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Health Tips for Men in their 30s, 40s, 50s & Beyond

Carol Ferguson
This content originally appeared on 

Common Men's Health Issues

In 1920, women lived a year longer than men, on average. Today that difference is more than five years in favor of females.

Why? Males are less likely to follow preventive health measures and are more likely to engage in risky behavior than females.

The good news is it’s easy to improve men’s health with simple lifestyle changes.

  • Excess Weight

    More than 60 percent of adult men in the United States are overweight. “If you’re a man, you can’t be healthy and overweight at the same time,” says Frank Shallenberger, MD, HMD. This may help explain why men die younger of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other causes than women.

  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

    “Most active, productive men need a good supplement program to protect them from illness and deficiency symptoms and increase their longevity by reducing chronic degenerative disease patterns,” says integrative physician Elson M. Haas, MD.

  • Excess Iron

    In general, guys need more magnesium and B vitamins than women—but less iron. More common than iron deficiency (especially among males), iron excess can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, heart irregularity, joint pain, and other health problems.

Health at Different Life Stages

Here are some specific suggestions for men at different ages and stages.

The 30s

At 34, Adam has it all: a wife, baby, mortgage, and an exciting job—everything except the energy to enjoy life. A former cyclist, he gets winded on the exercise bike at the company gym the few times he actually gets there.

“No wonder I’m starting to get a gut,” he says, “and I weigh more than I ever did.”

  • Monitor Heart Health

    Stamina peaks for most males in their early 30s, as does the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the bloodstream. But this is also the age when blood pressure and cholesterol start to rise, so a thorough checkup is an important first step.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Don’t feel as though you have to clean your plate.

    Invest in a jogging stroller for your baby, and exercise at least three times a week.

  • Consider Supplements

    An antioxidant involved in energy production at the cellular level, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) tends to be low in overweight people, so try supplementation.

    Fairly sedentary people find D-ribose (a five-carbon sugar that’s a structural component of DNA and RNA) gives them an energy boost and helps stave off sore, stiff muscles.

The 40s

At 46, Jonathan feels as though he’s at the top of his game—except on the racquetball court. His shoulder and elbow slow him down, if the pain doesn’t prevent him from playing.

He’s also showing signs of periodontal disease, and his dental hygienist has suggested coming in for more frequent cleanings.

  • Check for Inflammation

    A factor in both joint pain and gum disease, inflammation can also lead to cardiovascular problems, explaining why half the heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. occur in people with normal cholesterol levels. If you haven’t had a C-reactive protein (CRP) test, do so right away to measure inflammation.

  • Mind Your Nutrients

    Follow the Mediterranean diet high in fruits and vegetables, omega-3-rich fish, and a little olive oil, enjoying four or five small meals instead of three big ones.

    Garlic and ginger are anti-inflammatory herbs that taste great and can be taken as supplements.

    Make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidant vitamins C and E in your daily diet and multivitamin/mineral, and consider a fish oil supplement with at least 500 mg EPA and DHA.

  • Exercise Regularly

    Walk briskly for 30 to 60 minutes five times a week.

  • Consider Supplements

    If joint pain continues, try avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, bromelain between meals, glucosamine/chondroitin (for at least three months), MSM, and/or turmeric.

The 50s & Beyond

At 58, Steve has several complaints, “some are pretty minor like dry mouth, and others are more worrisome like having to urinate much more often—especially in the middle of night.”

He’s noticing some hearing loss, but what worries him the most is forgetfulness.

“My mother has dementia. Half the time I visit her, she doesn’t remember me or even where she is. Nobody looks forward to that kind of old age.”

  • Stay Hydrated

    From 57 to 86, the body literally begins to dry up: Drink more water, even if it means more trips to the bathroom.

    “One of the problems with aging is that thirst decreases with age, so people tend to drink less,” says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, head of kinesiology at the University of Illinois.

  • Monitor Prostate Health

    About half of all American men over 50 have an enlarged prostate, which presses on the urethra and causes frequent urination.

    Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), this condition needs be monitored annually by a healthcare provider. Although BPH doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer, it can make a tumor tougher to spot.

    If you’re overweight, losing pounds may help lessen symptoms.

    Saw palmetto is as effective as mainstream medicine for this condition, and pygeum is also promising.

  • Maintain Cognition

    Ginkgo helps fight senility and hearing problems. A popular Indian herb, gotu kola works to stimulate the brain, strengthening memory and mental ability.

  • Take Vitamins and Minerals

    It’s also important to take “an easy-to-digest, well-balanced vitamin and mineral formula for nutritional insurance,” says Dr. Haas.

Click to See Our Sources

“An Assessment of the Diagnosed Prevalence of Diseases in Men 50 Years of Age or Older” by M. M. Issa et al., Am J Manag Care, 3/06

“Associations Between Diabetes and Clinical Markers of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Among . . . Black and White Men” by A. V. Sarma et al., Diabetes Care, 3/08

“Blueprint for Men’s Health: A Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle” by Armin Brott and the Blueprint for Men’s Health Advisory Board, www.menshealthnetwork.org

“Body Composition and Serum Prostate-Specific Antigen: Review and Findings From Flint Men’s Health Study” by J. L. Beebe-Dimmer et al., Urology, 4/08

“Body Weight and Weight Change in Relation to Blood Pressure in Normotensive Men” by G. Yang et al., J Hum Hypertens, 1/07

Bursting with Energy by Frank Shallenberger, MD, HMD

“Intake of Fish Oil, Oleic Acid, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B6 and E for One Year . . . Reduces Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors in Male Patients . . .” by J. J. Carrero et al., J Nutr, 2/07

“Men’s Health: Keys to a Healthy Life,” www.medicinenet.com, 2008

“Masculinity and Perceived Normative Health Behaviors as Predictors of Men’s Health Behaviors” by J. R. Mahalik et al., Soc Sci Med, 6/07

The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology by Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS

Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M. Haas, MD, with Buck Levin, PhD, RD

Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutrition by Hyla Cass, MD

“Wellness Guide to BPH,” UCBerkeley Wellness Letter, 5/08