AHS Weekly Wellness: Heart Month

February is Heart Month – and it’s a good time to learn more about how to be heart healthy.

You can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy by taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle habits include healthy eating, getting active and being tobacco free. An assessment of your heart health can help to identify your risk of a heart attack or stroke and further identify what you can do to reduce your risk.

A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just those with existing health problems. If you already have heart or blood vessel problems, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a healthy lifestyle can help you manage those problems.

If you have children, you can be their healthy role model. If your habits are healthy, your children are more likely to build those habits in their own lives.

Be Tobacco Free

Reducing or quitting tobacco use is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

. Tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death and disability world-wide and is linked to many illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, pulmonary disease and many others. When you quit using tobacco, no matter how old you are, you will decrease your risk of these health problems.

For help with quitting, see below:

Eat Healthy

Healthy eating helps promote and maintain a healthy weight when combined with active living. Eating more vegetables and fruit offers additional benefit of lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, vascular dementia and kidney disease.

For help with healthy eating, see below:

Get Active

Increasing your physical activity is good for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body. Being active helps lower your risk of health problems and helps you feel good. For more information about being active, see below:

Know Your Risk – Heart Disease Risk Calculator

A Heart Disease Risk Calculator is now available to tell you your heart age and chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. If you do not already have a diagnosis of heart disease or stroke, which means you’re already at high risk, and you are over 30 years of age, try this calculator to find out your heart age and what can be done to reduce your risk.

This risk assessment looks at your age, blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and family history to calculate your risk score. To find out more and to calculate your heart risk see below:

Want to join our family of active and engaged Albertans, known as the AHS Fit Fam? Learn more by visiting ahs.ca/fitfam or use #AHSFitFam on your social networks.