February is typically known as heart health month and of course, the month that includes Valentine’s Day. I bring this up because although EmpowHER.com is a women’s website, research shows that obese men (regardless of whether or not they have other cardiovascular risk factors) have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack. Now that you know this, take the chocolate covered candy away from the men in your life to show them you love them.
The study, published in the February, 2011 online edition of the medical journal, Heart, looked at 6,000 middle-aged men over a 15 year time period and found that abdominal obesity had more of a risk than blood pressure, diabetes, or cholesterol. In fact, it was a 75 percent higher risk than non-obese men. You should note that obesity was determined by a BMI between 30 and 39.9. This means if your man is roughly 6 feet tall and 221 pounds, 6 feet one inch tall and 260 pounds, or 6 feet two inches tall and 275 pounds, he needs to pay attention.
Ladies, it’s time to get the chub off your guy so he is not in that 75 percent higher risk. The article does not mention the risk for women and fatal heart attacks but I can assure you, weight gain in the middle is definitely not decreasing your stroke risk. If you are both obese, then tackle this matter together and get heart healthy this month.
Start by trading out juice (even 100 percent juice) and sodas for water with lemon. Skip coffee drinks with whip, milk, syrup and chocolate for plain coffee and a little creamer, or green tea. Read labels on things you buy for hidden sugar (like cereal, yogurt, granola and protein bars) and choose whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Eat vegetables at every meal (yes, even breakfast) and cut out alcohol for awhile.
Ramp up your exercise by trying interval training where you increase your pace for a full 30 seconds to minute then go back down to a comfortable level for a minute. Or switch it up by trying something new. If you always run on the treadmill, or walk around the neighborhood, do something different because your body adjusts with routine. Try a Zumba class, exercise video, kettlebells, weight training, Pilates, a spin class, or hiking.
Change your health for the better as a couple and encourage each other along the way. Don’t let him be a statistic, and don’t risk it for yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day and heart month!
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