You can't throw a pass with it or use it to stop a running back, but your heart is still one impressive muscle. What else would you call the one muscle that actually keeps you alive? With that in mind, it's in your best interest to take good care of it.
KNOW YOURSELF, KNOW YOUR OPPONENT:
- "Heart Disease" is a general name for lots of different conditions that affect the heart. Of these, coronary heart disease is the most common - affecting about 7 million Americans.
- Coronary heart disease is caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. Risk factors include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease.
- Coronary heart disease can lead to heart attacks.
- Many heart attacks are subtle and often mistaken for something else, like indigestion or the flu. Some symptoms may include chest pain, upper body discomfort, or shortness of breath.
- Heart disease and stroke are among the leading killers of
HOW TO PLAY IT:
- Get regular checkups, and don't wait to see your doctor if you have any symptoms or concerns. It's better to be safe than sorry.
- Get your cholesterol checked as recommended by your doctor.
- Read labels and watch what you eat - for example, many people eat double the recommended intake of sodium (2,400 milligrams per day), which can elevate blood pressure. Also, make every effort to maintain a balanced diet.
- Drink lots of water - 5 to 8 glasses per day is generally recommended.
- Laugh! Or find some other way to relax. Anger and stress may set the stage for heart attacks.
- Exercise (you knew this was coming) - but let's be reasonable - you don't have to live in the gym to take care of your ticker. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise, preferably every day, can help keep your heart in good shape. Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.
When all is said and done, it's important to get your heart to go the distance. By making small changes in your lifestyle, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Now check out TacklingMensHealth.com to use the TMH Heart Health Risk Assessment Tool.