Heart Health for Men over 40
Welcome to your forties!
While this is a new chapter in your life, and you will welcome new and exciting experiences, it also brings with it something unexpected. After age 40 most men begin to experience more health issues. Don’t take it personally, it just comes with getting older and more mature. While you know your hair will turn gray, and your skin may begin to wrinkle, you might also experience something new when you attend your yearly doctor’s appointment.
Now is the time for your doctor to begin seriously focusing on your heart and how it is working for you. After 40 most men begin to see signs of heart issues or even the beginning of heart disease. But before you start seeing these signs, you want to make sure that you are seeing your medical doctor on a regular basis. This will allow you to be monitored on a yearly basis, and will give you the opportunity to tell your doctor is something feels different.
Get Regular Check-Ups
While going to the doctor is probably something that you want to avoid, it is best to bite the bullet and go in and be seen every year. Your doctor is the person who will be able to help you most when it comes to making sure that your heart is in top working order. He can also make sure that you attend all of your health screenings.
These are tests that check your cholesterol, your prostate, thyroids, signs or symptoms of diabetes, and especially high blood pressure. Having your screenings done when you’re supposed to is crucial to helping maintain a healthy heart as you grow older. All of the things we mentioned can have an effect on your heart health, with diabetes and high blood pressure being the leading causes of heart disease.
Other than cancer, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men over 40.
Don’t Stress the Small Stuff
Another leading cause of heart problems and heart disease in men is too much stress. Stress can come in many forms. Work-related problems, personal concerns due to a sick family member or marital problems, or even lack of sleep can cause stress. Making time to relax after your hectic work day can do wonderful things for your heart.
If relaxing after work isn’t enough, a change in careers may be something to think about. Moving into a more relaxed working environment could be good for your overall health in the long run. While you cannot control a family member becoming ill and the effect that it will have on you, you can help yourself by remaining as calm as you can in the given situation. Reminding yourself that getting upset will not help your family or yourself and finding something productive to keep your mind calm can help you to release unwanted stress during a difficult time.
Making sure that you are getting enough rest at night can also help you relieve stress. Setting aside a time for you to go to bed each night will help you fall into a routine and allow you to become calmer at night. Make sure to give yourself a calm and relaxing space to sleep in, void of technology and loud sounds that can keep you awake and give you more to stress about.
Remember to Exercise
Exercising is a great way to reduce your stress levels. Whether you take a yoga class, go for a daily run, or try out a kickboxing class, getting up and moving can help you to maintain your overall physical health. It can also be a great stress reliever. If you are already an active person, think about adding a new routine to your workout schedule.
Try something different for a few weeks and find something that works for your preferences. The first new exercise you try doesn’t have to work, as long as you keep trying until you find something that helps.
Manage Your Weight
Most men will begin to gain weight around their forties, and exercise is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. This is due to your metabolism slowing down, which means it alone cannot keep up with your calorie intake.
Obesity is a major factor in heart disease for men, and staying on top of your weight management can reduce your risk for heart problems. In addition to exercise, you need to maintain a healthy and consistent diet.
Talking with your doctor or a nutritionist can help you to choose foods that not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but are naturally good for your heart.
Drop Bad Habits
Something to keep in mind while you are trying to navigate your heart health is your daily habits. Smoking and alcohol consumption can lead to heart problems and eventually to heart disease. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver problems, which can cause your heart to over pump to help get the much-needed blood into your liver so it can clean the alcohol out of your system.
Reducing your alcohol intake can reduce your chances of having heart problems. Smoking also causes your heart to work overtime to keep blood pumping to your lungs and other organs. Tobacco usage is directly linked to heart problems in men. The longer you smoke, the harder your heart has to work to keep your organs functioning. Research has shown that as soon as you quit smoking, your heart begins to repair itself and in turn, begins to help repair the damage to other organs.
Remember to reduce the stress in your life, quit smoking, exercise, and eat healthily. These things can greatly reduce the risk of heart problems in your life. Make sure to talk to your doctor about ways to get on the road to recovering your heart and keeping it healthy. Your overall health directly affects your heart health, so remember to get your yearly screenings done for all areas of your health.