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Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Cardiovascular disease is a term used to describe the diseases and injuries of the heart, blood vessels of the heart, and the veins & arteries of the body and within the brain.[1]

Statistics Canada reports that in 2004, cardiovascular disease was responsible for 32% of deaths in Canada.2 

SAFETY NET

Reduce the chances of injury by making sure you have the right protective gear for all the sports you play.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors You Can Do Something About:
Being Overweight
Smoking
Physical Inactivity
Poor Nutrition
Stress
High Blood Pressure
High Blood Cholesterol
High Blood Sugars & Diabetes

 

Risk Factors You Can’t Control:
Age
Gender
Family History
Ethnicity
Genetics

The best way to protect your heart and arteries is to know your risk factors and take charge of your lifestyle. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has a great risk assessment questionnaire you can take by visiting http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/hs_risk.asp.

Take Charge of Your Lifestyle!

1. Move to a Healthy Weight

Managing a healthy weight is one of the most important ways you can put less strain on your heart. If you are overweight or obese even a reduction of 5-10% of your weight usually lowers your risk of heart disease. For more information on the most effective ways to lose weight visit our article “Weight Loss Wisdom.”

2. Squash Smoke Exposure

Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke increases your risk of many health issues including heart disease. Smoking almost doubles the risk of ischemic stroke and increases plaque build up in the arteries, blood clots, blood pressure, and also makes your heart work harder.1 For more information visit Health Canada’s Quit 4 Life website: www.quit4life.com.

3. Get Active!

Regular physically activity reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary heart disease – the latter by as much as 50%.3 The Canadian Physical Activity Guide suggests adults should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. For more information visit our article “Fitness – Get Activated”.

4. Eat Smart for Your Heart

Choose foods that are lower in saturated and trans fat since they can have a negative effect on your blood cholesterol levels. Other important nutrition strategies to improve your heart health include choosing plenty of fruits and vegetables, high-fibre foods, and healthy fats. For more information on nutrition for your heart visit our article “Eating Smart for Your Heart.”

5. Stress Busting

There is a link between chronic stress levels and risk for heart disease. It appears that for some people sustained stress can increase blood pressure, elevate cholesterol levels, and increase your risk for developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).For some helpful stress management tips visit - https://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TCS.htm.

6. Visit Your Doctor Regularly

Regular visits with your doctor are important to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugars, cholesterol levels and other risk factors for heart disease.

Looking for More Information?
Heart & Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca
American Heart Association www.americanheart.org

References:
Heart & Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca
Statistics Canada www.statcan.gc.ca 
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca