Did you know? Most Canadians have at least one risk factor of heart disease and stroke.1 This means it’s incredibly important to understand the warning signs of these serious conditions, and to ensure you’re taking the best possible care of yourself.
February is Heart Month in Canada, a time when the Heart and Stroke Foundation raises awareness around the importance of cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular health is heavily influenced by an individual’s physical and social environment, and factors such as availability of healthy foods, physical education, working conditions and community resources. Lifestyle factors, like the ones outlined below, have a major impact on the overall health of one’s heart.
Here’s how you can take care of your heart this February and beyond.
Smokers are twice as likely to experience a heart attack than someone who does not smoke.2 However, the minute you quit, that risk of heart attack begins to decline.
Cut back on foods high in salt, a known cause of high blood pressure. In addition, strive to eat a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean protein.
Monitor your alcohol consumption.
Too much alcohol can be damaging to your heart and can increase blood pressure.
The heart is one of your body’s most important muscles, and it needs consistent exercise to work efficiently. Just thirty minutes of daily exercise can help you have a healthier heart and better overall wellness.
Increased stress levels can result in an individual failing to eat properly, skipping exercise, or drinking too much, therefore increasing risk of heart attack or stroke.
Be sure to action these recommendations for keeping your heart healthy.
You should also be aware of the warning signs that something serious is occurring.
It’s critical to recognize the signs of heart attack or stroke, as responding immediately significantly increases the individual’s chance of survival and recovery. Signs of a heart attack include shortness of breath, sweating, chest discomfort, nausea, and light headedness. Trouble speaking, weakness, headache, vision problems or dizziness usually accompany a stroke.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation details further information about heart health on their website. Should you experience any of the listed symptoms, you should call 911, or have someone make the call for you.