Listen up, men! We know you hear about heart health all of the time, and for good reason. The truth is, many men (and women) don’t put their health first; focus mainly falls on fulfilling routine roles at work or on the family.
You’ve only got one heart, so it’s important to take good care of it. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to go over-board on cardio, or ditch all of your favorite foods. In fact, just making a few small changes in your day can support overall health and wellness.*
With a little forethought and some positive lifestyle changes, you can support healthier years. Here’s how:
Fruits and vegetables
A nutritious diet is a fundamental aspect of overall heart health. A diet with the recommended assortment of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with added vitamins and fiber. Consider tomatoes, bananas, squash, potatoes, and leafy greens; they’re packed with healthful benefits. Aim for at least 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day.
Fat is not necessarily your archnemesis; you just need to be smart about the type of fat you’re consuming. Choose foods containing unsaturated fat and Omega-3. Fatty fish, flax seeds, avocados, olive oil, and walnuts are all great sources too.
You don’t have to completely say goodbye to your favorite foods, but it’s smart to cut back on foods high in saturated fats.
A sedentary lifestyle isn’t going to do you any favors. You don’t need to be in marathon (or even 5k) shape, but you should work on incorporating some exercise into your day. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity daily, at least five days per week. It can be anything you enjoy that elevates your heart rate, from running, to biking, or even simply walking.
Making time to see your doctor regularly is the best way to monitor your heart health and keep an eye out for risk factors. In addition to establishing a baseline for your overall health, meeting with your doctor for a checkup will give you the opportunity to discuss any other health concerns you might have.