The Heart Foundation is reminding men and boys to make healthy lifestyle choices as Men’s Health Week dawns on Monday.
Heart Foundation CEO WA Sarah Fordham, said heart disease is responsible for close to 13 per cent of deaths in Australian men.
“While heart disease is a leading cause of death in Australian women too, far more men have heart disease and are at risk of a fatal heart event,” Ms Fordham said.
“Men aged 18 to 34 are more than twice as likely than their female counterparts to have four or more risk factors of heart disease.
“The theme of this year’s Men’s Health Week is keeping boys and men healthy. We’re focusing on what males of any age can do to minimise their risk of developing heart problems later in life.
“We are urging men to be good role models for their loved ones,” Ms Fordham said. “We know that children tend to tag along for the ride when a parent makes an effort to live a healthier lifestyle.”
One of the National Heart Foundation’s flagship programs, Heart Foundation Walking, is getting involved in Men’s Health Week. They are encouraging existing walkers to “bring a bloke” along to a walk or download the Heart Foundation Walking app. Males who register between 10 and 30 June will go into the draw to win a prize.
“Over 30 per cent of men in Australia have high cholesterol and almost 75 per cent are overweight or obese. One-quarter of males have high to severe blood pressure levels. Walking is a great way for men to reduce these risk factors,” Ms Fordham said.
Steps we can take to reduce the risk of developing heart disease
Get a heart health check. A new Medicare-funded heart health check is available to all Australians. If you’re over 45, or over 30 if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, arrange one today. Your doctor will look at a range of factors about your heart health and help you devise a plan to stay well.
Be more active more often. More than 81 per cent of Australian men do not meet physical activity guidelines. You should be active on most days of the week, and preferably all, aiming for at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
Eat a heart-healthy diet. A healthy eating pattern doesn’t focus on one type of food or one particular nutrient. Heart-healthy eating relies on a combination of foods, chosen regularly, over time. A good pattern gives us food that is low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar, and rich in wholegrains, fibre, antioxidants and unsaturated fats.
Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, not to mention a host of other health problems. Take action now to quit.
Men’s Health Week runs from 10 to 16 June 2019. To learn more about heart health checks, visit the Heart Foundation website.