February is Heart Health Month.
Valentine’s Day and the importance of our heart is a good time to review our own heart health.
Our Heart and circulatory system pump 8000 litres of blood through some 96,000 km of blood vessels to provide oxygen and nutrients to all organs and cells of our body.
The heart is the key organ in the circulatory system, pumping blood throughout the body. The heart usually beats at 60-100 beats per minute, but can go faster when required. The heart beats 100,000 times per day, more than 30 million times per year. We need to keep our hearts healthy and able to continue the remarkable job it does.
Heart Disease and Stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time. And is now the leading cause of death in Women.
Regular Medical checkups are the best way to keep the heart healthy and avoid long-term problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
High Blood pressure: The measure of the force of pressure against the walls of your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. Measured blood pressure that is 140/90mm or over is considered high, and should be reduced if possible
Blood pressure can be caused by many factors. Some factors such as age, ethnicity, and gender cannot be controlled. Other factors that affect blood pressure can be changed to reduce your risk of high blood pressure:
Reduce the sodium you consume.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet lower in fat.
Be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Be smoke-free. (Ask your pharmacist about stop smoking programs)
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1-2 drinks a day.
Find healthy ways to manage your stress.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Take care of your heart and it will take care of you.
Ask your pharmacist about Heart Health