Sharecare Top 5: Surprising Ways Men Can Slow Aging

Do you see thinner hair up top lately, an extra line across your forehead or a gut that keeps on growing? The aging process for men starts in their late 20s – and how well you care for your mind and body can make a critical difference in how young you look and feel in the years ahead.

Here are five stay-young tips that men can start at any age:

1. Have more sex.  What man wouldn’t want that?! Studies show that men who have sex three times a week can cut their risk for a heart attack and stroke by half. (Regular, satisfying sex helps women, too.) No partner? Orgasms count. (Yes, researchers survey these things.) Men who have 150-350 orgasms per year can feel years younger than those who report just one per week. So, can a guy get too much of a good thing? In this video, Dr. Andrew Kramer explains how too much use of porn can sometimes cause impotence. Erectile dysfunction is a bummer, no matter what the cause. Try these natural fixes before reaching for the Viagra.

2. Slow the brain drain.   In today’s fast-paced world, with new technologies constantly changing how we live and work, staying sharp is critical. Yet after age 20, we all begin to slowly lose brain cells. As it turns out, challenging your brain in fresh new ways – whether it’s a new language or playing a musical instrument (it’s never too late to learn Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”) – helps keep your brain young. And the harder you work it, the better. Tough challenges spur new growth of neurons in your brain, even if you don’t master the new skill.

3. Get a happiness makeover.  Men who are dissatisfied with their lot in life, whatever that may be, risk getting old before their time. Researchers think that men who are generally unhappy tend to practice unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not paying attention to their diet and not exercising. But there are basic ways to beat the doldrums and feel happier. In fact, just smiling can trigger feel-good feelings. It sends a signal to your brain that says “I’m happy.” And guess what – people may smile back!

4. Tackle hair loss and wrinkles.  A receding hairline and deep facial lines might be minor health issues – but they can really ding a guy’s ego. Guys are notorious for skipping sunscreen, but if you want to avoid looking older than you are (and, more importantly, prevent skin cancer) slather on some sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher) before heading outside, whether it’s cloudy or not. For thinning hair, skip the potions sold online. The Rx medicines minoxidil or finasteride are a better bet to slow hair loss.

5. Say what?  Fortunately, hearing loss is not an inevitable part of aging – but certain habits when you’re young can impair your hearing ability. Most often, exposure to loud sounds causes the damage and men are affected far more often than women. Protect your ears by keeping ear bud volume no louder than 70% of the maximum when listening to music. Wear protective headphones when using power tools.  Add folic acid to your diet through spinach, lentils, or a supplement. Studies show that that, too, may put the brakes on hearing loss.