As You Age: A Men’s Health Checklist

Because our health needs change as we age, maintaining good health is a lifelong task. With the start of the new year, it’s a great time to start taking your health more seriously.  

Keep up with your ever-changing health needs by keeping this men’s health checklist handy for your reference.  

Your 20s and 30s 

We tend to feel invincible when we’re younger, but health issues can develop at any age. Not only should we be careful with the physical strains we put our bodies through when we’re younger, but we should be mindful of our habit-forming behaviors, too. Developing poor habits when we are young can lead to avoidable health issues later on in life. 

Establish Healthy Habits 

  • Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and strength training. 
  • Eat a balanced diet: Focus on whole foods, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of processed and sugary foods. 
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to support your bodily functions and skin health. 
  • Get regular screenings and exams 

Once a year, you should: 

  • Get a flu shot 
  • Get a cholesterol screening (starting at age 35) 
  • Get your height, weight and BMI checked 
  • Get a skin cancer exam 
  • Get your teeth cleaned and examined 

Once every two years, you should: 

  • Get your blood pressure checked 
  • Get your vision checked (more frequently if you have diabetes)  

Manage Stress 

  • Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga or hobbies that relax you. 
  • Prioritize sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support physical and mental well-being. 

Avoid Risky Behaviors 

  • Minimize alcohol and drug use, and don't engage in risky activities that can lead to injury. 
  • Protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. 

Your 40s and 50s 

As you enter your 40s and 50s, it's essential to continue the healthy habits you established earlier in life and address age-specific concerns.  

Regular Checkups and Screenings 

  • Visit your doctor for regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings.  
  • Between the ages of 45-50, you should get a shingles vaccine as well as a diabetes screening, colorectal screening and prostate cancer screening. Depending on your age, risk factors and smoking history, you may be eligible for a lung cancer screening.  

Stay Active and Flexible 

  • Adjust your exercise routine to focus on strength, flexibility and balance.  
  • Consider activities like yoga or swimming to help protect against age-related muscle and joint issues. 

Nutritional Focus 

  • Maintain a heart-healthy diet that includes fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and foods rich in antioxidants. 
  • Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Follow your doctor's guidance on managing them. 

Your 60s and Beyond 

As you enter your 60s and beyond, your focus should shift to maintaining your quality of life along with managing a number of health concerns older adults may face. 

Bone Health 

  • Maintain your bone health by getting a bone density test and taking supplements like calcium and vitamin D. 
  • Stay active to maintain strength and balance while also reducing the risk of falls and fractures. 

Vision and Hearing 

  • Have regular eye and hearing exams, as age-related changes in vision and hearing are common. 
  • Address any issues with corrective lenses or hearing aids as needed. 

Regular Health Assessments 

  • Continue with regular checkups and screenings, including screenings for conditions like diabetes and cancer, which become more prevalent with age. 
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine starting at age 65.  
  • If you’re a current or former smoker, get a one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening between ages 65-75.  

Maintaining good health is a lifelong journey. You can’t do it alone. Find a doctor at Weill Cornell Medicine to help you tackle life’s health challenges throughout the years to come.