Valentine’s Day is around the corner and the stores are filling up shop. The gift-giving season continues to celebrate a day in history that is equally red – however, not as flattering. It’s a day some individuals dread, take in stride, or don’t seem to recognize at all. It’s one day a year to remind ourselves that love is celebrated; and what more to remind us, than the symbolic heart.
February is Heart Health Month, and this year, the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation is challenging the nation to make 1, 000, 000 healthy actions by the end of the month to help “Make Death Wait.” According to Heart & Stroke, “nine out of 10 people have at least one risk factor, and 40 per cent have three or more.” Eighty per cent of premature heart disease, however, is preventable.
Now, I’m not asking you to run outside and start jumping rope or run to the nearest track and start training for a marathon. But making better lifestyle choices can reduce your risk from suffering a stroke or a heart attack. Dr. Beth Abramson, HSF spokesperson and cardiologist, stated in a press release report, “This can be anything from being physically active for 150 minutes a week, knowing and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and eating healthy.”
Other ways that the Heart & Stroke Foundation has listed to reduce your risk: being tobacco-free, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, managing diabetes and limiting your alcohol consumption.
What will you do to help make a change?