There is so much love to spread around this month! Not only does this month consist of Valentine’s Day, but it is actually Heart Health Month! Our heart works so hard for us, it never takes any time off. It is constantly pumping blood to our body so that we can do the activities we need to do. But, did you know that in 2011, almost 20% of Canadian deaths were due to heart disease and stoke? (Reference: The Conference Board of Canada-Mortality due to Heart Disease and Stroke)
We found some great tips for preventing heart disease, and the American Heart Association website helped us create a great breakdown of preventative measures you should take in each decade of your life.
- Physical activity is always a must. Keep exercising and maintaining an active life style. It doesn’t matter how old you are, daily exercise will always help your heart stay healthy. Visit this link to discover the Canadian Exercise Guidelines:
Click to access CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf
- Follow a balanced diet. A meal plan that is low in sodium, saturated fat and trans fat is important. Fruits and vegetables are encouraged, along with whole grains that are rich in fibre, fish, nuts and legumes. Try to avoid an excess of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Be aware of heart attack and stroke symptoms. This link provides a wonderful explanation of various symptoms that could occur:
IN YOUR 20’S:
- Put that cigarette down. If you have never smoked, keep it up! But if you do, quitting is a HUGE preventative measure.
- Visit your doctor or healthcare professional regularly for checkups. They can assist in screening processes, along with helping you establish regular exercise and a beneficial meal plan.
IN YOUR 30’S:
- Take care of your stress. Stress is a large pre-cursor for heart-related issues. Too much stress can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Seek assistance through exercise, a health-care professional or other activities to manage your stress.
- Knowing your family history is important. Being aware of family history regarding heart and stroke is very important. Ensure you discuss with your doctor.
- Make it a healthy living household! Whether you are single, have a significant other, or have a family at this point in your life, practice a healthy way of living with everyone. It certainly makes this lifestyle much more enjoyable! Go for a walk around the neighbourhood, ride your bike, etc.
IN YOUR 40’S:
- Your metabolism could be slowing down. In this particular decade, weight gain is common due to your body not metabolizing as fast. Diet and exercise is especially crucial throughout your 40’s to keep a healthy weight.
- Go for regular screenings with your doctor. Checking blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other heart-related tests is important.
WHEN YOU ARE 50+:
- Follow a treatment plan if need be. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or any other conditions, it is vital you follow a well-designed treatment plan. Discussing various options with your doctor is certainly in your best interest and ensure you stick to the plan that was created.
- Exercise may have to be modified. It is still crucial to be exercising regularly, although some exercises may have to be altered slightly due to age.
As we discussed eating a balanced diet above, eating healthy doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy food anymore! Look at some of these amazing, and heart friendly recipes that you can make in your very own home:
Do you know where to find the help you need? Whether you are looking for preventative measures or assistance with heart-related issues, seeking a health-care professional is always a great idea. They will have a lot of expertise in this field and definitely understand how important heart-health is. Here is a list of some other resources you could seek for preventative measures or to answer some of your questions regarding heart-health:
We are wishing you a February filled with love and health! Please share our blog with your friends to create Heart Health Month awareness!
Image from: muskoka411.com