Just Hit 40? 7 Tune-Up Tips

Any guy will tell you that once your car hits a certain mileage, it's wise to take it in for a tune-up. Well, the same goes for your body. Much like in your teens, your body goes through some significant changes when you hit your 40s and 50s.

Here, we've outlined seven steps you can take to help ensure your health well into your golden years.

1. Switch up your carbs. By adding good carbs to your diet while keeping the bad ones out, you'll find it easier to drop excess weight, raise your energy levels, and reduce your risk for diabetes.

Try opting for more whole grains-especially in the morning. Skip the processed white bread and go for whole wheat toast. Fruit is great, too, especially in its whole form. If you're used to downing a glass or two of orange juice, try slicing up an orange instead.

2. Have more sex. It may sound too good to be true, but it's not. Men who have sex at least once a week are 50 percent less likely to develop erectile dysfunction. Sex improves cardiovascular health, reduces stress, and may lower your risk of prostate cancer.

3. Take a test. Getting the necessary preventive exams will go a long way toward helping you live longer. Make sure you're undergoing the following tests regularly:

  • Blood pressure check - yearly
  • Cholesterol test - yearly
  • Sexually transmitted diseases test - every 6 months, if you're sexually active
  • Colonoscopy - depending on your risk you should have one every 10 years starting at age 40 or 50

4. Hit the weights. Once you hit 40, your body starts producing less testosterone, which can decrease your muscle mass. To avoid decreasing muscle mass, you can incorporate weight training into your exercise plan. Weight training will increase your strength and increase your muscle and bone mass. Try to incorporate weight training into your schedule at least two times per week.

5. Embrace cardio. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in four men has some form of heart disease. Studies have shown that you can help prevent the development of heart disease through regular exercise, and in particular, with cardio workouts.

Cardio workouts raise your heart rate, help you burn calories quickly, and aid in weight loss. Try to go for the occasional run or jog. Hitting the pavement not your thing? Go for a brisk hike or walk. Incorporate cardio into your workout at least three times a week for a minimum or 30 minutes.

6. Reduce stress. Everyone experiences the occasional bout of stress. That said, job and financial stress have been linked to sexual health problems in men. Exercise, effective time management, and delegating can help you cope with stress.

7. Get more (and better) sleep. According to the World Sleep Foundation, almost half of all Americans are sleep deprived, many chronically. Not only can losing sleep zap your energy and put you in a less than pleasant mood, but it can weaken your immune system-making you more prone to sickness. To insure you're getting the sleep you need, follow these steps:

  • Remove electronics from the bedroom
  • Keep a regular bedtime
  • Don't eat before bed
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages close to bedtime