Welcome to the first weekly post for March 2022. Let’s continue our discussion of aging by looking at how getting healthier is the best way to look and feel younger. Healthy aging for gay men isn’t a mystery. So, why do so many of us get it wrong?
Being Super Fit Makes You Look Older
Have you ever noticed how unhealthy most extremely fit guys over fifty look? That’s because they’re focusing on appearance. Many of the things we do to look good can contribute to our overall health. But, as we get older healthy aging means focusing more on the inside. Making a six pack a priority isn’t smart as we get older.
Focus on the Inside
Many issues, even serious ones, can be hiding in a very fit looking body. I’m mot knocking exercise, or staying fit. I spend a good amount of time at the gym. Healthy, balanced eating is obviously also very important. Taking a look at what’s going on inside your body, and acting on anything problematic that you find, is part of it too.
I’m the kind of guy who can easily pack on a few extra pounds. For the most part its easy to get them off. But, during one of the fittest periods in my life, my late thirties, I discovered that I was already pre-diabetic. Yes, my food was a mess. It took a lot of years and a shift in focus in order to deal with the issue. Happily that hard work has paid off and my my blood sugar is now optimal.
Fighting Our Obsession with Looking Young
Gay culture puts even more emphasis on looking young than the culture at large. That makes healthy aging even tougher for queer men. The superficial values that you’re confronted with every day encourage you to forget about anything but what you see in the mirror. But, it’s a losing battle. Bodies and faces age no matter how hard we fight against it. I’m proposing that you’d be far better off focusing your energy and money on maintaining optimal health rather than on looking young.
Focusing on Health Makes You Look Younger
Many of the things that you’ll do to take better care of your health are going to support a youthful appearance anyway. Maintaining a healthy body weight with diet and exercise are an important part of self-care. Regular physicals and bloodwork are also key. Perhaps not as often in your fifties, but still important.
People are afraid to take a look inside. They’re scared of what they might find. But, knowledge is power. The sooner you discover an issue the better you’ll be able to address it. Even if it just means slowing the progress of a debilitating disease.
Spend Your Time and Money on What Matters
We’re all living longer. If you want to have meaning and fulfillment in your older years you’re going to need your body to be as strong and healthy as possible. Healthy aging for gay men means letting go of all the programming you’ve been subjected to. It means taking charge of your life, and your health, in a way that will allow you to be vibrant and happy for however may years you spend on the planet.