7 Steps to Heart Health - December 2021

Follow 7 simple steps to embrace your best health potential

By The Heart and Stroke Foundation

Okanagan Heart and Stroke Foundation

BY Heart and Stroke Foundation

Every year in Canada about 250,000 potential years of life are lost due to heart disease and stroke. If you could gain a decade or more of healthy years to your life, wouldn’t you grab the chance? It’s the simple things that can make the biggest difference, says Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) Lecturer, Dr. Clyde Yancy, adding that up to 80 per cent of premature heart disease is preventable.

His prescription for a healthy lifestyle and more quality years of life: follow these seven simple steps to embrace your best health potential.

 

1. Get active

Physical activity can be a lifesaver – literally. Inactivity can shave almost four years off a person’s expected lifespan. People who are physically inactive are twice as likely to be at risk for heart disease or stroke.

 

2. Know and control cholesterol levels

Almost 40 per cent of Canadian adults have high blood cholesterol, which can lead to the build up of fatty deposits in your arteries – increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you can get your numbers back on track by making healthy dietary changes, participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, and becoming smoke-free.

 

3. Follow a healthy diet

Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health – yet about half of Canadians don’t meet the healthy eating recommendations.

 

4. Know and control blood pressure

High blood pressure − often called a ‘silent killer’ because it has no warning signs or symptoms−affects one in five Canadians. By knowing and controlling your blood pressure, you can cut your risk of stroke by up to 40 per cent and heart attack by up to 25 per cent.

 

5. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Almost 60 per cent of Canadian adults are either overweight or obese − major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Being obese can reduce your life span by almost four years.

 

6. Manage diabetes

By 2016 an estimated 2.4 million Canadians will live with diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), coronary artery disease, and stroke, particularly if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.

 

7. Be smoke free

More than 37,000 Canadians die prematurely each year due to tobacco use, and almost 8,000 non-smokers die each year from exposure to second-hand smoke. As soon as you become smoke-free, your risk of heart disease and stroke begins to decrease. Within one year, your chance of dying from smoking-related heart disease is cut in half. Within 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half. After 15 years your risk will be nearly that of a non-smoker.
 

You can take a personalized My Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment at www.heartandstroke.com to find out how your age, family history, and medical conditions affect your heart health. 




The Heart and Stroke  FoundationThe Heart and Stroke 's Bio: The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based organization, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. Okanagan Area Office: 4-1551 Sutherland Ave, Kelowna BC V1Y 9M9, Phone: 250-860-6275 - The Heart and Stroke Foundation Website - Email


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