The leading cause of death in men is heart disease. And, while making healthy lifestyle choices should start at an early age and carry throughout your life, those over age 45 are at a significantly higher risk. Fortunately, as with most men's health risks, making a few changes to your everyday routine can not only make you feel better, but also lower the risk of heart disease happening to you.
Below we've identified six simple changes that will help you take control of your heart:
- Stop Smoking - Smoking and other tobacco products are a major cause of cardiovascular disease. In fact, people who smoke are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as those who don't. Secondhand smoke can also cause heart disease, so if your spouse or other family members smoke, encourage them to stop as well.
- Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables - What food you put into your body also plays an important role in lowering your risk for heart disease. Make sure your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fiber and fish, and cut back on sodium and fat-saturated foods.
- Get Moving - Incorporating as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day - even if you only have time to do it in 10-minute intervals - can significantly improve the way you feel, lower your blood pressure and get you on the way to a healthier heart.
- Watch Your Waistline - Carrying extra pounds around your waist not only makes you wish for your trimmer years again, it is also a serious health risk. Having extra belly fat puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and more! Try to keep your waistline at 40 inches or under to decrease your risks.
- Cut Back on Alcohol - If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and add on many unwanted pounds.
- Manage Your Stress - The relationship stress has on heart disease may not be direct, but it can definitely make other risk factors worse such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Stress can also cause you to overeat, smoke more, and exercise less - all affecting your overall health.Once you identify what is causing your stress, learn how to relax through deep breathing, music or other exercises that will help you step away from the situation and unwind.
For more information, please refer to our Heart Services section or call (765) 983-3255.