Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Three lifestyle changes that could add years to your life

Cardiovascular disease is a common term used for a number of medical conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels. Coronary heart disease, heart failure, hardening of the arteries and irregular heartbeat are all examples of cardiovascular disease.

Despite the fact that in many cases cardiovascular disease can be preventable through physical activity, healthy diet and lifestyle changes, this is still the second-leading cause of death in B.C., claiming approximately 6,000 British Columbians a year.

Risks for developing cardiovascular disease include: smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, as well as risk factors that we cannot control such as age, gender, ethnicity and family history. Each of us must also do what we can to prevent getting cardiovascular disease in the first place.

These three lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your risk and can help keep your heart healthy:

 1. Quit smoking: Smoking is linked to virtually all major causes of death and disease in Canada and quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. 

 2.  Physical activity: No matter how busy life gets, it is important to remember that getting out and doing some activity is better than doing none at all. With each step you take you are doing your heart a favour and are helping to increase your overall health. F

3.  Healthy eating: A diet high in fruits, vegetables and fibre and low in sodium and saturated and trans fat is ideal for getting the nutrition your body needs and for keeping your heart healthy.

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