Skip to main content

How long we live is important. The average life expectancy of men, according to health experts, is 79 years. This is a dramatic increase over the past 50 years. However, what is equally important is quality of life. The ability to enjoy life to its full requires investing time and effort into health maintenance and disease prevention.

The experts say this investment pays dividends almost immediately, and its never too late to begin. A man who was 65 years old in 2021 could expect to live to age 84, and a 75yearold could expect 11 more years of life.

Men’s Healthy Lifestyle

The body is a very complex machine and, like any machine, requires routine maintenance to make it last and function well throughout its lifespan. This includes scheduled maintenance and screening examinations to detect illness at an early stage, which increases the potential for cure and a return to health.

Learning to listen to the bodys warning signs and symptoms is the same as paying attention to the engine light in your car: neither should be ignored.

However, a healthy lifestyle isnt just an absence of disease; its an opportunity to enjoy the years of life available. Medical care can help the body to maintain its performance as it ages.

What men need to know

Men and the prostate challenge

The prostate is a gland located beneath the bladder, surrounding the urethra, which drains
urine from the bladder. Its primary purpose is to produce the fluid that transports sperm. The
prostate also has involuntary muscles that contract to help expel semen during ejaculation.

A common condition in men, and part of the normal ageing process, is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), or enlarged prostate. A man with an enlarged prostate often has difficulty emptying the bladder, because the urethra is being compressed by prostatic tissue. Over time, the bladder itself begins to weaken, making urination even more difficult. About six cases in 10 are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older; its rare in men under 40.

Symptoms of BPH include:

Urinary frequency (urinating more often);
Urinary urgency (the feeling that one has to empty the bladder urgently or risk wetting
Urinary hesitancy (difficulty starting the urine stream);
Urinary straining (requiring more pressure or bearing down to empty the bladder); and
Poor urine stream and dribbling.

to general practitioner Dr Musa Mahange, treatment of BPH (which may include medications or surgery) depends on the individual, underlying medical conditions, and the severity of symptoms.

Erectile dysfunction

Sexual health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The ability of men to participate in sexual intercourse depends on the brain, hormones, nerves and blood vessels that supply the penis.

There are a number of causes of erectile dysfunction, including:

Peripheral vascular disease;
Spinal cord injury; and
Multiple sclerosis.

Men and sensitive health challenges

Its possible to experience mild, occasional or complete erectile dysfunction at any age. Statistics reveal that about 40% of men are affected by erectile dysfunction at the age of 40.According to Mahange, the treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the cause, but may include medications, testosterone replacement therapy and, for some men, prosthetic devices surgically inserted into the penis.

Exercise regularly, lose extra weight, stop smoking, drink less and dont abuse drugs. Certain medicines increase blood flow to the penis if taken an hour before sexual activity. These include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis).

Heart disease

Heart disease is the No 1 killer of men in the world, according to the World Health Organization. The heart is like any other muscle, requiring blood to supply oxygen and nutrients for it to function. The hearts needs are provided by the coronary arteries, which begin at the base of the aorta and spread across the surface of the heart, branching out to all areas of the heart
A heart attack occurs when a plaque ruptures, allowing a blood clot to form. This obstructs the artery, stopping blood flow to part of the heart muscle.

Mahange says: The major risk factors for heart disease (in addition to stroke and peripheral vascular disease) include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and family history. While one cannot control ones family history, the other factors can be controlled, and the risks minimised. These are lifelong obligations to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Cancer and men

Prostate cancer

This cancer is the most common cancer among men. A disease of ageing, its rarely seen in men younger than 50. Often there are no symptoms, and its diagnosed with routine screening tests, including a rectal examination and a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test.

While the rate of cure for prostate cancer has increased since the widespread use of PSA testing, it still accounts for 19% of cancer deaths among men. And currently, prostate cancer screening with a digital rectal exam and PSA testing are indicated only in highrisk patients or those with symptoms.

Researchers dont completely understand the relationship between diet and prostatecancer prevention, but studies suggest that certain eating habits may help.

Testicular cancer

This usually occurs in younger men (aged 15 to 39). Its estimated that the chance of developing testicular cancer is about one in 270. Fortunately, the rate of cure is excellent. Men can help to detect this disease early by doing a testicular exam routinely and
any testicle abnormalities or symptoms (lumps, swelling, pain) to their healthcare practitioner.

men need | Longevity LIVE
Lung cancer

This disease is one of the most common killer diseases in men, and its mostly preventable. Smoking causes 90% of all lung cancers, and while the number of smokers in the world has decreased in the past generation, 13% of young adults (aged 18 to 24) smoke, putting themselves at risk of lung cancer. Tobacco in its various forms, including smokeless or chewing tobacco, is also related to a variety of other cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat and larynx.

a healthy lifestyle decreases the potential risk of developing cancer. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and avoiding toxins in the environment (including smoking and secondhand smoke) are positive lifestyle changes that the average person can adopt.


A stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die. Blood flow can be compromised by a variety of mechanisms: when blood supply has been cut off (ischemia) or because there has been bleeding in the brain (haemorrhage).  The risk factors for stroke are the same as for heart disease: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and family history.

A ministroke is when an individual develops strokelike symptoms (weakness or paralysis on one side of the body or face, headache, vision loss, cognitive or speech difficulty, or trouble walking), but they resolve spontaneously within a few minutes or hours.

This situation should  never be ignored, since its a warning that a stroke may occur. Ministrokes are more likely in men over the age of 65, but they can occur at any age.


Diabetes occurs when the blood sugar in the body is too high, which results when the pancreas is either not producing enough of the hormone insulin (which regulates blood sugar) or cant effectively use the insulin it does produce. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause vascular disease, leading to heart attacks, strokes, limb amputations, kidney failure, blindness and nerve

Says Mahange: “It’s true that diabetes tends to run in families. You may wonder if that means there is a genetic cause to the disorder. The answer is complex, depending on the type of diabetes, and frequently other factors, such as diet, lifestyle and environment.

Diabetes prevention and control include eating a wellbalanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising routinely.

Kidney disease

The kidneys filter impurities from the blood and dispose of them in the urine. Theyre also
in maintaining electrolyte balance in the blood. Even in healthy people, ageing gradually decreases the efficiency of kidney function. However, kidney failure is often a result of years of poorly controlled high blood pressure and diabetes. It
occurs in adults, and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70. The most
treatment is haemodialysis.

You can keep your kidneys healthy by:

Making healthy food choices;
Making physical activity part of your routine; and

Aiming for a healthy weight.

The bottom line

Being proactive about your health is an important starting point in maintaining health. The ability to recognise that living healthily is a lifelong commitment is an important key to longevity. No one is perfect, and the ultimate goal is to have more good habits than bad.

Here’s a checklist for promoting a healthier lifestyle and living a longer, healthier life:

Stop smoking
Maintain a healthy weight
Engage in some form of physical activity every day
Eat a hearthealthy diet
Maintain good control of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol
Get routine medical care and physical examinations
Undergo recommended screenings for prostate and colon cancer
Perform routine home testicle exams
Keep mentally active
Maintain close relationships with friends

Thapelo Mowela

Thapelo Mowela

Thapelo Mowela is a freelance writer and content producer with a passion for people and their stories. She began her career at the SABC  as one of the producers for a news show. Her job entails, producing , coming up with content and scripting for the news anchors, organizing guest, shooting inserts, voicing inserts and editing. She also gained experience in radio, when she worked as a content producer at Touch HD online. She currently writes fitness and lifestyle columns for a few newspapers. She fell in love with fitness and wants to share with other, ways to better their lifestyles.  In her spare time she’s hiking, travelling, or reading .


This content, developed through collaboration with licensed medical professionals and external contributors, including text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, procedure, or treatment, whether it is a prescription medication, over-the-counter drug, vitamin, supplement, or herbal alternative.

Longevity Live makes no guarantees about the efficacy or safety of products or treatments described in any of our posts. Any information on supplements, related services and drug information contained in our posts are subject to change and are not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Longevity does not recommend or endorse any specific test, clinician, clinical care provider, product, procedure, opinion, service, or other information that may be mentioned on Longevity’s websites, apps, and Content.

error: Content is protected !!