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10 Ways Men Can Prevent Heart Attacks

 

 The smartest plan for attacking a heart attack is preventing one from ever happening Ė and that means, among other things, donít smoke.  But beyond quitting, choose three of the following strategies that youíre currently not doing.  Make them a habit.  The closer to the top of the list you get, the more you reduce your risk of heart disease.

1.        Convince your wife to stop smoking

Nonsmoking husbands of wives that smoke face a 92% increase in their risk of heart attack, according to a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  Breathing secondhand smoke boosts LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, decreases HDL (good) cholesterol, and increases your bloodís tendency to clot.

2.        Walk, run, or lift weights for 30 minutes four times a week.

Middle-aged men who exercised vigorously for 2 or more hours cumulatively per week had 60% less risk of heart attack than inactive men did, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

3.        Lose 10 to 20 pounds.

If youíre overweight, dropping 10 to 20 pounds could lower your risk of dying from a first heart attack by 16 percent.  Being overweight drives up cholesterol and blood pressure, the precursors to coronary disease.  A 10-year Mayo Clinic study found that overweight people had heart attacks 3.6 years earlier than normal weight people did, and that obese heart attack patients tended to be 8.2 years younger than normal-weight victims.

4.        Drink five glasses of water a day.

In a study at Loma Linda University, men who drank that many 8-ounce glasses were 54% less likely to have a fatal heart attack than those who drank fewer.  Researchers say the water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot.

5.        Switch from coffee to tea.

A Dutch study found that people who drank three cups of tea a day had half the risk of heart attack than those who didnít drink tea at all.  Potent antioxidants, called flavonoids, in tea may provide a protective effect.

6.        Grill salmon on Saturday,

have a tuna sandwich on Tuesday.  Researchers at the Harvard School of Health say that eating fish at least twice a week can lower your heart disease risk by more than 30 percent.  The magic ingredient is the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.  In another study, men without heart disease were 10% less likely to die suddenly when their blood levels of omega-3s were high.

7.        Ask your doctor about vitamin E and aspirin.

Men who took the antioxidant and the blood thinner daily cut the plaque in their clogged arteries by more than 80%, according to a recent University of Pennsylvania study.

8.        Eat a cup of Total Cornflakes for breakfast.

This cereal has one of the highest concentrations of folic acid (675 micrograms) of any cold cereal.  (Folic acid is the supplemental form of folate.)  Taking in that much folic acid daily (the recommended amount is 400mcg) cuts your risk of cardiovascular disease by 13%, according to researchers at Tulane University.  Folate works by reducing blood levels of artery-damaging homocysteine.

9.        Count to 10.

Creating a 10-second buffer before reacting to a stressful situation may be enough to cool you down.  Men who respond to stress with anger are three times likelier to be diagnosed with heart disease and five times likelier to have a heart attack before turning 55, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

10.Eat watermelon.

     It contains about 40% more lycopene than is found in
raw tomatoes, and a new study by the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA shows that your body absorbs it at higher levels due to the melonís high water content.  Half a wedge may boost heart disease prevention by 30%

 

 

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