Preventing heart disease is important for everyone, but the challenges men and women face are unique. While women are more likely to overlook or miss unusual symptoms of a heart attack, like jaw pain, men are more likely to develop heart disease as many as 10 years before women. This makes disease prevention and the early detection of heart disease crucial for men – even if they’re only in their 30’s or 40’s.
In addition to identifying risk factors, getting routine exercise, not smoking and eating a nutritious diet, here are 5 things all men should be doing for their hearts:
1. Change your mindset.
When it comes to having a family history of heart disease, men are far more likely to have a fatalistic view of this risk factor. While you can’t change your family history, that doesn’t make heart disease an inevitability. There are effective prevention tactics, like early heart screenings, that can be used to minimize and manage risk factors.
2. Don’t ignore other medical problems.
Just because heart disease primarily impacts the heart and vascular system, that doesn’t mean other conditions or symptoms are unrelated. For instance, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and gum disease can all be early signs of heart disease.
3. It’s not all about the protein.
For many men, grilling juicy burgers or steaks for lunch – and maybe dinner, too – is a summertime staple. And while eating red, fatty meat is okay in moderation, it shouldn’t make up the majority of anyone’s diet. In addition to opting for lean protein sources, like fish or chicken, don’t forget to balance each meal with foods high in antioxidants and/or fiber.
4. Acknowledge anger and stress.
There’s no denying that everyone experiences stressful days or feelings of anger, but when these become frequent or hard to cope with, it takes a toll on heart health. In fact, research has shown that in the few hours after an angry outburst, the risk for a heart attack can be up to five times greater. Finding healthy ways to work through stress and anger are essential – try listening to music, spend time outdoors or simply unplug from it all.
5. Schedule an appointment – and go to it.
Bottom line, there’s no substitute for going to an expert that understands and specializes in heart care. A trusted cardiologist with Georgia Heart Institute can help to provide better understanding of heart health, share helpful lifestyle tips and develop a prevention and treatment plan that addresses each person’s unique needs and concerns. Schedule your appointment online today!