Heart Health Tips for Men

Oftentimes, you will see an article announcing that the number one killer of women is not breast cancer. It is heart disease. There is much emphasis placed on this today; however, men need to be just as aware of their heart health.

For many men, getting older and gaining weight seems to go hand in hand. Also, with the constraints of home, family, and work, eating right and working out often fall by the wayside. It does not have to be that way, though.

Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your weekly routine is a gift you give yourself, but also a gift you give your family.

A Few Small Changes Go a Long Way

Just like anything else, if you start out overzealous in your exercise regimen, chances are you will fall. Start your new heart-healthy way slowly and gradually. When you see that you have made little successes, you will be more likely to proceed to workouts that are more complex.

The same thing goes for your diet. If you take everything you like completely out of your diet, you find yourself missing and focusing on all those things that you have denied yourself. Instead, start adding new and different heart-healthy foods into your diet every day.

Diet and Nutrition

Some men associate the word diet with a few carrots and celery sticks. By setting a goal of eating more nutritious foods, you will create a more positive connotation. “More nutritious foods” has a much nicer tone to it than the word “diet.”

Add a few new things every day to your nutritious eating goal. If you do not like something, try making it a different way. For example, some folks just cannot get used to the taste of oatmeal or quinoa. Adding honey to the quinoa or fresh fruit to the oatmeal will make it more appealing.

If you have never tried cranberries, nuts, almonds, seeds, flax, or olive oil, now is a great time to experiment. Instead of butter on your bread, try using olive oil with some delicious herbs. Be creative and you will be adding new foods that are healthy into your routine before you know it.

Exercise

One of the biggest complaints men have for exercise is that they do not have the time. However, if you let your family in on your new desire to bring exercise back into your life, you will more than likely find yourself with lots of enthusiasm and support, as well as plenty of company.

If you incorporate walking or bike riding into your family routine, do not be surprised to find the whole family joining you.

Many times, for men, a feeling of lack of support or aloneness may accompany a newfound desire to eat right and exercise. But once you let your family know that you are focused on having a healthy heart, they will not only cheer you in but also probably join you.

Getting the Kids Excited about Eating Healthy

Let’s face it; almost every parent automatically goes into a discussion about eating healthy with the fear of dread and failure. It is written all over our faces. We go into that conversation expecting a battle and even a loss.

It does not have to be that way, however. There are some creative and fun ways to get the kids excited about eating healthy, especially if you include them.

Make It Fun!

There are so many creative ways to get the kids involved in making healthy choices. What you want to accomplish is a sense of pride and a feeling that they are in control. Once you take out the idea that you are in control and it is their body and their choice, things will go a little smoother.

Have your children accompany you to a fresh fruit and vegetable stand. If the weather permits, get your kids involved in picking their own fruit – anything from strawberries to apples and grapes to pumpkins that is available in season for picking.

On your outing, make it clear that the foods they are picking will be the ones that they will help to make into meals.

Get the Kids in the Kitchen

Many of us from generations past seem to believe that cooking is a solo act. Get your kids in the kitchen and involved in the act. Cooking should not be a chore for one person to maintain. Let it be a family function.

Teach your children how to assist you in preparing the family meal. Have them take turns chopping and dicing (of course, according to age and safety) and have them take turns to season too. There is not a kid around that does not love to add spice to a recipe.

This gives the kids a great opportunity to see how healthy cooking is fun while giving them a sense of pride and a lifelong skill. If you do not know how to cook, you will not know how to survive!

Take Turns/That’s Fair

Have a schedule of who gets to pick which meal for the week. Let your children sit down on a Sunday and browse a cookbook of simple recipes, or go online. We all know that our children are perfectly capable of using the internet.

By having each child pick a meal once or twice for the week, you give that child the feeling of accomplishment and success. Take them to the store for the ingredients. Have some fun when you get home and sort and group your vegetables by color. Slice, dice, and parboil them and put them into little baggies for later use.

Another great idea is to have a special treat for dessert that has healthier ingredients and prepare it for the weekend. You can use things like skim milk or egg whites to make heart-healthy desserts fun and tasty too!

Heart Healthy Tips for the Elderly

As we age, it is even more important to pay attention to what we put inside our bodies. Everyone wants to age gracefully, but most importantly healthily.

Many elderly have concerns about their health, from their vision to their bones. Eating right and including diet and exercise are important to all of us throughout our lives. While exercise may be constricted due to frailness or ability for the elderly, some simple routines can help.

The most important thing for an older person to do when it comes to having a healthy heart, however, is to check with his or her doctor. Some green, leafy vegetables are known to interfere with certain heart medications. Always check with your doctor before beginning any regimen or changing your diet.

The best way to keep your heart healthy is to remember it in your daily routines. By keeping your body healthy, you will keep your heart healthy. In addition, by keeping your mind healthy too, you will have a body that is healthy inside and out.

The Body and Mind Connection

For many seniors, isolation plays a big role in their lives. It does not have to be that way, however. Keeping active also means keeping connected. There are so many functions for seniors; there is no reason to be alone. You can find groups in many places:

* Your local place of worship
* Senior citizen centers
* Veterans clubs
* Libraries
* The internet

Activities abound for seniors as well, so that there should never be a loss for things to do and see:

* Organized museum trips
* Sporting events
* Concerts, plays, and shows
* Bus trips to various locales

Walking in fresh air is also an excellent way to keep the heart-healthy. There are companions who will come visit the elderly and walk with them if a doctor says that walking is acceptable.

Another great way to keep your heart going is to use your mind through the form of crossword puzzles and the like. Crossword puzzles and board games keep the mind sharp, which then, in turn, can keep the body on its toes.

Food for Thought and Food for the Heart

Some of the foods that keep a senior’s heart health are the very ones that keep their minds healthy, as well. This is a double bonus. Of course, as with anything else, a senior should always consult their doctor before adding anything to their diet.

Some foods that keep your mind and body sharp and healthy are:

* High fiber foods
* Fresh fruits and vegetables
* Foods high in omega 3 such as nuts, seeds, beans, and fish

A little bit of exercise for the body and for the mind will go a long way for a senior who needs to look after their heart and keep fit and healthy.

 

How to Make a Heart Healthy Home

Just as with any other undertaking, making your home heart-healthy requires a little bit of thought and some action. You will want to have everyone in your home on board right from the beginning.

There are several tips to begin your heart-healthy home endeavor. Here are a few:

Incorporate Team Work

Once you have decided to create a heart-healthy home, it is time to gather around the family members and let them in on your little secret. Starting out too fervently may alarm your team members, so begin with a casual family discussion starting with the basics.

Let your family know that they are important to you and because they are, you want what is best for their health. Letting them know that you are intent on keeping your own heart-healthy will give them a clear understanding that you are not dictating, but a participant, as well. Tell them that you want to be healthy so you can be in their lives as healthy individuals for years to come.

Start a Plan of Action

One of the most important things about making a heart-healthy home is to steer clear of dictating what should and should not occur. Let your family members be a part of the decision-making from the beginning.

When you allow your family members to be part of the decision-making and give their input, you allow for freedom and creativity. It is also necessary to be open to giving and taking. Do not deny a treat or a sweet now and then; just make sure it is in moderation.

Add Instead of Subtract

When it comes to meals, the best way to get your family to try new foods is to add something new every couple of days. Rather than taking out all cookies or cakes in a gung-ho fashion from the onset, try incorporating something new. You can even be creative and have your kids pick a color and add foods based on that color. For example, if you choose green, you could add:

* Green squash
* Green grapes
* Broccoli
* Creamed spinach

This way, it will be more fun rather than a chore. Adding and creating your own healthy dips is a great way to get the whole family involved.

On to the Next Step

If you start your heart-healthy endeavor with a team spirit firmly in place, you can then feel free after a bit of time to incorporate exercise into your regimen.

After that, there will be no stopping you!

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