Thursday, February 6, 2014

Do you have a healthy heart?

About 20 years ago, when my father was a younger man (early 40's), he had a heart attack.
He was very fit, playing tennis, coaching t-ball and baseball and trying to take good care of himself so that he could be involved and around for myself and my 3 siblings.
There weren't any signs before it happened. He came home from a tennis match with a friend, complaining of his chest hurting. My mom loaded him in the car and took him to the ER where they got everything under control.

Eventually, a few more years down the road, he needed double bypass surgery because his veins were too blocked. He was told he would have about 10 years on the new arteries, but he’s surpassed that 10 years and is still going strong, without having a second surgery!

He's now working on getting himself healthy again. It's taken a few years, but with a FitBit Flex for Christmas and a new gym membership with a trainer who is focused on keeping his heart at appropriate levels, he's hoping to get close to where he used to be.

Part of my future (and the boys’ future) is knowing that my family has a history of heart disease and finding ways to combat those risks and live a heart healthy, full life with my family.

Are you heart healthy? Do you know if you are at risk for heart disease? Knowing and understanding what the risks are is the first start to being heart healthy!  

Heart Disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada and as you age, your heart may be aging faster than you. There are many factors that influence your heart age, including blood pressure levels, cholesterol and the presence of risk factors like smoking. In order to be Heart Healthy, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating and knowing your heart age and cardiovascular risk profile to help with the management of blood pressure and blood lipids. Knowing this information will lead to better health management.
The Heart Age Calculator is an online tool that helps Canadians determine their heart age. It also assesses risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years by looking at the answers to simple lifestyle questions (i.e. height, weight, age, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, family history, daily habits, exercise level, etc.).

The Heart Age Calculator is the only scientifically validated online tool available that provides a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines.

I used the HeartAge Calculator and it was determined that my heart age is 30.2, which is a year younger than what I am right now (31). Despite my family of history of heart disease and diabetes, my lifestyle choices definitely help lower my heart age.

What are ways that you can lower or keep your heart age low?

Quit Smoking (or don’t even start!)
Monitor your blood pressure
Have an active lifestyle
Regulate your cholesterol levels
Take Control of your Heart Health!!

Now it’s your turn! Go use the HeartAge Calculator to find out what your heart age is. The aim is to get over 10, 000 Canadians to start taking care of their hearts by taking the Heart Age Calculator test. I’ve done it, my dad has done it as has the rest of my family and I encourage you to take it too! Being proactive about your health is important!
Did you use the Heart Age Calculator? What is your heart age? 

Disclosure - Although this post has been sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect the views, opinions or positions of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. or its affiliates or licensees. Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information within this blog post and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or for any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

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