Men's Heart Health

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FITNESS

By Paul Young, BS, CPT

If we’re going to talk about men’s health, we’ve got to talk about the heart. Cardiovascular disease affects 1 in 3 men, according to the American Heart Association. This is usually in older men, but hypertension is becoming an issue for younger men, which can transfer to pretty serious conditions as we age.

While the gap in life expectancy age is closing between men and women, some researchers believe it is due to risky behaviors like smoking and drinking more heavily than women that will keep the separation. It is also believed that men are less likely to seek help about these issues when they need to. With that being said, early detection of any disease will give a much better chance for survival, so get your annual check-ups in! And if you smoke, stop smoking!

An easy proactive tip for your heart health is to keep your A, B, C’s in check. That would be your (A)1C, (B)lood pressure, and (C)holesterol. According to Om Ganda, M.D., Director of the Lipid Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center, "Large-scale research studies have shown that controlling LDL-cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and blood pressure can prevent heart complications by 30 to 50 percent." 

Work on being physically active at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes. Time is one of the main reasons people say they can’t work out, but how much time do we spend doing other things that are not as important as staying alive and healthy for a long time? Talk to your LifeStart trainer about quick workouts designed to help with muscle growth and fat burn (both are great for deterring heart disease).

Lastly, what we put in is what we get out. The food you eat has a direct impact on your heart health. It is a slow process, but eating poorly will certainly increase your chances of getting heart disease earlier. Talk with your LifeStart dietitian for guidance as to what heart healthy foods you should be eating, and what foods you should be staying away from.

Do not underestimate the amount of control you have over what goes on inside of your body. By making healthy choices, you will feel better, live longer, and be happier! Don’t hesitate to seek the help. If you have questions, use the resources at LifeStart to help with the process.


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