Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 9 minutes read
Quick summary
While we can't stop the aging process, it can be scary to face some milestone ages, and one that seems to spark a lot of emotion is turning 40. As men, we experience so many changes throughout our lifetimes, both physically and mentally, so what is it about this milestone age of 40 years old that creates so much anxiety? 

What is it about turning the big 4-0 that causes so many emotions? For many men, the idea of being 40 seems....old. As kids, we saw our parents turning 40, and they seemed so grown up. 

Maybe it's because we don't feel ready, society doesn't glorify getting older, or you feel like your best years are behind you. But whatever it is, many men dread turning forty. The reality is that there are so many great things about hitting this milestone that you may not expect. So, if you're staring forty down and wondering how things may change, here are the 10 things no one tells you about turning 40.

Turning 40 The Best Bits

1. You Become More Confident Turning 40

There is something about turning forty that makes us feel more confident. Most of us, by forty, have been through some life experiences and have come out on the other side. You know what you're capable of and who you are and no longer care much about what others think of you.

2. You Understand Age Is Just A Number

Once you turn forty, you realize you don't feel any differently. You can still do everything you could do before. You're strong, intelligent, busy and confident, with some life experience behind you and much more ahead. You don't suddenly become old at 40. In fact, you probably still feel 18.

3. Your Relationships Become More Important To You

When you're young, friends are the most important thing. People to hang out with all the time. That may be because you don't want to be alone or you want to portray being popular. When people turn 40, they often realize they no longer worry about their image or being popular. They want friendships to be more meaningful and become more selective in who is allowed into their inner circle. Solid relationships have become a priority.

4. You Become More Comfortable With Your Body

For men turning 40, after spending a lifetime hating your body, you make peace with it and appreciate what it can do. Okay, you may still be a bit critical of your belly or thighs, but the obsession you once had is gone, and you appreciate that you can move, dance and run, and your world won't end if you gain two pounds.

5. Sleep Becomes A Priority

Sleep loss dramatically lowers testosterone in healthy young men, but after 40, it makes you feel awful. While you used to stay up late so you didn't miss out on exciting nightlife, you no longer need to stay up when you're tired. You have now learned how important a good night's sleep is. You likely feel cheated if you don't get your full quota. But you're still only in your 40s and can squeeze in the odd big night or 2.  

6. You Appreciate The Small Things In Life

Even though you've worked hard for everything you have, you're grateful for the joy life brings every day. Whether it's hearing a loved one laugh or a beautiful sunset. You take time to express your gratitude for being alive and able to recognize how good you've got it.

7. You're More Resilient Than Ever

By the time you've reached the age of forty, you've lived through a lot of tough stuff. You may have experienced the death of someone close to you or lived through a divorce or some other traumatic event. But you've lived through it all, handled it with grace, and have the empathy to help others when in need. You're resilient and know you can take anything that comes your way.

8. You Stop Being A Doormat

One bonus when turning 40 and beyond is you understand who you are and what you want. No longer will you put up with people who don't value your opinions, and you won't be afraid to fight for it. If someone offends or hurts you, you're not scared to let them know. You apologize if you hurt someone else, respect others' values and expect the same in return. You've learned it's okay to walk away and move on.

9. You Stop Taking Your Health For Granted.

While you've given up late nights out partying, you still may not have focused on your health as you should. At forty, you get your yearly checkups, visit the dentist every six months, and may revamp your diet and exercise routine and drink more water. You've seen what it looks like to ignore your health and want to age gracefully.

10. You Set New Goals.

In your twenties and thirties, your priorities are your career, your relationship and, if you have any, your kids. When you reach forty, you may be settled in a career and family life and may be looking for a new challenge or hobby just for yourself.

As we journey through life, our bodies undergo a series of transformations, and one of the most significant chapters in this ongoing evolution occurs when turning 40 and beyond. Reaching this milestone signifies a change in our chronological age and a shift in how our bodies function. 

Hormones, the chemical messengers that play a vital role in regulating various bodily processes, begin to undergo significant shifts, often leading to physical and emotional changes.

Now, let's dive into how your body and hormones change after 40. We'll examine the profound impact these changes can have on your overall health, well-being, and quality of life, and we'll also explore strategies for navigating this transformative phase.

How Your Body and Hormones Change After Turning 40

Turning 40 is not just a milestone in gaining wisdom and life experiences; it also marks a significant phase of physical changes, often driven by shifts in hormones. Here's a closer look at how your body and hormones change after 40 for men:

1. Metabolism Slows Down

One of the most noticeable changes when turning 40 is your metabolism slowing. As you age, your body tends to burn calories slower, making it easier to gain weight and more challenging to shed those extra pounds. This can be incredibly frustrating if you've maintained a relatively stable weight throughout your younger years. Weight gain must be controlled, or you risk developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Muscle Mass Decreases

Muscle mass begins to decline, and building and maintaining muscle becomes more challenging. Regular exercise and strength training become increasingly essential to counteract this loss and maintain physical strength and mobility.

3. Bone Density Declines

After turning 40, bone density naturally decreases, which can lead to an increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis, particularly in men. Adequate calcium intake, weight-bearing exercises, and optimizing testosterone can help maintain bone health.

4. Changes in Hormone Levels

Hormonal changes become more pronounced after turning 40. For men, testosterone levels tend to decline gradually [1]. This decline can result in various physical and emotional changes, including reduced libido, fatigue, mood swings, and decreased muscle mass. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor or an online clinic like Male Excel.

Learn more about what are the average testosterone levels by age.

5. Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness often becomes more noticeable after turning 40. It's a genetic trait influenced by hormones and can lead to thinning hair or receding hairlines. So, if you have a family history of hair loss, unfortunately, you are more likely to suffer. 

6. Skin Changes

Your skin may become drier, thinner, and more prone to wrinkles and age spots. The production of collagen and elastin decreases, reducing skin elasticity and forming fine lines.

7. Vision Changes

Many men experience changes in their vision, such as difficulty focusing on close objects (presbyopia) and an increased risk of eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts.

8. Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease, heart attack and high blood pressure risk increase with age. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and managing stress are crucial for cardiovascular health. Poor heart health is a risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction. 

9. Digestive Changes

Digestive health issues like indigestion, heartburn, and constipation can become more common after turning 40. Paying attention to your diet and staying hydrated can help alleviate some of these problems.

10. Prostate Health

Prostate issues, such as an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and the risk of prostate cancer, become more prevalent as men age. Regular prostate screenings and discussions with your healthcare provider are essential.

Hormones and Lifestyle. The Key to Healthy Aging After Turning 40 

It's important to note that these changes are a natural part of aging, and their onset can vary from person to person. While some of these changes may be inevitable, many can be managed or mitigated with a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proactive healthcare. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help address specific concerns and develop strategies to navigate the physical changes that come with turning 40 and beyond. 

Healthy aging is influenced by various factors that impact overall well-being and longevity. Ensuring a balanced and nutritious diet provides the body with the necessary nutrients and antioxidants to support its functions and fight age-related disease. Regular physical activity helps maintain muscle mass and flexibility and contributes to cardiovascular health and mental well-being.

Limiting alcohol use is crucial because excessive consumption can lead to a range of health problems and a higher risk of liver damage, cognitive decline, and risk of accidents and injuries. Finally, optimizing hormonal balance, particularly as we age, can play a pivotal role in maintaining vitality. Addressing issues like hormone imbalance can positively affect energy levels, mood, and overall health.

Together, these factors create a holistic approach to long-term healthy aging, promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being, ultimately enhancing our quality of life as we age.

Conclusion: Turning 40 Isn't SO Bad!

Although turning 40 can be a little intimidating, when you get there, you realize there are so many great things about being forty. By 40, you've experienced much of what life has to offer. You know yourself and have become more confident in your own skin. You no longer worry about what others think and get on with living your life on your own terms. Turning 40 offers a new freedom to live your best life.

Heart hands

Don't be defined by your age. Defy it!

From more lean muscle to increased energy, see if optimizing your hormones could be the key.

Bob Larkin (2018). 40 Things You Wish Someone Told You about Turning 40.
Alison Bryant, 7 Reasons Why Turning 40 is Awesome.
Stacey Lindsay (2022). Never Fake an Orgasm Again—and Other Truths I Learned at 40.
Amanda Cassidy (2023). Brutally honest things people turning 40 want you to know.
See More