Exercise for a healthy heart
As our hearts and minds turn to love in the month of February, it’s a good time to think about heart health – so you can love, and live, longer.
Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is a leading cause of death in Canada. Prevention starts with knowing your risk.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada tells us that nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease. But, almost 80 percent of premature heart disease can be prevented through healthy behaviors. That means that habits like eating healthy and being active have a big impact on your health.
Risk factors for heart disease
The major risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insufficient physical activity, obesity, diabetes, poor nutrition and excessive alcohol use. These factors are controllable. Factors beyond our control include age, gender, family history and ethnicity.
About half of all Canadians(47%) have at least one of the three key controllable risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
Control your risk
Regular exercise has a direct effect on many of the controllable risk factors of heart disease including managing your stress level.
It’s not as hard as you think:
2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week improves cardiovascular health.
Gain added health benefits by engaging in whole body muscle strengthening physical activity for at least two days per week.
All types of physical activity help your heart health. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a brisk walk, join a group exercise class.
Simple lifestyle changes improve heart health; the goal is to replace sedentary behavior with active movement.
While we celebrate love this month, love yourself enough to take care of your heart. Exercise daily; your heart will thank you.