Heart health is an important topic for everyone, but especially for men. Raising awareness of men’s heart disease is something we take seriously because men are at risk for heart-related events at a younger age than women. In fact, one of the most common forms of heart disease, a heart attack, strikes men, on average, around the age of 65, while women are affected around age 72. Various risk factors need to be taken into consideration so that prevention pays off.
Visit the doctor regularly
Men aren’t as likely to head to the doctor when they feel that something is physically wrong. Along those same lines, they may not get a yearly physical if they are generally feeling well. Stay up to date on checkups and blood work so that you can better understand your risk factors and therefore know what you can do ahead of time to ward off heart disease.
Lifestyle factors contribute to poor health
Smoking, stress, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle all up the risk for heart disease. Quit smoking and get more movement into your day so that you can have a huge impact on your own well-being. Cardiovascular exercise is especially important. Lowering stress through techniques such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing can all have a significant impact on heart health as well. A solid diet is the cornerstone of good health. Therefore, getting plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats and lean proteins can provide long-lasting benefits not only for heart health but many other chronic diseases as well.
These are great tips for any age, but here are some more age-specific ways men can help increase their heart health.
In your 30s
In your 30s, you may still feel young and immortal, but in reality, prevention is key here. Many men have families during this stage of life and may get caught up in parenting or providing for their needs, forgetting about their own health and well-being. It is important, then, that health and fitness remain priorities, as the things you do to help increase your heart health now will go a long way to helping you maintain this health in the future. Not only that, but if you have children who are looking to you for guidance, being a good role model in terms of lifestyle choices is incredibly important.
In your 40s
Metabolism begins to slow down as we age. In your 40s, diet and exercise become even more important. Maintaining your weight can help combat one of the main causes of heart disease: obesity. You should become familiar with your body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol so that you can keep these numbers in check. Make sure to attend yearly checkups and continue eating a healthy diet in combination with enough movement and exercise.
In your 50s
You can’t help that aging is a factor for heart disease. Just because you can’t control the ticking of the clock, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim to try to control your lifestyle choices. Again, a healthy diet and exercise are key here, as metabolism continues to decrease as well as hormone levels. If you have a family history of heart disease, it makes sense to talk to your doctor about a calcium heart scan to check for any deposits or narrowing in the arteries that could cause a heart attack down the road.
In your 60s
If you are still smoking at this point or your lifestyle factors are contributing to heart disease or any other chronic disease, talk to your doctor about starting an exercise regimen or finding help to quick tobacco use. It is never too early to start on the road toward better health. Many men may also reach retirement age during their 60s, in which case their daily routine will completely shift. Stick to making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and continue exercising as it feels appropriate to you. If you experience normal signs of aging in your joints, you may want to investigate less strenuous exercises such as water aerobics or yoga.
No matter your age, it’s important to start taking good care of your heart. By making simple lifestyle changes such as quitting tobacco use, aiming to manage stress in a healthy way, eating a whole-foods diet and exercising or moving every day, you will hold in your hands the keys to better health. The best part? You can take control of your own health, empowering yourself to make decisions that can lead you on a path away from heart disease.