Listen up, men! You probably know you don't eat as well as you should or exercise as much as you should. You also probably know that a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and other bad habits significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease later in life.
The good news is that the damage isn't irreversible; in a recent study, researchers tracked the incidence of heart disease in a group of more than 42,000 middle-aged men for 16 years. By analyzing a series of questionnaires, the scientists found five specific ělifestyle factorsî or habits that appeared to lower the risk of heart disease:
- not smoking;
- having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less;
- exercising regularly (at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily);
- drinking in moderation; and
- eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, chicken and fish, and low in trans-fats and saturated fats.
Just how important were these factors? According to the study, men who accomplished all of the above were 87 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to men who followed none of the habits. Even adopting just two healthy habits reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 27 percent.
In other words, it's never late to change. If you're looking to make significant changes to your lifestyle, talk to your chiropractor; he or she will be happy to work with you in creating an exercise program, making changes to your diet, or other changes that will improve your health and fitness levels. For more information about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/general/wellness/index.html.
Chiuve SE, McCullough ML, Sacks FM, et al. Healthy lifestyle factors in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease among men. Circulation 2006;114:160-167.