February Is Heart Month

senior with her bicycle

February is Heart Month, both in the USA and in Canada. The Health Buzz from USNews is Wear Red and Learn ABC’s for Heart Month. As they point out:

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer for Americans. One in three deaths is caused by heart attack or stroke, amounting to about 800,000 fatalities each year. Even if one survives a heart attack or stroke, the condition often leads to disabilities and loads of expenses.

Here in Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is also promoting Heart Month. This is their key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians and alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke. Today, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has just issued a report. This points out that without lifestyle changes now, many baby boomers face a decade of sickness and disability in their later years. Although the majority may say they want quality time as they grow old, unfortunately their actions don’t match their words. This Heart Month, the Foundation is urging all Canadians to take action and “Make Health Last”.

For many the situation is somewhat distressing:

A huge majority of boomers reported not eating enough vegetables and fruit (85 per cent), more than 40 per cent are not getting enough physical activity each week, one in five (21 per cent) smoke, and one in 10 (11 per cent) are heavy drinkers. While the large majority of boomers said they feel stressed at least sometimes, almost 30 per cent flag they are often or always stressed.

 

Unfortunately a shocking three quarters (74 per cent) don’t know that they can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 80 per cent with lifestyle modifications.

 

Lifestyle Changes to Make Health Last

That is what the Heart and Stroke Foundation is promoting in its Make Health Last initiative. Tips and tools on how to Make Health Last can be found at makehealthlast.ca.

For more information on your heart and how you should protect and strengthen it, the HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com website is a good resource.

photo credit: Senior with her bicycle image courtesy of G|o®g|O via photopin cc

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