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Do you know that many men experience andropause – the male equivalent of menopause – when they hit their 40s?

As men age, there will be some deterioration in their musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and neurophysiological functions. Musculoskeletal injuries and conditions such as muscle strain, disc degeneration, tendinitis and arthritis tend to increase with age, leading to persistent or recurrent back pain, shoulder pain or knee pain. Fractures due to falls tend to be more common, due to underlying osteoporosis and a poorer sense of balance.  

This means the ageing male will need to address these three aspects of fitness: muscular strength, aerobic fitness and balance.  

Work it  

As a guy gets older, it is important to have an exercise regime that improves strength, aerobic ability and balance.

To build muscular strength, you can simply work against your body weight, or use resistance bands or weights. As with all strength training, make sure you give your body sufficient time to recover before increasing the intensity of your workout.

Exercises that address aerobic fitness include brisk walks, jogging, swimming and cycling. Most ball games are also aerobic in nature, but take note to avoid excessive stress on the joints.

To improve balance, consider yoga and tai chi, which are also great for your posture.

Eat right

Go for a diet that’s high in protein and fibre. Eat plenty of fish, poultry and lean meat with lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, grains and nuts.

Cut down on foods that promote weight gain, such as refined sugars and flour, animal fats, trans and hydrogenated fats. You should also avoid innards and intestinal parts due to their high cholesterol content.

Since lactose intolerance is common as we get older, it’s a good idea to cut down on milk and dairy products. However, do include calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent osteoporosis.

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