#HeartHealthy habits to start this Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 13 2017

Valentine’s Day is the day of love. People everywhere shower their loved ones in gifts to show how much they care. But we think the perfect present this Valentine’s Day (and every day!) is the gift of a healthy heart.

February is Heart Health month, a great time to start making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health!

How do you keep your heart healthy?

Know your blood pressure and keep it under control. Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and the single most important risk factor for a stroke. A BP greater than 140/90 should be monitored by your doctor.

Know your cholesterol levels and keep them under control. Abnormal levels of fats in the blood are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A simple blood test can check your levels if you think they may be high.

Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control. If you have uncontrolled blood sugars, your blood vessels become prone to damage. Individuals with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes.

Quit smoking. The evidence that smoking is linked to heart disease is incontrovertible. The good news is that quitting can reduce your cardiovascular risk to close to that of a person who has never smoked. https://www.lifemark.ca/blog-post/why-you-smokeand-how-you-can-stop

Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Diet and exercise are key things you can change immediately that will mitigate other cardiovascular risk factors. Physical activity at any age protects you against a multitude of chronic health problems. https://www.lifemark.ca/blog-post/have-better-quality-life-less-time-it-takes-watch-sitcom

Manage stress. Poor habits like smoking and eating badly are often a side-effect of living a stressful life. Try to unplug and recharge to reduce your stress: https://www.lifemark.ca/blog-post/unplug-unwind-charge-down  

Lifemark health care professionals are here to help you make Heart Healthy choices.