According to Alberta Health Services (AHS), February is “Heart Month” and they are creating awareness among communities across the province on how to better one’s heart by changing lifestyles.
AHS statistics show that 90 per cent of Canadians have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but the good news is most risk factors are preventable or controllable.
February being the Heart Month, provides a great opportunity to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, vascular dementia, kidney and peripheral vascular disease.
AHS outlines some simple steps that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy, starting with healthy eating.
According to an AHS press release, increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
In fact, less than half of Albertans eat the recommended servings of fruit and veggies each day.
The statement says that getting active through regular exercise, about 150 minutes per week, and staying tobacco free are two other important ways Albertans can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease.
Some of the common causes of heart disease are as follows:
– tobacco use kills a third to half of all people who use it and is responsible for 30 per cent of all Alberta cancer-related deaths
– only four in 10 Albertans, approximately 38 per cent, eat the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits each day
– thirty-one per cent of ischemic heart disease is due to a low intake of vegetables and fruit
– regular exercise lowers your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dementia
– eighty-five per cent of Canadian adults do not meet the recommended guideline of 150 minutes of activity a week
– more than 90 per cent of Canadians have one or more common vascular risk factor: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol use, physical inactivity, obesity and tobacco use