Heart Month was inspired by a fundraising initiative called “Heart Sunday.” The concept was adopted in British Columbia in the mid-1950s; in Ontario in 1958, and has since expanded across the country.

http://heartmonth.heartandstroke.ca/site/c.jhLOKYPDLqF/b.5203909/k.BEF8/Home.htm

Prevalence:

Every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. It is the leading cause of death in women. These statistics are based on 2006 data (the latest year available from Statistics Canada). In 2006 cardiovascular disease accounted for:

  • 30% of all deaths in Canada (69,019 deaths – or more than 69,000)
  • 30% of all male deaths
  • 31% of all female deaths
  • Each year, more women than men die from stroke

Risk factors:

Nine in 10 Canadians (90%) have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke:

  • smoking
  • excess alcohol consumption
  • physical inactivity
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
  • diabetes

Lifestyle Changes:

There would be an 80% reduction in heart disease, if the 3 Fs of Lifestyle Changes:

Feet=Exercise, Forks = Healthy Eating and Fingers = No tobacco products were implemented!

Forks = Healthy Eating Tips:

  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase consumption of soluble (oats) and insoluble (bran) fibre
  • Decease saturated fat and eliminate trans fat
  • Decrease sodium intake (77 to 80% of dietary sodium comes from processed or restaurant foods) to 1500 mg/day
  • Choose whole foods and be mindful of portion sizes
  • Minimize the consumption of processed and fast foods
  • Limit alcohol consumption

Feet = Exercise and Activity:

  • Choose an exercise/activity you like and has a fun factor for you
  • Do activity bursts throughout the day at the office (so many companies still do not have complete wellness programs in place -so it is up to you)

Keep up the great work & Happy Valentine’s Day!