How Can Men Live Longer?April 5, 2020
How can men live longer? This is a one million dollar question begging for answers. In our previous post, titled: “Why Men Die Earlier than Women“, we did say that going by World Health Organisation’s (WHO) data, and a research report by Marianne J. Legato, that the life expectancy for women globally is about six years higher than that of the men, on the average. And many possible reasons were given as to why men die earlier than women. If you have not read that post, now is a good time to do so.
In this article, we are going to examine a few ways that can help men increase their life expectancy. As Marianne Legato posited, the situation where men die six years before women is not acceptable. She believed that if breast cancer and AIDS could be conquered to the extent they have, then men could certainly be saved. Discussed below are some healthy habits and lifestyle changes men should embrace to improve their life expectancy:
1. Speak Frankly with a Doctor: Women are more candid and open with their doctors. This is not the case with men. Health conditions that can be difficult to talk about, such as erectile dysfunction, can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men are therefore encouraged to leave embarrassment in the hospital waiting room and speak frankly with their doctor about their health conditions.
2. Check Testosterone Levels: Beginning at about age 30, testosterone levels begin to dip each year. Lowered testosterone levels can lead to a decrease in vitality, muscle mass, ability to perform prolonged exercises, memory, concentration, and libido. Not only does this impair the quality of life, it can also contribute to depression, which can have a significant negative effect on male health, potentially increasing the risk of coronary disease. Diabetes patients, for instance, may have a greater risk of significant testosterone loss.
3. Check Your Immune systems: The male immune system is not as vigorous as that of female, and men die from most common infections at a higher rate than women, particularly tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. Men should check their updated vaccinations with their doctor when travelling abroad. Proper nutrition and supplementation can also be beneficial. Despite the gender-specific attention it receives, osteoporosis also affects men.
4. Recognise and Treat Depression: Male depression may be much more common than has been previously estimated. Symptoms are not always obvious. The vulnerability of depression can compromise men’s health in many ways, leading to increased instances of disease and greater male mortality from such conditions. Create time and discuss such issues with your doctor and be open to treatment. Men express depression differently from women. This can result in sleep disorder, mood swing, and loss of interest in sex. Left untreated, depression can lead to catastrophic consequences, including suicide.
5. Monitor Young Males: The reckless nature and lifestyle of adolescents make them prime targets for injury or death. Women develop a more evolved sense of judgment and decision-making at an earlier age than men. Add to that is the combination of testosterone and other hormones. And, biologically, men potentially possess a lethal internal recipe. Monitoring their activities and setting appropriate limits is important.
6. Assess your risk for coronary disease: Coronary disease takes a toll on men in their prime and leaves families bereft. It is imperative to sit down and assess the risks along with any predisposed genetic tendency and discuss these with a doctor. Men are not genetically blessed compared to women in this area. The female hormone, estrogen, provides women with layers of protection that men don’t naturally have. Men with a family history of heart disease should discuss with their doctor and take precautions when they attend the age of 30.
Healthy Habits for a Longer Life
No one wants to think about ageing and dying, but let us face it: the habits you practise now can play a role in how long you will live, and how much life you will have in your years. There are healthy habits you can pick up to help you live a longer, happier life. Here are some ideas:
- Find a hobby: Doing something you find truly fulfilling will give you a sense of accomplishment, and can help reduce stress.
- Plan a vacation: Taking a break from work can lower your risk of heart disease and add some years to your life.
- Rest Well: Your body repairs cells during sleep, so skimping on it doesn’t do your body any favour. Plus, adequate sleep also affects your quality of life. Target seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
- Have Regular Sex: Having frequent sex removes the anxiety that some couples feel when it comes to time to “perform”. Sex can lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce stress and even prevent prostate cancer! Couples who have sex everyday claim that it not only strengthens their relationship but improves their overall health.
- Be social: People with stronger friendships were 50% more likely to live longer than those with weaker connections, a 2010 analysis found.
- Eat right: You need to fuel your body with healthy foods to live a long life. Limit the intake of foods that are high in fat, salt, and added sugar (which can increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, and other chronic diseases). Eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre.
- Exercise regularly: Not only is exercise good for the heart but working out can trigger the release of endorphins, pain-relieving chemicals known to boost your mood.
- Beat stress: A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. That’s even more reason to take up calming activities, like meditation and yoga.
- Stop smoking and limit drinking: Smoking causes one out of 5 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Moderate alcohol consumption is good for you, but experts recommend that women have no more than one drink per day; for men, it is 1 to 2 drinks per day or a maximum of 14 per week.
- Have a purpose: You may live longer if you feel you have a purpose in life, a study has suggested. Researchers analysed data from more than 6,000 people who were asked if they felt they had a purpose in life and about their relationship with other people. The participants were then followed up for 14 years. During that time, about 9 per cent of them died. Those who died during the follow-up had reported feeling less purposeful in life and having fewer positive relationships than the survivors, according to the study published in the Psychological Science, a general-interest journal. Having a greater purpose in life was also linked with a lower risk of death. This consistency across all age groups came as a surprise to the investigators.
The truth is that men have the potential to live a much longer and happier life. All it takes is a change in their lifestyle and adoption of healthy habits as mentioned above; and more importantly, by following the principles enunciated in this best-selling book, Why Men Die First: How to Lengthen Your Life Span, by Marianne J. Legato.