Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. Men have more heart attacks than women. However, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation: “the most serious health problem facing women is heart disease and stroke. Every year, seven times more Canadian women die of these two diseases than breast cancer”.
Heart Smart Tips
1 Visit your doctor regularly & monitor your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about your heart health & participation in physical activity.
2 The heart is a muscular pump. It collects oxygen rich blood from the lungs & cycles it through the body. Like any muscle, exercise will make it stronger. Get moving for at least 10 minutes & work-up a light sweat. Start slow & work-up to accumulating at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
3 Find ways to deal with stress. After a good workout I sometimes feel like a weight/stress has been lifted from my shoulders. Don’t take life so seriously. Find reasons to laugh. Find ways to relax. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation or yoga. Enjoy a good book or nice bath. Get enough sleep.
4 Exercise helps to manage weight. Eating heart smart also helps. Make healthy food choices when shopping (learn to read food labels). Choose foods high in fibre & low in sugar & salt. Avoid processed foods, deep-fried & fast foods. Eat a fruit & vegetable with every meal. Watch portion sizes.
5 Finally, stop smoking & cut back on alcohol & caffeinated beverages. Stay hydrated & drink lots of water.
Managing your heart health is up to you. Start slow, doing something is better than nothing. Start with realistic goals. Practice moderation. Be heart smart to prevent heart disease, feel better & live long.