3 Tips for Celebrating Men’s Health Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in the U.S. In fact, heart disease accounts for 1 in 4 male deaths across the country. While heart disease is common, it is often preventable. Since June is Men’s Health Month, here are a few tips to help men avoid heart disease altogether.
What is Men’s Health Month?
Men’s Health Month is all about raising awareness of preventable conditions men face every day. It is also about promoting early detection and treatment of disease. Men’s Health Month, which has been celebrated every June since 1994, creates a platform for doctors, educators, policy makers, and the media to encourage the men and boys in their communities to take control of their health. Since heart disease is a common condition in men, Men’s Health Month is the perfect time to learn more about how you can prevent heart disease in yourself or in someone you love.
Tips for Promoting Men’s Heart Health
There is no one solution to promoting heart health. To prevent heart disease, both men and women must develop heart healthy habits to practice every day. Some great ways to promote heart health in men include:
Choose Tea Over Coffee
Coffee and tea are both great sources of antioxidants and caffeine. However, tea is also packed with powerful flavonoids called polyphenols that can lower men’s risk of heart disease by 58 percent. One study on the topic found that the participants who drank around four cups a day were the healthiest in the group. If you are a regular coffee or caffeine drinker, consider making the switch to tea to help prevent heart disease.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of heart disease. Smoking causes 30 percent of coronary-related deaths every year, along with a variety of other health conditions. And by quitting cigarettes or tobacco, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease to that of a nonsmoker within five years.
For those who do not smoke, avoiding secondhand smoke is an important part of preventing heart disease. A recent study shows that those who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke at work or home have a 30 percent higher risk of heart disease. This leads to around 34,000 heart disease deaths and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer every year. If you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, be sure to set boundaries with those around you to help avoid the negative side effects.
Don’t Let Your Family History Define Your Future
If possible, it is important to understand the medical conditions that run in your family. However, just because your parents or grandparents suffered from heart disease does not have to mean that you will too. Your family’s heart conditions may be the result of external factors such as food, lifestyle, or exercise habits that have been passed down for generations. In many cases, you can break the cycle by altering your habits and taking your future into your own hands. While it is possible to avoid the heart conditions that run in your family, it is still important to inform your doctor of your family history.
Monitor Your Heart This June
Men’s Health Month is a great time to learn more about your heart health. It is also a perfect time to start new habits that lead to a healthier life. One of the most important things anyone can do to care for their heart is to have regular checkups with their cardiologist. Keeping an eye on your blood pressure, cholesterol and heartrate is an essential step in preventing future medical conditions.