Almost 2.5 million Canadians are affected by heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in our country. Every February, Heart Month is celebrated to bring awareness to the importance of cardiovascular health and what we can do to stay heart healthy.
Use the tips below from Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre Inc. to help you live a long life with a healthy heart!
Maintain a proper weight and blood pressure/cholesterol levels by eating a varied diet of healthy foods. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet is a great place to start, followed by making more healthy recipes (Google is a great resource for that!).
Saturated fats, like those found in processed meats and full-fat dairy products, should try to be replaced with unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds and lean meats and poultry.
Keep Tabs on Your Mental Health
Those who enjoy a good social life with friends and family are less at risk of heart disease than people who have depression, are socially isolated or lack proper social support.
Stay in-tune with your mental health, and seek help from a doctor, family member or trusted friend whenever needed.
“Now” is always a good time to start being physically active!
Try to achieve some sort of regular, moderate physical activity to reduce your chances of having a heart attack or getting heart disease. Other heart disease factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight can also help be controlled with an active lifestyle.
Another tip for staying active? Try to reduce the amount of time spent sitting each day – remember that we as humans were made to move! Break up your sitting time to reduce or eliminate the long and short-term impacts of a sedentary lifestyle. Even if you exercise regularly, take precaution to ensure you’re not sitting too much.
Practice Healthy Habits
Smoking increases the stiffness of your body’s blood vessels, which makes it more difficult for them to expand and contract as needed. This leads to greater chances of them splitting and causing a heart attack, stroke or angina. Smoking also causes an increased heart disease risk. Make an effort to stop this habit!
Manage Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
A blood pressure that remains high over a period of time is a leading cause of heart disease. As you age, your chances increase of getting consistently high blood pressure levels.
Although cholesterol is needed by your body to remain healthy, an imbalance can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Ask your doctor to check both your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If there’s cause for concern regarding either, ask him/her for tips on how to better control the level(s).
Keep Your Diabetes Controlled
If you have diabetes, you likely know that your chances are higher for developing heart disease and having a heart attack or stroke. Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce your chances.
We at Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre Inc. want you to lead a heart-healthy life all year round – not just during Heart Month. Get started by implementing some of the tips above, and ask your physician for even more advice on how to keep your heart healthy!