Health Tips for Men in Their 40s & 50s
"Midlife is often a very stressful time for many men, with career, financial, and family pressures. And stress is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which hits men at a younger age than women," says JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital (heart disease is the No.1 killer of men 45 to 54). Now's the time to find ways to get that stress off your back, whether it's regular exercise, yoga, meditation, or stress management classes.
2. Don't skip the doctor.
Your wife or girlfriend has probably been to the doctor at least once a year since she was in her 20s, even if just for a Pap smear. It's easy for guys to get out of the habit of routine care. But as you reach midlife, this is one habit you should start, not stop.
3. Deflate the spare tire.
Many men tend to gain weight around the middle as they hit midlife. Watch it closely. Studies have found that spare tires trump even general obesity as a predictor of heart disease and diabetes.
4. Don't forget key screening tests.
All men 20 and older should get their cholesterol checked every five years. Talk to your doctor about diabetes screening starting at age 45 -- or younger, if you're overweight and physically inactive, or have a family member with diabetes. A colonoscopy is recommended at age 50 (earlier if you're at high risk).