Make it a heart healthy Father’s Day

You can help Dad have a healthy heart by joining him in living a heart healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles can help prevent heart disease and stroke, and help Dad and the whole family live a longer, stronger, healthier life.

Heart disease is the number one killer of men. According to the American Heart Association, a man’s risk for heart disease begins to rise greatly starting at 45 years of age. Unfortunately, half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease—the most common kind of heart disease—have no previous symptoms. Even men who have no symptoms may be at risk.

The good news for Dad is the majority of heart disease incidence can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking, reducing sodium to 1,500 mg/daily, and exercising 30 minutes most days of the week.

If you’re giving Dad a Father’s Day BBQ, choose healthier items or make his favorite dishes in a healthier way. The American Heart Association recommends lean meats or fish for grilling, adding vegetables to dishes, using whole grain breads and side dishes, and enjoying fruit for dessert. The American Heart Association has healthy BBQ recipes atwww.heart.org/recipes.

Looking for a fun activity to do with Dad? Do something active like a long walk, a bike ride on or a hike at one of the local historic sites or parks. Maybe he would enjoy a fun game of volleyball or badminton in the backyard. Does he love to golf? Great! Walking the entire 18-hole course really gets the heart pumping.

We love our Dads. And on Father’s Day, and every day, you can help Dads get healthier by making the healthy choice the default choice in your family!  Remember, small changes can add up to big results when it comes to your health.

FACTS ABOUT MEN’S HEART HEALTH:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 307,225 men in 2009—that’s 1 in every 4 male deaths
  • About 8.8 million men alive today have coronary heart disease, of these 5 million have a history of heart attack.
  • Heart disease doesn’t discriminate among men. Nearly half of all African-American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, 48 percent of women and 46 percent of men.
  • Rates of high blood pressure among African-Americans is among the highest of any population in the world–45 percent of African-American men, 33 percent of white men and 30 percent of Hispanic men have high blood pressure.
  • As a nation, we consume too many calories fueling the prevalence of obesity in the U.S., estimated at 205 million men and 297 million women.
  • Only 24.9% of adult men met the 2008 Federal Physical Activity Guidelines in 2011.
  • Of the estimated 8.2 million Americans with undiagnosed diabetes, about 5.3 million are men.
  • Despite higher taxes and smoke-free laws, 20 percent of men are still smoking—the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

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