June is Men’s Heart Health Month, but it is a time to highlight all men’s health issues. This is an especially appropriate time for men and boys, and their families, to think about the critical importance of men’s heart health.
After all, death from heart attack is a leading cause of death for men, followed by cancer, accident injuries, and lower respiratory diseases. So, please help spread the word this month about the importance of men’s heart health.
This month offers an ideal opportunity to start focusing on simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve or maintain your own heart health. Here’s an easy list of things men can start doing this month to take good care of your heart all year long.
Be More Active
- Exercise — Start getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Pick one form of exercise that you enjoy most, so it will be easier to stick with it.
- Take Stretch Breaks — Get up from your desk, or couch, and take brief brisk walks (for 5 – 10 minutes) several times each day.
- Adopt an Active Hobby — Recruit a neighbor or your kids for regular basketball games at the park, or for volleyball in the backyard. Or, join a hiking or bicycling group, or a tag football league, etc.
Improve Your Eating Habits
- Learn Calorie and Fat Counts — Download an App, or just start Googling calorie and fat contents of foods you eat regularly. Becoming familiar with those numbers can help you stay within limits for maintaining healthy body weight.
- Control your Cholesterol — Be aware of HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride counts in foods. Have periodic cholesterol checks, and prioritize maintaining your cholesterol within the healthy range for men.
- Avoid Nutrient-Poor Foods — Foods and beverages that are packed with empty calories do not satisfy the body’s nutritional needs. That means excessive calories must be consumed, or that hunger will return prematurely, which results in over-eating.
- Relax — Take some quiet time out of your routine every day to relax and decompress.
- Get Enough Sleep — Insufficient amounts or quality of sleep is a serious threat to heart health. Change your mattress or pillow if necessary for comfort, keep sheets clean, make your bed, eliminate all light emitting electronics, and minimize noise in your sleep space.
- Consult with your Doctor — Practice deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and other stress reduction techniques. If you are experiencing ongoing excessive stress, discuss therapeutic options with your doctor.
Have Routine Check Ups
- Annually — See your primary care doctor for routine annual physical exams. Discuss your level of regular physical activity and your nutritional habits, as well as your family medical history with your doctor.
- More Frequently — Have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart rate readings taken more frequently if you have been diagnosed with a heart-related medical condition. Have treadmill or chemical stress testing conducted, if your doctor recommends such testing for you.
For More Information
For more information about men’s heart health, or to see a doctor at your local medical clinic, contact ARcare at (877) 876-8032 to schedule an appointment.