We've been told that the only sure things are death and taxes. But just as creative accountants have helped many men triumph over their 1040s, we can help you outrun the reaper. Maybe it's a game you can't ultimately win. But by following these tips, you can send it into overtime.
Drink 5 8-Ounce Glasses of Water a Day Scientists at Loma Linda University found that men who drank this amount of H2O were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank two glasses or less daily.
Take a Laugh Break Watching 15 minutes of funny video can improve bloodflow to your heart by 50 percent, report researchers at the University of Maryland. "This may reduce blood-clot formation, cholesterol deposition, and inflammation," says study author Michael Miller, M.D.
Don't Go to Work Sick Over a 3-year period, men who clocked in despite feeling under the weather had double the heart-attack risk of guys who stayed in bed, according to a U.K. study.
Put Out the Fire in Your Chest Untreated heartburn can lead to a heart attack, according to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology. Scientists discovered that as acid levels in the esophagus rise, the incidence of blocked bloodflow to the heart also rises by 20 percent. A natural remedy: Analyze your diet. Don't make a habit of drinking wine, juice, or carbonated beverages, all of which are highly acidic and may trigger heartburn, say South Carolina researchers.
Indulge Your Chocolate Craving In a 15-year study, Dutch scientists determined that men who ate just 4 grams of cocoa a day had half the risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate less. That's the equivalent of two 25-calorie Hershey's Kisses – an amount that can fit into any diet – even better, go for dark chocolate.
Say No to Froot Loops In a review of 53 studies, Australian researchers found that regularly eating cereal made from refined grains raises insulin and C-reactive protein, and lowers good cholesterol – all factors that boost your odds of developing heart disease. A better choice for your morning bowl: Post Shredded Wheat cereal, which is made from 100 percent whole grains and contains no sugar.
Take a Magnesium Supplement Over an 18-year period, French researchers determined that men with the highest blood levels of magnesium are 40 percent less likely to die of any cause than those with the lowest levels. Magnesium can make multivitamins too bulky, so add a 250 milligram (mg) pill to your daily regimen.
Burn 1,100 Calories a Week Duke University scientists discovered that this amount of exercise prevents the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue – the dangerous belly fat that causes arterial inflammation and hypertension. Falling short? Join a league: A recent British Medical Journal study reported that people who exercised in groups boosted their average calorie burn by 500 a week.
Take a Daily Multivitamin Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley discovered that this helps prevent the DNA damage that causes cancer.
Hit the Weights University of Michigan scientists found that men who completed three total-body weight workouts a week for 2 months lowered their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That's enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 40 percent and heart attack by 15 percent.
Set a 3-Drink Limit Harvard researchers determined that downing more than three drinks in a 24-hour period increases your risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition that may boost your odds of a stroke fivefold during that time. An important note: When the average man pours himself a glass of wine, it's typically twice the size of a standard drink (4 ounces), report researchers at Duke University.
Plop an Alka-Seltzer If you think you're having a heart attack. It contains 325 milligrams of aspirin, the same as a regular aspirin, and begins fighting blood clots almost 3 minutes faster than a pill, according to a study in Thrombosis Research.
Call a Ride Walk-in patients wait almost twice as long in the E.R. as those who arrive by ambulance, according to a University of New Mexico study.
Treat a Killer Bee Sting You may not know if you're allergic to the venom of a bee, wasp, or hornet until you've already been stung. But if you start to experience the symptoms of a life-threatening reaction – hives, wheezing, abdominal cramping – you can save yourself in 3 steps: Step 1: Call 911. Step 2: Take a Benadryl. Step 3: Lie on your back and elevate your legs while you wait for help, says Steven Kernerman, D.O., an allergist at the Spokane Allergy and Asthma Clinic. An allergic reaction can constrict your blood vessels, and this three-step strategy counteracts that by improving blood flow to your heart.
Eat Produce at Every Meal If you consume more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, you have a 26 percent lower risk of stroke than people who eat fewer than three servings, according to a recent U.K. study.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Johns Hopkins University researchers recently determined that people with the highest blood-sugar levels have twice the risk of heart disease as those with the lowest. A warning sign: fasting blood sugar that's greater than 100 mg per deciliter.
Think Positive Purdue scientists discovered that constant worrying shortens your life span by 16 years.
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