Men should do these seven things for cardiac health

June 19, 2014
Dr. Charles Katzenberg

(Medical Xpress)—Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men, and the hearts of one of eight men over age 40 will at some point suddenly stop beating – an event known as sudden cardiac arrest.

June is both National Men's Health Month and CPR and AED Awareness Month, making it a good time to revisit ways to prevent .

"A is the best prevention against disease," says Dr. Charles Katzenberg, a University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center member and a UA clinical professor of medicine.

He offers the following seven prevention tips:

  1. See a doctor. Learn what your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers mean. Ask your doctor what to do to prevent a or stroke.
  2. Lose some belly. Exercise and diet will improve your appearance, your arteries and your ability to do more fun activities. Eat more plants and fewer animals, including dairy products. Minimize calorie-dense oils, including olive oil. Try canola oil, which has less saturated fat and more omega-3. Skip trans fats, added salt and added sugars. No need to go overboard; a Body Mass Index of 25-30 is reasonable for heart health.
  3. Get moving. Walk, jog, bike, swim, do circuit weight training, take aerobic exercise classes – whatever it takes – three to four hours each week. Include intervals, a warm-up and cool down each session. If you're a couch potato, get a treadmill test first.
  4. Stop smoking. Just do it.
  5. Stress less. More meditation could mean less heart rehabilitation. If tai chi, meditation or yoga stress you out, do what works for you – read a book, listen to music, exercise. Do it 30 to 60 minutes each day. Manage anger, learn to listen, enjoy friends and family.
  6. Call 911. A heart attack can take many forms – extreme chest pain or chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or upper stomach, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, weakness and fatigue. If in doubt, shout out for the emergency pros.
  7. Know what cardiac arrest looks like and what to do about it. Watch this video to learn chest-compression-only CPR, which was developed by doctors at the Sarver Heart Center.

Katzenberg notes that even if you do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle, you still may develop heart disease, so it's important to be aware of the signs.

"There are risk factors for heart disease no one can control, such as advanced age and genes," he says. "It's important to know the signs of a heart attack and to seek early heart attack care when symptoms occur, to minimize heart muscle loss."

Explore further: Many women having a heart attack don't have chest pain

Related Stories

Reducing your risk of heart disease

February 6, 2013

February is American Heart Month but living a heart healthy lifestyle is important anytime of the year. That's because cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans – one in three of us will die from heart ...

Chest pain duration can signal heart attack

September 11, 2013

Patients with longer-lasting chest pain are more likely having a heart attack than those with pain of a shorter duration, according to a study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Recommended for you

No new heart muscle cells in mice after the newborn period

November 5, 2015

A new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet shows that new heart muscle cells in mice are mainly formed directly after birth. After the neonatal period the number of heart muscle cells does not change, and A new study ...

Nanotechnology could spur new heart treatment

October 29, 2015

A new nanoparticle developed by University of Michigan researchers could be the key to a targeted therapy for cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes the heart to beat erratically and can lead to heart attack and stroke.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 19, 2014
I suffered a cardiac arrest seven years ago. I can honestly say, I did not complete any of the seven tasks you listed. Wish I had and glad I got a second chance.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.