Help keep the men in your life safe by understanding this “silent killer”... and how to fight it.
Good father figures take on the responsibility of helping to keep their family safe and healthy. This is a noble cause, but sometimes they can forget to take care of themselves in the process. One part of the body many men fail to care for is the heart.
Today, we’re going to help you understand how you can help the men in your life.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death among males. Below is their explanation for the term:
“The term heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease and heart attack.”
Why would heart disease be so prevalent among men? There are a couple of social theories. Most of them stem from a lack of cardiac-based activity. One theory is that a lot of men work office jobs, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle, with many hours in front of a computer screen or in conference rooms.
We can also entertain the impact of commercial standards. The following is from Everyday Health:
“The body looms large in what people find attractive in the male physique. A muscular frame with waist-to-shoulder ratio of .75 or less creates a well defined upper body “V.” Broad shoulders, a muscled chest, and a narrower waist meets the criteria of body perfection.”
In pursuit of the commercially-attractive body, many men will engage in strength-based exercises such as weight-lifting and forego cardiovascular activity, as it may lead them away from the muscular mass they are in pursuit of.
Regardless of the reasons, the fact is that heart disease is incredibly dangerous. So how can you help?
There’s no need to panic. Most of the conditions that lead to heart disease are preventable, so steps can be taken to keep your loved one safe.
It is strongly suggested that men in their mid-forties and beyond maintain a strong and healthy relationship with their doctors and complete (at the very least) a yearly physical.
Many men may be resistant to this as they feel they “don’t need one.” Well, conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that contribute to heart disease are often referred to as “silent killers,” as their existence doesn’t always manifest in symptoms we can see.
“Establishing baselines for factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and PSA (a screening test for prostate cancer risk)—and monitoring how they change over time—will enable the provider to catch potentially dangerous conditions early, when they’re still treatable.”
Emphasis on cardiovascular. While other exercise has its place and should be applauded, when it comes to heart health, these are the exercises we cannot forget… but many do.
According to the CDC when surveying adults over the age of 18, only 53.3% met the physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity.
It can be tough to simply ask someone to exercise, hope that they will, and expect results. So why not do it with them? After all, you will benefit from cardiovascular protection as well.
To be clear, we’re not advocating training for a marathon. But 30 minutes of jogging, walking, or bike riding, 5 days a week, at a pace just vigorous enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat will do you a world of good.
Managing stress is incredibly important, and untended mental health issues almost always manifest into physical problems as well.
Despite this, a survey from the American Psychological Association showed that only 52% of men say that it is “very/extremely” important to manage stress. The numbers are even more disappointing when it comes to the relationship between stress and physical health, as 36% of men believe that their stress has little to no impact on their physical health.
The American Heart Association writes:
“...stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Some people may choose to drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to “manage” their chronic stress, however these habits can increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.”
Helping the men in your life manage stress in healthy ways could be key to keeping their heart healthy. These could include:
Help him understand that it is okay to not be okay.
Supplements are designed to “supplement” a healthy and balanced lifestyle; to go the extra mile for those who are prioritizing their health.
After implementing these practices, you may find that you want a little extra support in helping to make sure his heart is as healthy as it can be.
That’s where we can help.