How Old should I look at 40 Plus?
Below are 6 random pictures of typical middle-aged men (in no particular order), ranging from ages 40 to 60 years or age. Click the images to enlarge.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, the man third in from the left is the youngest at just 40, and image #5 is the oldest at 60 years. The reaming 4 are somewhere in between the 2.
Middle age is a time that starts when we are no longer considered youthful and therefore entering the second period of an average life expectancy. This doesn’t mean we’re old, but simply implies we’re no longer young. For the sake of this piece we’ll say that a man’s middle age spans from around early 40’s to mid 60’s.
How Old do you think YOU look?
Some men think they look just great during their middle years whereas others tend to believe they look much older than they actually are. Most of us though, probably think we look about the right age, give or take a couple of years either side.
Whether you appear young or old for your years, is not really based on your own perception of yourself, but more that of how others see your. The way we carry ourselves can also play a part in how old those around us think we might be.
“Oh if I could see myself how others see me!”
So just what should a man’s physical appearance look like at 40, 50, or 60 years of age? How wrinkled should he be, how much elasticity should his skin still have, and how much weight can he expect to gain?
Today is the First Day of the rest of your Life. Prepare for Change
Generally speaking, if you still have it, 40 is the age when you can expect to notice a few grey hairs invading your crop. There’s also the onset of balding, if that’s in your genetics. Just as hair falls out where you want it to stay, so it will begin sprouting up in places you’d sooner it didn’t, such as your ears, nose, back and shoulders.
Fine lines and wrinkles will become more prevalent over time too, as will a general loosening of the skin. You may also find that you’re putting on more weight without any changes to lifestyle. Similarly, it may prove difficult just keeping the fat off.
Teeth usually begin to lose their natural whiteness and start to discolour as we grow ever older. Your optician might inform you that your eyesight is not what it used to be. All these things and more are the inevitable signs of ageing.
But don’t fear change, embrace it, accept it, and work with it rather than against it. Battling against the unavoidable dear reader, will only make for a very woeful existence in the years to come. But be warned, stress and ageing do not work well together!
“The only thing that does not change, is change itself.” ~ Leif Ericsson Leo Veness
The Acceptance of Change is the Key to Healthy Ageing
Apart from rapid hair loss, experienced by some poor individuals, none of these changes happen overnight. However, there’s a big difference between being 40-something and 50 plus.
From around the age of 50 to 60 is when ageing tends to move up a gear. This is the period of time where many a man starts to complain about how old he’s beginning to feel, especially if he’s not taken care of himself as well as he could have done over the preceding years.
Perhaps the biggest gripe with men over 60 is how the loosening of their skin has transformed into a flabby mass of uncontrollable flesh. One old fellow on a TV game show said that his fatty pulp weighs him down like an unwelcome and oversized winter coat that he just wants to sling from his shoulders.
Cosmetic Surgery and the Middle-aged Man
So would you go under the knife to sidestep the physical sides of ageing? Many men are doing just that. Cosmetic surgery is becoming quite prevalent with guys over 50. What about a non-surgical face lift? There seems to be a lot of progress in non-evasive surgery options in the 21st century. Laser eye surgery for men, and Botox are gaining popularity too.
The vast majority of men will age gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits them best. But given the choice and the financial freedom to choose, it’s probably fair to assume that male plastic surgery would be even more widespread than it already is.
The Older we Get, the Faster we Age
It’s no big secret that at, or around the age of 50, the ageing process actually speeds up quite considerably, which is somewhat of a double whammy. That doesn’t mean we should just sit back and let ourselves go. We might be getting older, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t try to look and feel the best we can for the age we are.
The Slower we move, the Faster we Die.
Inactivity, poor diet, and a pessimistic outlook, all contribute greatly towards premature ageing. So if you’re someone who doesn’t give a monkey’s toss about what you look like at middle age, then looking old for your years can almost be guaranteed, but be warned.
The slower we move, the faster we die. There’s plenty of time for lying around and rotting after life ceases to be. If you want to stay alive and find fulfilment during your middle years, and beyond, then regular exercise not only keeps you looking younger, but it will make you feel and function better, but it’ll extend your life too.
What happens as we age?
As we’ve already pointed out above, there are a number or things happen as we get older, all of which are inevitable. An accumulation of events include psychological, physical, and visible changes, but this does not mean it’s the end of the world.
A Brief Recap on the Physical Signs of Ageing Men:
- Sagging skin – the older we get, the less tautness we have.
- Lines & wrinkles
- Dry and patchy skin
- Opening of skin pores (often seen as reddish marks or blotches)
- Weight gain, especially around the face, neck, and stomach
- Male patten baldness, and hair growth in unwanted places
(Women tend to put weight on around buttocks, hips and thighs, but as this site is about men and men’s issues, we’ll let the ladies find their own discussions.)
Be GOOD to yourself
The best thing any man can do at or after middle age is to keep the fat off, eat right, and cut down, or stop altogether, those bad habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking. There’s plenty of help and resources around on how to go about achieving these things.
Points to Remember: Scientists understand now that there is a direct link between stress and ageing, especially severe, long-term emotional tension, which not only ages us visibly, but can also make us unwell and become old long before our time. Growing older is unavoidable, obviously, but the way we handle it is largely down to us.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
So there we have it. Yes, you will get older, both inside and out, with each passing year, but you can look good and feel great by embracing some positive lifestyle changes.
Article Written By Toby Strowger | 50ish Site Contributor
Toby Strowger is a men’s lifestyle writer here at 50ish.org