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You might have heard of the old 1960’s sitcom, “Father Knows Best.” Maybe that should be changed to “Father Thinks He Knows Best.” According to the study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, four out of five men said their health was good or excellent. However, other findings concluded that almost half of those same men experienced a weight increase in the last ten years, two out of three experienced stress, and 25% did not exercise regularly. How is this inconsistency explained? Well, according to Dr. Phil Hagen at the Mayo Clinic, men tend to push off doctor visits until a major health crisis arrives. Well, a father may think he knows best, but we want him to know better. So here are some steps to better cardiovascular health for men, because we want a father to stick around for a while.
So much for saving the best for last. According to a study in the American Journal of Cardiology, men who have sex two or three times a week have a forty-five percent lower risk of developing heart disease. On top of that, no pun intended, researchers say sex may be just as effective in protecting your cardiovascular system as a clothed workout. Which one would you prefer?
Larry Santora, MD, says walnuts are the best source of omega-3 fat and alpha-linoleic acid in the nut category, and that means less chance of inflammation. Yale researchers suggest a half cup of walnuts a day for improved blood vessel function.
Find Your Pulse
Healthy males should log in at or below 70 bpm. Cardiothoracic surgeon Pierre Theodore, MD recommends guys take their pulse first thing each morning. If your rate goes above 70, call your doctor.
University of Washington researchers say that pollution inhalation can thicken the wall of the carotid artery, increasing the risk of heart attack. According to a study in Atmospheric Environment, ultra-fine pollution particles are highest in the early morning hours of winter, so try and save outdoor errands for the afternoon in those colder months.
Meat and potatoes? Real men eat beans! A study in Archives of Internal Medicine reported that people who eat 1 cup of chickpeas, beans, or lentils showed a 4 mmHg reduction in their systolic blood pressure after 3 months. Scoop an extra serving of beans into salads, curry or chili for a high fiber boost.
According to a meta-analysis in the Journal of Hypertension, four weeks of handgrip training can mean a 10% reduction in blood pressure. Apparently, it’s the “shear stress” created by the exercise that boosts blood vessel function, leading to better heart health. Experts advise four two-minute pumps per hand with a minute’s rest in between.
Scramble for Health
Don’t believe everything your read! Eggs don’t raise your bad cholesterol. In fact, if Brazilian research is to be believed, egg eating may actually be the key to clearer coronary arteries. So start flipping those omelets for some extra folate, B12. and vitamin E; just keep the consumption down to four a day maximum to keep the calorie count in check.
Run For Your Life
If you’re not in the running, what are you waiting for? Doctors suggest doing weekly exercise, such as a 2-mile run, and logging your time and heart rate afterward. If you notice major changes, such as an elevation from 165 to 185 bpm, it may be an indication of a clogged artery.
Hey, Guys! How do you stack up when it comes to heart health? Let us know what you’re doing to keep healthy! We want to know!