To combat the alarming surge in the cardiac disease, it is essential to raise awareness and educate young men about preventive measures to protect their cardiovascular health.
Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for overall well-being, and it’s never too early for men to start taking care of their cardiovascular health. Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men worldwide, and in India, it tends to affect men at a younger age due to various factors. These factors include genetics, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits and increasing stress levels. To combat this alarming surge in the cardiac disease, it is essential to raise awareness and educate young men about preventive measures to protect their cardiovascular health. Adopting healthy habits at a young age can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart-related issues later in life.
Below are some essential habits that men can incorporate into their daily lives to keep their hearts healthy and strong:
1. Regular check-ups:
Most men neglect regular medical check-ups and remain unaware of their risk factors. High blood pressure and diabetes, often referred to as “silent killers,” tend to manifest without warning signs. In India, high blood pressure has become increasingly common above the age of 30 and mostly remains asymptomatic. Similarly, diabetes is also very common in India and a considerable percentage of individuals with diabetes remain undiagnosed. Yearly examinations provide an opportunity for men to discuss any concerns they may have with their doctor.
2. Quit smoking:
Smoking not only harms the heart by causing inflammation and damage to the arteries and blood vessels but also increases the risk of blood clots in the brain and other organs. Smoking also causes a variety of cancers. Quitting smoking is a challenging but crucial step towards better heart health.
3. Maintain a healthy weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for cardiovascular health. Excess body weight strains the heart and increases the risk of conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. A combination of a nutritious diet and regular physical exercise is key to effective weight management. Calculating the body mass index (BMI) is an essential tool for determining an individual’s optimal weight range based on their height-to-weight ratio. For men, the BMI figure should ideally fall between 18.5 and 23.
4. Regular physical exercise:
Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Men should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Incorporating activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, or participating in sports into their daily routines is crucial. Regular exercise strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, aids in weight control, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Balanced and nutritious diet:
A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for heart health in both men and women. It is recommended to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoiding refined carbohydrates (esp. sweets), sugary beverages, processed and fried foods, and excessive salt is essential. Opt for complex carbohydrates (e.g., whole grains) and low-fat dairy products and limit the consumption of red meat. Including fish oil supplements or incorporating omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty seafood like salmon into the diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and support cardiovascular health in men. Nuts such as walnuts, pistachio and almonds are also excellent for heart health.
6. Stress management and adequate sleep:
Chronic stress negatively impacts heart health. Men and women tend to cope with stress differently, with men often internalizing their feelings. Engaging in stress-relieving activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or pursuing relaxing hobbies becomes crucial for men’s mental and cardiovascular well-being. Adequate sleep is also necessary for maintaining cardiovascular health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, hypertension and obesity.
By prioritizing these essential habits, men can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease and enjoy a healthier and happier life. It is crucial for men to start incorporating these habits at a young age to establish a strong foundation for heart health. Additionally, promoting these habits among young men and raising awareness about the importance of cardiovascular health can have a positive impact on the overall well-being of the male population.