Heart Healthy Habits

Heart disease and stroke are responsible for 27 per cent of deaths in Canada every year. It's therefore crucial for us to take action to foster heart healthy habits. Up to 80 per cent of early heart disease and stroke can be prevented by adopting healthy behaviours including eating a healthy diet and exercising.

Here are some heart healthy tips to start implementing now:

Eat your way to a healthier heart

Choose more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and lean protiens. Limit foods high in sugar and saturated fat. Foods high in fibre help protect against stroke and diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and can help you achieve a healthy body weight. For more tips on heart healthy eating, visit heartandstroke.com.

 

Relax!

Routine stress can increase your blood preassure, cause chest pain and encourage heart disease. When you feel yourself getting stressed, experiment to find relaxation exercises that work for you - engage in mindful breathing, squeeze then release the tense parts of your body, breathe in a scent like coffee or lavender that makes you feel good, listen to music that calms and inspires you, and let the small stuff go (hint: its mostly small stuff). 

   

Laugh it off

It's impossible to feel stressed out when you're hunched over in a fit of giggles. Studies have shown that laughter not only relieves tension, but actually improves immune function. Swap jokes with your friends, watch a funny movie, stop taking things so seriously.

Sleep In

Poor sleep quality has been linked to high blood pressure, a potential cause of heart disease. Be sure you're getting enough rest. 

Get an exercise buddy

Studies show that finding an excercise buddy will not only keep you accountable, it will also encougrage you to turn up the intensity! Make a regular date with a friend or loved one to go for a run, ride bikes or just take a walk around the block.

Give your heart some love

Channel your stress into heart healthy habits such as exercise, spending time with friends or just making "me time" to engage in activities you actually enjoy. Go for a walk with a friend, read a book, make art, keep a journal, or hang out with your pet.

 

Expect ups and downs

Don't get discouraged if you miss a day of exercise or let stress get the best of you. It happens. Give yourself a break and just get started again, slowly building up the momentum. 

 

 

 

Supplements & Vitamins

While supplements and vitamins can be a a huge boost in your healthy heart efforts, they can also be harmful if not taken properly. Speak with your local Super Thrifty pharmacist about choosing the right ones for you.

For more heart healthy tips visit heartandstroke.ca