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Our Top 5 Healthy Aging Tips for Men

Man and woman working in garden.

Men tend to live shorter lives than women. As of 2022, data from the National Center for Health Statistics showed the average life expectancy for a U.S. man was 74.8 years, compared with a woman’s average lifespan of 80.2 years.  

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, the senior faculty editor at Harvard Health Publishing, suggested that this gap may be explained by factors like men’s tendency to take bigger risks, work in more hazardous occupations, and not address their physical and mental health needs. 

That means men can improve their chances of living longer, better lives by taking active steps to manage their well-being, including making good use of their healthcare coverage. Most U.S. citizens and permanent residents over 65 have health insurance either through the federally administered Original Medicare program or a Medicare Advantage plan offered by a private carrier. Throughout their 70s and beyond, men can benefit from the services and support that are available to them.  

1. Give Your Body the Right Fuel 

Your nutritional needs change as you get older, and eating the right foods makes you less likely to develop chronic conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  

The National Institute on Aging recommends: 

  • Choosing a variety of foods that are low in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. 
  • Making sure you get plenty of protein from sources like seafood, dairy, fortified soy products, beans, peas, and lentils. 
  • Incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your meals and snacks. 
  • Getting the recommended amounts of important vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium. After age 50, you may not absorb as many nutrients from foods, so your doctor might advise you to take a supplement. 

A lot of people struggle to follow dietary guidelines like these. One reason might be that your senses of taste and smell start to fade, especially if you’re taking certain medications, causing you to use too much salt and sugar. Talk to your doctor about overcoming any challenges you face with healthy eating.  

For people who qualify due to diabetes or kidney disease, Original Medicare can cover the full costs of medical nutrition therapy services from a participating healthcare provider. Similarly, you may pay nothing out of pocket for intensive behavioral therapy to address obesity If it’s considered medically necessary under Medicare guidelines. 

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional resources that could help you eat better. For example, plans may provide dental coverage so you can manage problems with your teeth and gums that otherwise make it hard to chew. People with certain chronic conditions may also qualify for special needs plans (SNPs), a type of Medicare Advantage plan that sometimes includes benefits to assist with the costs of healthy food and over-the-counter items.  

2. Commit to a Fitness Routine 

Regular exercise can help to prevent chronic disease, reduce arthritis pain, and avoid injury while making you feel better overall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people over 65 engage in a combination of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and balance activities every week.  

If you find a way to stay active that you enjoy and that fits into your daily routine, you’re more likely to stick with it. That could mean riding your bike, hitting the weight room, taking dance or yoga classes, or playing a sport. Consider working out with a friend and keeping a written record of your progress to stay motivated. 

Original Medicare doesn’t have extensive fitness benefits, but there are programs available through some Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans (which fill gaps in your Original Medicare coverage). Depending on your plan details, you may be able to access gyms across the country and participate in classes either in person or online. 

3. Don’t Delay Your Health Screenings 

Men need to stay alert for a wide range of health concerns as they age. Keeping up to date with routine physical exams and any recommended screenings will enable your healthcare providers to catch any problems. Early detection of a serious or chronic condition could make a big difference in your medical outcomes and quality of life. 

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans cover a variety of diagnostics when they’re considered medically necessary. Some of the health issues that doctors frequently look for in men over 65 include: 

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms 
  • Colorectal cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • Hepatitis 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Lung cancer 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Prostate cancer 
  • Skin cancer 

To establish a healthcare plan for the year ahead, consider making an appointment for an annual wellness visit. Medicare covers the full cost for one of these visits with a participating provider each year. 

4. Exercise Your Brain 

The National Institute on Aging explained that older adults go through physical changes in their brain that can affect how they think, learn, communicate, and recall information. It’s not unusual to find you’re having more trouble than you used to in choosing your words, remembering an acquaintance’s name, or paying attention, but there are steps you can take to keep your brain functioning at its best. 

Many people report positive effects from continuing to learn new skills and staying involved in activities that they find meaningful like hobbies or volunteer work. If you’re looking for a way to keep your mind active, consider: 

  • Reading more books 
  • Gardening 
  • Taking a class in a subject that interests you 
  • Volunteering at a school, library, or museum 
  • Learning an instrument 

In addition to cognitive activities, research found connections between taking care of yourself physically — through exercise, a nutritious diet, not smoking, and not drinking excessively — and a lower chance of dementia. 

5. Stay Connected to Others 

In a 2023 poll conducted by the University of Michigan, 31% of men between the ages of 50 and 80 reported feeling socially isolated at least some of the time. Loneliness can become a serious health concern, making a person more likely to develop dementia and increasing the risk of premature death. 

If you feel like you’re not spending enough time with others, consider planning activities like a regular card game with family or friends, joining a trip with other older adults, or getting involved in events at your local senior or community center. Your health coverage may be able to offer support; some Medicare Advantage plans feature companion care services that send a helper to your home to socialize and help with light chores or errands. 

Men may face numerous health challenges after the age of 65. However, taking proactive steps to manage your well-being might mean that you enjoy more and better years. 

About GoHealth 

GoHealth is a leading health insurance marketplace and Medicare-focused digital health company. Enrolling in a health insurance plan can be confusing for customers, and the seemingly small differences between plans can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs or lack of access to critical medicines and even providers. GoHealth combines cutting-edge technology, data science, and deep industry expertise to build trusted relationships with consumers and match them with the healthcare policy and carrier that is right for them. Since its inception, GoHealth has enrolled millions of people in Medicare plans and individual and family plans. For more information, visit