He’s Too Old to Die Young!
We middle aged men are too old to die young, of course, but on the other hand we’re far too young to die old. Why then do so many men between the ages of 40 and 65 pop their socks prematurely? Well, putting aside accidental deaths and undetected medical conditions, a lot of deaths in midlife are caused by neglect in the following 3 areas:
In other words, by the time a lot of guys have reached their middle years, they have already let themselves go for whatever reasons – say researchers.
So we did a little research of our own here at 50ish.org and and it didn’t take long before we found a plethora of articles, television, and radio shows that mocked men in mid-life transition for all kinds of negative reasons.
The Physical Neglect
This may include years of smoking, drinking to excess, eating too much too often, and a general lack of physical activity. All of these things slow us down and that’s not good. There’s plenty of time for deceleration when we really are older and frailer, but middle age is not that time, unless of course a man chooses it or circumstances dictate otherwise.
A study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine entitled ‘Thriving of the Fittest’, has indicated that midlife fitness adds extra years of quality-life to the individual.
A wise man once said; ‘The slower we move, the faster we die’.
The Psychological Neglect
Over many years, the ‘new man’ tends to pick up and harbor negative thoughts. Hardly surprising you might think, especially under the current global climate. Generally speaking though, the maturing male is not as happy as his predecessor was nor is he as content as today’s middle-aged women.
An alarming number of 21st century midlife men are easily irritated on matters of employment, finance, future uncertainty, politics, and personal relationships.
Whether he knows it or not, today’s man runs the risk of developing a pessimistic attitude and outlook upon life in general. Often times, his beliefs may be quite latent, but they are there nonetheless, eating away at his psyche and putting undue stress on both mind and body.
Middle age: ‘The time when you’ll do anything to feel better, except give up what is hurting you.’ ~ Quote by Robert Quillen
The Spiritual Neglect
Put simply, spiritual wellbeing is a person’s connectedness with self. A spiritual man (not to be confused with a holy person), merely translates to someone who is at peace with himself and has some humble grasp on his meaning and purpose in life.
‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’ ~ Lao-tzu
Getting back on Track
It is never too late to be what you might have been ~ George Eliot
The above quote is pretty fitting for this part. Although guys of middle-age are ageing, that doesn’t mean they’re old. If you’re someone well into his 50’s and think this is codswallop, then try telling a 90 year old man how old and past-it you feel. To him, you’re practically a youngster, and he’d probably give his right arm to once again be a youthful five decades.
Unless there are medical complications that prevent a man in the throes of his middle years from moving on, the world is still his oyster, and perhaps the best is still yet to come.
If adopting a healthy lifestyle in ‘old age‘ can add years to a person life, and it can according new research at the Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University, then it makes even more sense to get back on track before reaching those golden years.
Sadly, too much neglect results in some folks never reaching old age, or at least not in good health, so the sooner a man makes adjustments to his lifestyle choices the better.
What does it take to get back on track?
There’s a good chance you’ll know the answer to this before you even read it, but sometimes we need to see the written words in order for a thing to sink in. The 3 main areas associated with a living longer and healthier life are:
- Regular exercise
- Frequent interaction with family and friends
- Abstain from smoking
Other areas to improve on physical and mental wellbeing are:
- Healthy eating
- Cut down on alcohol
- Make time for fun activities
- Find a few things every day to be positive/grateful for
The only absolute certainty we have is the fact we are all going to die, but there are ways to increase longevity and quality of life by making some simple changes to lifestyle.
‘The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.’