The Heart of the Matter
We often refer to our hearts as the place where we feel love. We give our heart to someone and say we love them with our whole heart. What better time than this to talk about heart health ! Take some time this Valentines month to reflect on how you can better love and cherish your most valuable asset- your heart !
Here are just a few tips to make sure that your heart beats in top form.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Do you know if you are at a healthy weight. Visit the active image website at http://www.activeimage.ca/body.html to see if you are in a healthy weight range by using the BMI calculator. People who are overweight or obese are at risk of developing high blood pressure, high blood lipids and diabetes - all of which put them at high risk of cardiovascular or heart disease. Regular exercise and balanced meals will help to maintain a healthy weight for you.
Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in Check
Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance manufactured in the body. It is a vital chemical building block that the body uses to make cell membranes and hormones. Without cholesterol, the body couldn’t function. Too much cholesterol in the blood can settle on the inside of the blood vessels and cause fatty deposits called plaque which clog the blood vessels so that blood can’t flow properly. When this happens, chances of a heart attack or stroke are increased.
For better health:
- Know your actual cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, triglycerides); and discuss with your doctor where your levels should be;
- Eat white meat or lean cuts of red meat;
- Remove skin and fat from chicken;
- Increase servings of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains (increase fibre);
- Plan to increase your physical activity.
- Reduce the amount of fat in your diet from all sources;
- Reduce the amount of sweet baked goods, chocolate, and other high-sugar foods
Smoking is a dangerous health hazard. It is the single most important cause of preventable illness and premature death for Canadians. Quitting smoking isn’t easy but it can make a world of difference.
Your blood pressure is the measure of the pressure or force of circulating blood against the walls of your blood vessels. An acceptable measure is below 140/90 .Get to know the risk factors and have your blood pressure checked regularly if you are at a higher risk. Please visit http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/hs_risk.asp to review the risk factors.
Regular aerobic physical activity is a great asset to keeping your heart healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. Just strive for 30 minutes a day at least 3 times per week to improve your heart health. Call us at
for a program that will work best for your needs.
Most of this information was gathered for the Heart and Stroke foundation website at www.heartandstroke.ca