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Published On: Thu, Apr 25th, 2019

Men: How Your Body Changes After 40: Testosterone, Muscles and More

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~Sophia Loren

Men at 40

For many men, turning 40 is a huge turning point in their lives. Many would call this the beginning of middle age, so naturally 40 brings up many thoughts. This is often a time to look back and reflect on your life accomplishments so far, and what you plan to do with the second half of your life. People will often make major life changes in their early 40s as a result of this type of self-reflection. It’s quite common to change careers during this time.

Those are the parts of our lives that we are capable of changing as we age. However, there are changes in the male body over time that we can only modify to some degree by keeping up good health habits. Although there isn’t a complete consensus among scientists, many believe that there is a male andropause which is somewhat comparable with menopause in women. This condition involves urinary, sexual, and other general symptoms.8

Outside of andropause symptoms, there are several other changes that take place in the male body over time. These changes are completely normal. It’s important to remember that other men your age are experiencing the same things, although they may not feel comfortable discussing it at this point.

photo Zachary Quinto Instagram

  • Testosterone Level Drops

There’s solid scientific evidence that total levels of testosterone drop with age, even without an illness-related cause.3 The resulting symptoms may include sexual issues like a decrease in libido and difficulty achieving erections, as well as moods swings, exhaustion, and decreased strength.9 There are other health effects of low testosterone which are less known, but nonetheless very serious. This hormone plays a key role in the functioning of the immune system.8 Fortunately there are plenty of high quality testosterone support supplements like Delta Prime by HexoFire Labs.

  • Decrease in Muscle Mass from lower Testosterone

When the amount of testosterone in your system falls, one of the effects is a decrease in the mass of your muscles. They become weaker and a little frailer than they were previously. Having said that, in no way does that mean that you can’t build up big, strong muscles if you do things right. You should add more resistance when you do your workout. Another key component is eating nutritious food that is high in protein.9

  • Erections are Harder to Get and Keep

Sometimes when testosterone drops, it affects your ability to get and keep an erection. Sadly, it’s common for men to have some degree of erectile dysfunction with age. Some men stop being able to get erections at all, and others may just not be able to get hard enough. Don’t worry about it too much, though. There are medications and various herbal supplements that can treat this problem.

  • Prostate Problems

As men age, the cells in the prostate gland start to multiply. This causes the prostate to become swollen, and then get larger. Because of how close the prostate is to the urinary tract; it creates all kinds of problems. The prostate sits right underneath the bladder, and right up next to the rectum. Part of the prostate is actually wrapped around the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. This can lead to issues like frequent urination, nighttime urination, difficulty urinating, leaking, or a weak urine stream.6

  • It’s Harder to Lose Weight

Once you get over 40, sadly, you’re going to have to work harder to maintain a healthy weight. One of the primary reasons is that your metabolism slows down as you age. However, there’s another reason related to the drop in testosterone that occurs at this time. Lowered testosterone can cause men to gain weight. In research published in Aging Male in 2003, 24 men who were obese and had diabetes and low testosterone were treated with oral doses of the hormone for 3 months. They found that this treatment really lowered fat mass, weight, and glucose levels.

  • It Takes Longer to Recover from Injuries

Although the medical establishment isn’t completely sure of all the reasons, it takes longer to recover from injuries as you get older. It’s also a fact that you’re more likely to get injured as you age, largely due to having musculoskeletal issues already.5

  • Mood Changes

Unfortunately, testosterone is also connected to mood. When testosterone drops, it can lead to a decline in mood. In addition, other changes occurring at this time can cause your mood to go down, such as prostate, urinary, and sexual issues.

  • The Penis Shrinks

I’m sorry, guys, but it’s true – the penis does shrink a little with age. However, in the vast majority of cases the loss is half an inch or less. This is often related to the fat buildup in your arteries. The more blocked your arteries, the harder it is for blood to get to your penis. Over time this can lead to shrinkage of the muscle tissue as well as erectile dysfunction.7

photo/ skeeze via pixabay

Maintaining Your Health Over 40

Once you’ve gotten used to the idea of being 40, you’ll see that it’s not as terrible as it sounds initially. By this age you’re probably established with a career, and you likely don’t take life as seriously as you did when you were younger. When it comes to staying fit and keeping your body healthy, you should know that many people are in the best shape of their lives in their 40s. There’s no reason why you can’t be as well. Here are some tips on staying healthy and in good shape as you get older.

  • Make sure you get adequate exercise every week: As you get older, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly. At this age you lose flexibility, so you want to keep working the muscles. In addition, exercising with weights will help you keep up your muscle tone.10
  • Eat fewer overall calories to maintain a healthy weight: When you hit 40, your metabolism slows down. If you continue to eat the same way you did before, you will steadily gain weight. There are so many health problems associated with being overweight, you shouldn’t let this happen. Reduce you total caloric intake in order to maintain your weight.10
  • Consume lots of fruits and vegetables: Getting older leads to a decline in vision for most people. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may combat this due to the wealth of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals in them.10
  • Include plenty of fibre in your diet: You should eat less calories as you get older, so make sure that wheat you do eat is very high in nutrients and fiber. Fiber can decrease your cholesterol levels and protect you from some diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Fiber also helps you feel full, so it can be an added weight-loss tool.4

Author: Diegon Perezn

References

  1. Boyanov MA, Boneva Z, Christov VG. Testosterone supplementation in men with type 2 diabetes, visceral obesity and partial androgen deficiency. Aging Male. 2003; 6:1–7. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12809074
  2. Gottberg, K. (2016). 50 of the Best Positive Aging Quotes I Could Find. Smart Living 365.com. Retrieved online at https://www.smartliving365.com/50-best-positive-aging-quotes-find/
  3. Harman SM, Metter EJ, Tobin JD, Pearson J, Blackman MR. (2001). Longitudinal effects of aging on serum total and free testosterone levels in healthy men. Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, Clin Endocrinol Metab, 86(2), 724-31. Retrieved online at  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544367/
  4. McManus, K.D (February 2019). Should I Be Eating More Fiber? Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Retrieved online at https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/should-i-be-eating-more-fiber-2019022115927
  5. Morley, J (2000). Sports Injuries and the Aging Athlete. The Doctor Will See You Now. Retrieved online at http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/content/aging/art2075.html
  6. National Institute on Aging (July 2016). Prostate Problems. NIA. Retrieved online at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prostate-problems#what
  7. Pendick, D. (2017). What Causes Penis Shrinkage? Healthline. Retrieved online at https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/penis-shrinkage
  8. Schachter, M.B. (1996). The Male Andropause. Schachter Center for Complimentary Medicine, New York. Retrieved online at http://mbschachter.com/male_andropause.htm
  9. Stanworth, R. D., & Jones, T. H. (2008). Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. Clinical interventions in aging, 3(1), 25–44. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544367/
  10. Stokes, T. (2012). 7 Ways to Stay Healthy After 40. Live Science.  Retrieved online at https://www.livescience.com/25445-stay-healthy-after-40-tips-midlife-aging.html

 

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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