National Men’s Health Week: How to Help the Fathers in Your Life Stay Healthy

As medical technology advances and many health problems subside, men’s health continues to be a persisting issue. In 1920 women only lived one year longer than men, but in 2006 the life expectancy gender gap increased to five years.

According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the first cause of death in men over the age of 65 and 86.2 more men die a year of heart disease than women. Heart disease can be avoided without medication by following five easy tips.

1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco: The chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels and nicotine makes your heart work harder than normal. Quitting smoking at any age is beneficial and can significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack within the first year.
2. Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week: Getting regular, daily, moderate exercise helps with strain on your heart. Even using activities such as gardening, walking and household chores can count towards your 30 minutes.
3. Eat a heart healthy diet: Eat more foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. Eat more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, beans and fish.
4. Maintain a healthy weight: Adults generally gain more fat than muscle when they gain weight. Being overweight puts pressure on the heart and other vital organs, causing them to overwork and can cause serious heart problems.
5. Get regular health screenings: Of course this is an obvious tip, but fewer men get health screenings than women. Regular screenings for blood pressure level, cholesterol level and diabetes screenings.

Men are at a higher risk of mortality because, a higher percentage of men do not have health insurance, men go to half as many check-ups as women, men generally have more dangerous occupations such as mining, firefighting, construction and fishing and unhealthy lifestyles are more socially acceptable for boys and men.

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