It is an unfortunate statistic, but heart disease affects men more than women, and it affects men at younger ages than women. With this being the case, what can you do to keep a healthy heart?
First of all, we have to realize that there are factors, which affect heart health for men in different ways than they do women.
It seems that stress can affect men more than women. This is probably because of the types of jobs traditionally associated with men, and because men tend to keep things bottled up inside.
Men also tend to have more fat around their abdominal region, known as visceral fat, which is a factor in high blood pressure, high cholesterol and has a negative impact on vital organs.
Here we have 6 great tips for men to keep a healthy heart.
Top 6 Tips to Keep a Healthy Heart for Men
1. Don't smoke
This has to be the No.1 one advice for anyone to live a healthier lifestyle. Smoking causes many negative health problems and it can be extremely bad for the heart. Smoking constricts blood vessels.
This, in turn, raises blood pressure, making the heart work harder. Smoking also starves the blood of oxygen - again, causing the heart to work harder and putting it under more stress.
The advice to not smoke also applies to second-hand smoking. So avoid smoke altogether.
It is important to keep physically active. This means that on most days of the week, preferably every day, you have to have some form of aerobic exercise. Remember that your heart is a muscle. To keep it strong and healthy, you have to exercise it.
Of course, regular trips to the gym are great ways to get the necessary exercise. Pushing weights is also good. However, you do not have to limit yourself to the gym.
A brisk 30-minute walk every day can be just as beneficial. Alternatively, why not avoid the elevator and take the stairs more often?
3. Enjoy A Healthy Diet
Trans fats are really bad for the heart and should be avoided. This includes, anything fried, pie, margarine, frosting, bacon, donuts, boxed food and even some crackers.
Get into the habit of eating healthy real whole food on a regular basis such as vegetables, low sugar fruit, and lean protein. This means regularly choosing healthy options and high fiber food that is low in fat. Cut down on red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and instead, eat more chicken and oily fish like salmon, which is a great source of omega-3 fats, which are great for heart health.
If you are a man who likes to cook, then switch to olive oils rather than vegetable oils (e.g. sunflower or corn) and animal based fats (e.g. lard.) Olive oil contains properties, which actually do much to improve the health of the heart.
A healthy diet is a fantastic way to care for a healthy heart. It helps you lost weight - thus putting less strain on your heart. It also provides you with fantastic ingredients, which actually are beneficial for your heart.
4. Deal With Stress
Stress and anger have a negative impact on heart function. This needs to be controlled and managed properly. Of course, there are stresses that we cannot avoid. Maybe it is a boss who is constantly breathing down our neck, or we have deadlines to meet.
However, you need to take time out each day to relax. This could be a nice walk (see tip No.2) or developing relaxation techniques. Meditation can be done anywhere, and taking 5 to 10 minutes a day at your desk to meditate can significantly reduce stress levels.
5. Control Alcohol Consumption
Too much alcohol is bad for health in general, including the heart. Some studies have shown, however, that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent artery damage. These studies suggest that red wine is better than other alcoholic beverages.
6. Regular Check-Ups
Men tend to be worse than women at getting proper preventative health care. So, make sure that you get regular check-ups. Know what your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels are. This can be as simple as a blood test once a year.
The heart is the engine of the body. It needs to be taken care of for it to work properly. So follow these 6 key tips to get and care for your healthy heart.