This February is Heart Month in Canada. Promoted by Health Canada, this month aims to raise awareness for heart-related illnesses and causes, while encouraging Canadians to take steps to improve upon their own heart health.
The significance of Heart month is still not lost on Canadians, as Heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death in Canada. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 Canadians live with heart failure.
Fortunately, we can all reduce the risk of heart disease by making healthier lifestyle choices, including quitting smoking, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting the proper amount of sleep, exercising regularly and monitoring our blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Throughout the month of February, we will be sharing heart-healthy tips on our blog, as well as on our social media channels to help you to improve your heart health. Below are some key heart health tips that you should aim to keep all year round.
Heart Healthy Tips
- DO NOT SMOKE: if you have never smoked, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit. You will increase your life by 5 years for every year you are smoke free.
- Enjoy a balanced, nutritious diet. Limit fat intake to between 15% and 30% of your total number of daily calories.
- Exercise regularly, 20 minutes 3-4 times per week, or a minimum of a brisk walk daily.
- Moderate your intake of alcohol. Guidelines by Health Canada suggest limits of two drinks per day…either 12 oz. Beer, or 5 oz. Wine or 1.5 oz. Spirits.
- Limit your intake of salt and caffeine. (No more than the equivalent of four regular cups of coffee per day.)
- Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Have regular check-ups with your physician. Early detection is the key to a successful solution.
- Keep a positive attitude and wear a smile… it takes only 22 muscles to smile, but 37 to frown.
- Make time for leisure activities such as reading, hobbies, sports, TV etc.
- Invest in CPR and AED education and training, and encourage your family and friends to do the same.