February is Heart Month.
That means that it’s a month where Canadians should reflect upon their heart health and get informed about the risks of heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease and stroke is something that hits close to home. My father has suffered from both and he did so at an early age. It’s something that really strikes a chord because of the severity and seriousness that not knowing had on our family.
Heart disease and stroke doesn’t discriminate, of course, there’s always underlying factors that cause it but, what many people do not know is that they can lessen their risk by prevention.
Factors that put you at risk are your age, your gender (men are generally at a higher risk), family history (especially if a parent developed it before the age of 55), if you’re a smoker (nicotine constricts your blood vessels and damage the lining), a poor diet that is high in cholesterol, fat and salt, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, high stress, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Did you know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada?
Your heart may be aging faster than you. This is important to know because research shows knowing the cardiovascular age of your heart will lead to better heart health management.
Shoppers Drug Mart has an amazing tool that can help you determine your hearth health. It is the only scientifically validated online tool that provides a personalized heart age.
About the Heart Age Calculator:
The Heart Age Calculator is an online tool that helps Canadians calculate their cardiovascular age and assess their risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years by answering simple lifestyle questions (like your height, age, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, personal and family history, your daily habits and more).
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating your cardiovascular age and knowing your cardiovascular risk profile to improve management of blood pressure and blood lipids. Research shows that understanding and knowing the cardiovascular age of your heart will lead to better health management.
My Results Are In!
Even though my health isn’t where it should be and given with my height, weight and many other factors, I was able to score a pretty decent heart age. My heart’s age is a little younger than my real age of 30 but, it still took into account my history and overall health.
The Heart Calculator was easy to use and I had my results in a flash. The questions were easy and if you check your blood pressure regularly and have your yearly checkup’s you should know the answers to almost every question. It did show me that I am at a 2.4% risk of cardiovascular risk over the next ten years and it gave me a list of the things that I can do to lessen that risk.
Something That is Unforgettable.
When my dad suffered his ordeal with heart disease and stroke, it’s as if everything was going in slow motion. It was also an acute (rapid onset) of symptoms and I was fairly young at the time. But, somehow and somewhere I had read that if a person has radiating pain in their left arm, it could be a heart attack. I insisted and in a matter of a half-hour, we were headed to the hospital and my dad had definitely had a heart attack.
It was scary and I felt so helpless because I couldn’t do anything to help him. My father has always been my biggest advocate, someone who always takes the time to listen to me, support my decisions and to help me anytime and whenever he can. He is an amazing father and an even better grandfather to my girls. He teaches them so much and I am blessed to have them in their lives. It was a very scary time when he went through this and I was so afraid to lose him.
Ever since then, it’s been an educational journey to better his heart health so that he’s with us for a very long time. I’m now his biggest advocate when it comes to health and I am more than happy to join him at his appointments to ask questions, stay up to date and to address any issues.
Our family pharmacy is at Shoppers Drug Mart and we are always able to count on our pharmacist to answer all of our questions, cross-reference medications and to direct us to our family doctor if we need it. All of us kids remind our Dad of his diet constantly and we ourselves have learned ways to reduce our risk to develop heart disease or stroke.
SMART Tips to Treat Your Heart & Take Control!
- Stop Smoking
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Apply an active lifestyle
- Regulate your Cholesterol Levels
- Take Control
What are you waiting for?
Head on over to Shoppers Drug Mart’s Heart Calculator and get your results![animated_button align=”center” animation=”pulse” color=”orange” size=”medium” text=”CALCULATE” target=”_blank” url=”http://adserver.adtechus.com/?adlink|3.0|5282|2788943|1|16|AdId=5162565;BnId=1;”]
If your Heart Age Calculator results show that your heart is older than you are, you should visit your healthcare provider to discuss the results and to see if you are in immediate risk. You should also talk to them about ways you can implement a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
You can learn all about heart disease on Blood Pressure Awareness Day on Saturday, February 8 and maybe then you’ll be able to ask the pharmacist any questions you may have.
What is your heart’s age?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Note: 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.
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.