The week leading up to Father’s Day is National Men’s Health Week. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. QualChoice Health Insurance offers these tips for helping men make healthier choices.
Remind Dad to go to the doctor regularly.
- According to a CDC, men of all ages are less likely to visit the doctor.
- Heart disease may show no symptoms until a cardiac event occurs.
- Regular doctor visits can help identify risk factors early and control them.
Know the risks for heart disease.
- Some risk factors are uncontrollable, like family history, age and race.
- Know your family’s health history and share it with your doctor.
- Manage controllable risk factors. These include diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, stress and excessive alcohol use.
Encourage the men in your life to change what they can.
- Quit smoking.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of heart disease.
- Quitting as soon as possible is important. There are many programs to help kick the smoking habit. Visit the American Heart Association’s website for guides, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to get help.
- QualChoice offers a free Kick the Nic! 12-week program* to help members quit. To learn more, call Customer Service at 501.228.7111 or 800.235.7111 and ask to speak to a health coach.
- Get regular exercise.
- The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.
- Go for frequent walks and play low-impact sports like pickle ball or tennis.
- Keep a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet.
- Heart-healthy diets are easy to come by. However, they require cutting out a few common favorites like cheese, red meat and sugar.
- A good diet revolves around fiber found in vegetables and whole grains. It also includes nuts, lean animal proteins (like chicken and fish) and fruits.
- Manage risk factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure.
Know the signs of a cardiac event.
- Heart attacks can come on suddenly and without warning.
- Be aware of symptoms such as pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, arms, shoulder or back. Others include chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling weak or faint.