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Ladies, please read no further. In the following article we are going to talk man to man about man stuff — the kinds of things women are not supposed to dwell on, but men over 40 cannot afford not to. You’ve been warned.
Right gents, now that we’re alone with our whiskey and cigars let’s discuss three essential health and grooming tips for men over 40, from your head to your toes, saving the middle for last — a bit like a Tarantino film.
Women often complain with unconcealed envy that while they get older and merely look older, as men age, they become more distinguished as their faces develop character. (Though sometimes not for the better — as George Orwell once observed “At age 50, a man has the face he deserves.”)
We have it pretty easy really. Young women can still find us attractive into our fifties (or much later if we are Sean Connery). Our biggest problem is hair. It thins on the head and thickens everywhere else.
It is astonishing the obliviousness of some men who blithely tolerate rampant hair growth from their ears and nostrils to the point where they could mould a set of horns and a moustache. To the outside observer, it is quite simply disgusting. So buy a nose and ear hair trimmer and set aside a few minutes on Sunday mornings to buzz them away. And think about thinning your eyebrows while you’re at it.
If you are going bald, don’t try to hide it with toupees, painful plugs or comb-overs. Face up to it and get a good stylist to shape it, or go full chrome dome. Parade your cranium. Studies have shown that women shown pictures of balding men perceived them as more intelligent than men with hair. Outside of nightclubs, women are suckers for brains.
Feet are another area men commonly ignore, possibly because they are so far away from our eyes and noses. Just giving your toenails a quick clipping isn’t enough.
Look closely around the edges of your toenails and there is probably years of accumulated dirt and dead skin in there, making your feet look like Fred Flintstone’s. Give your feet a good soaking for 20 minutes in hot water and get in there with a cuticle pusher and gently dig it out — or better yet, get a pedicure the first time out. After that, the maintenance is easy.
Also get a pumice stone and give the soles a good scrubbing once a week, scraping off the thick dead skin, making your feet clean and much less likely to smell like overripe Camembert.
These two simple steps will have your feet looking better than you thought possible and make running, walking or standing much more comfortable. And women, God bless ‘em, will take notice.
Far too much has been said and written about beer bellies, and we all know by now what we have to do about it. So let’s go a bit lower and deal with the big one for men over 40 (and more so after 50) — prostate problems — nature’s confirmation that getting older isn’t always a bowl of cherries.
The prostate gland, which produces semen, and therefore one of your best friends for most of your life, can turn on you and enlarge, causing pain and problems urinating, or much worse, can become cancerous and kill you by spreading into the bones and lymph nodes if not detected in time. Earlier detection means more treatment options.
The problem is that it is a slow-growing cancer and often has no symptoms. You can have it for years and not know it. A blood test that measures Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the most effective early detection known, so be sure to specify that this be part of a routine annual blood test.
Unfortunately, the other routine test involves a rubber glove and an uncomfortable sense of violation, but do your best to grin and bear it. And try not to feel too sorry for yourself; ask any woman what routine tests they have to go through and you’ll see this is another case where men get off easy.
The good news is there is evidence that regular use, or emptying of the prostate through ejaculation reduces the risk of both enlargement and cancer — as if you needed yet another excuse.
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