturizing benefits in face masks, but those aren’t on the market yet.
- Diet and exercise. He’s not exercising. Instead of feeling frustrated or nagging him, take a 20-minute walk with him four times a week after dinner. When all is said and done, the simple fact is that a simple walk reduces risk for more diseases than any other activity. You don’t need any special equipment. Just about anyone can do it. If he’s at all competitive, track his speed and distance using a FitBit or the stopwatch feature on your phone and encourage him to outdo himself. He should also be eating more real food. I’m talking about food your grandmother would have recognized as food. Avoid GMOs in foods as much as possible (almost all soy and corn are GMO), eat organic when you can, concentrate on grass-fed beef, wild fish, and just about every nut, berry, and low-sugar fruit (grapefruit) that’s in the supermarket. And eat fat! It’s the ultimate energy and performance food. High-carb diets raise blood sugar and insulin and have now been convincingly associated with every major degenerative disease from Alzheimer’s to obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
Encourage him to try the easy fixes first. See how well they work. You may find that he’s far more willing to complete a man makeover and make these simple changes when he discovers how good he feels and looks.
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka “The Nutrition Myth Buster”) is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health, and the best-selling author of 15 books. Dr. Jonny earned six certifications in personal training and fitness, has a master’s degree in psychology, a PhD in holistic nutrition, and is board certified by the American College of Nutrition.