Maximizing heart health for men over 40 is more important than ever, as heart disease is the No. 1 killer among men.
That's why knowing the warning signs, heart disease risk factors, and ways to enhance heart health is a must!
To get started on maximizing heart health for men over 40 and beyond, make simple lifestyle changes one at a time.
Eliminate certain foods from your meal plan, drink more water, and increase cardiovascular exercise when possible.
Monitor your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar by seeing a primary care doctor regularly.
Get treated for heart disease risk factors as needed to avoid serious heart complications.
Here's what else you need to know about heart health for men over 40.
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What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease includes a variety of conditions that negatively affect your heart.
Examples include heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart defects, and more.
While there's a genetic component involved in heart disease, it's often preventable by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best protection you have against heart disease and its risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and obesity.
You might not have any symptoms of heart disease, at least not initially.
Symptoms that can develop include:
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness or pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Fluttering in your chest
- Neck, throat, jaw, abdomen, or back pain
- Pain, weakness, coldness, or numbness in your limbs
- Slow, racing, or irregular heartbeats
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Hand, feet, leg, or abdominal swelling
- Blue, gray, or pale skin
Complications linked with untreated heart disease can include a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and an aneurysm, which is a bulge of an artery that can eventually burst.
It's important to see your doctor at the first sign of heart disease and have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar checked by them periodically.
What Are Common Heart Disease Risk Factors?
While heart disease tends to run in families, many lifestyle factors also boost your chance of developing it.
Common heart disease risk factors include:
- Lack of exercise
- Poor dietary habits
- Older age
- Being a man
- Family history of heart disease
- Diets high in animal fat, added sugar, and sodium
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Ongoing stress
- Poor dental hygiene
While you can't reduce your risk of heart disease to zero, adopting healthy habits and properly managing risk factors greatly reduces your chance of developing heart problems.
How Does My Doctor Diagnose Heart Disease?
To find out if you have heart disease or its risk factors, it's important to meet with your doctor.
They check your body weight, blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs and discuss your medical history.
Your provider discusses symptoms you may have and completes a physical exam.
They might have you undergo blood tests, chest X-rays, MRIs electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress tests, echocardiograms, Holter monitoring, or other heart function tests to assess your heart's overall health and your disease risk factors.
Your doctor may recommend cardiac catheterization, which is a test that uses X-rays and a thin flexible tube to assess blood flow and blood vessel structure.
Heart Health for Men Over 40
Some of the many ways you can maximize heart health for men over 40 include:
Smoking is a risk factor for heart disease, as well as lung cancer and other chronic conditions, so avoid smoking or quit if you currently smoke.
Your doctor can recommend smoking cessation programs, medications, skin patches, gums, lozenges, inhalers, or nasal sprays to assist you on the quest to become a non-smoker.
Control Your Blood Pressure
Another way to maximize heart health for men over 40 is to control your blood pressure.
Healthy habits that can reduce blood pressure naturally include eating nutritious foods, limiting sodium intake, getting regular exercise, not smoking, limiting or avoiding alcohol, and keeping stress levels low.
If your blood pressure doesn't go down naturally after adopting healthy habits, your doctor can prescribe medications that reduce blood pressure and your risk of heart problems.
Properly Manage Blood Cholesterol
Most of the same healthy habits that keep blood pressure in check also reduce high blood cholesterol.
Boost your intake of fiber-rich foods and limit or avoid alcohol and animal fats.
Exercise daily, don't smoke, and lose weight if you're overweight or obese.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
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Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…
If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…
Eat Nutritious Foods
What you put in your body is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease risk factors, or lack of thereof.
Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods.
Aim to fill half of each plate of food with non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus.
Fill one-fourth of your plate with eggs, chicken, fish, organic lean meat, seafood, or other protein-rich foods.
Fill the remaining one-fourth of your plate with quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains, corn, peas, dried beans, sweet potatoes, or other starchy vegetables.
Add in three servings of dairy foods or protein-fortified plant milk and 2-3 servings of fruit daily, plus heart-healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, etc.) at each meal.
Drink lots of water too!
Limit Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugar
Some of the main foods and drinks to limit (or better yet avoid) are those high in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar.
Examples include sugar-sweetened drinks, sweets, other desserts, processed meats, fatty cuts of red meat, baked goods, and many snack foods.
Use caution with sauces, salad dressings, and other condiments as they may contain large amounts of sodium or added sugar.
If you must limit your sodium intake because of high blood pressure or heart disease, read nutrition labels carefully.
Many pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks, and cured meats are high in sodium.
Choose lower-sodium soups and sauces as needed.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 1,500-2,300 milligrams daily, depending on your heart disease risk factors.
Your doctor can give you a good idea of your personalized limitations.
Learn how to stop sugar addiction and what sugar REALLY does to your body!
Nix Processed Meats
Processed meats are often high in sodium, preservatives, added sugar, or other additives that aren't so good for your health.
In fact, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center, processed meats are linked with certain types of cancer.
Examples of processed meats to steer clear when possible include ham, salami, lunch meats, regular bacon, hot dogs, brats, sausage, and more.
Instead, choose uncured turkey bacon, eggs, grilled or baked chicken, turkey, baked or grilled fish, seafood, very lean organic meat, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, or other plant-based meat substitutes.
Avoid Refined Grains
Refined grains are loaded with carbs but contain much less fiber, protein, and micronutrients than whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, etc.) and starchy vegetables (corn, peas, beans, other legumes, and sweet potatoes).
Pick fiber-rich starchy foods in place of white bread, white rice, regular pasta, and other refined grains.
Exercise Most Days of the Week
Getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to maximize heart health for men over 40.
Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, especially aerobic exercise.
Add in resistance training at least several times each week.
Strive to increase activities of daily living (grocery shopping, house chores, walking the dog, yard work, etc.) to at least 45 minutes per day to keep your body moving and sit down less often.
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Get at Least 7 Hours of Sleep
Sleep is important for heart health for men over 40 for many reasons.
Sleep helps your body heal, boosts your immune system, and allows you to recover after workouts, complete better workouts, and control hormones to maximize healthy weight management.
Studies show that getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep nightly is linked with a higher risk of depression, asthma, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Allow yourself at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and see your doctor if you struggle with sleep apnea.
Try this one simple trick to fall asleep faster at night!
Properly Manage Diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease, so do what you can to reduce your chance of getting diabetes.
If you have diabetes, it's important to maintain good blood sugar control by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and using oral medicines or insulin injections as directed by your doctor.
Reduce Stress in Your Life
It's difficult to eliminate stress from your life entirely, but do what you can to keep stress levels low.
Avoid an overly busy schedule, spend time outdoors, take mental days off from work when needed, get a massage, try yoga or tai chi, meditate, and exercise daily.
These stress and mental health tips will help you live a longer and healthier life!
Practice Good Dental Hygiene Habits
Believe it or not, studies show that poor dental hygiene is linked with heart disease.
Researchers found that frequent tooth brushing and regular dental visits that include professional cleanings reduce the risk of heart problems in healthy adults.
Brush your teeth after meals, floss every day, and attend regular dental cleanings and exams every six months (or more often if your dentist recommends it) with a qualified dental provider.
Learn how to stop snacking at night by simply brushing your teeth after dinner!
Seek Treatment for Depression
Ongoing depression can contribute to heart disease risk factors and other chronic conditions.
If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or both, check-in with your doctor to find the best treatment.
They may recommend medications, dietary supplements, counseling, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), stress reduction techniques, or combinations of these methods.
Limit or Avoid Alcoholic Drinks
Drinking alcohol, especially in excess, can contribute to heart disease. It also increases your chance of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are two main heart disease risk factors. alcohol is also linked with developing certain types of cancer.
If you do drink alcohol, limit your consumption to 1-2 drinks once a week if possible.
Steer clear of sugary mixers like soda and lemonade.
Consume Omega-3-Rich Foods or Supplements
Studies show that consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids, appears to lower your risk of heart disease.
Examples of good sources of omega 3s include salmon, tuna, other fatty fish, fish oil supplements, vegan omega-3 supplements, and plant-based fats like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and nut and seed oils.
Other heart-healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, and nut and seed butters, which may lower your risk of heart problems when consumed in place of animal fats.
Include heart-healthy fats in your meal plan daily and ask your doctor if omega-3 supplements are right for you.
Take Dietary Supplements for Heart Health
Taking dietary supplements designed to support heart health for men over 40, such as Heart RX, is an excellent way to reduce your risk of developing heart disease when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Heart RX contains many essential nutrients and herbs that have been clinically proven to reduce the chance of heart problems.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Grapeseed extract
- Garlic extract
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
This powerful blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3s, and herbs contains the perfect mix of heart-healthy ingredients.
Combine Heart RX with maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and getting regular exercise to maximize heart health for men over 40 and lower your chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Meet Heart RX. The Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Healthy Circulation Support
For Guys 40+
This proven "Fit Father Program" has helped 38,000 busy men 40+ lose weight, rebuild muscle, and finally keep the weight off. If you're frustrated with stubborn belly fat, failed diets, and time-consuming workouts, this is the answer you’ve been looking for…
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This proven "Fit Father Program" has helped 38,000 busy men 40+ lose weight, rebuild muscle, and finally keep the weight off.
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on heart health for men over 40.