According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, 8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease and stroke are preventable by making healthy lifestyle choices. Below are some lifestyle choices that can help lower your risk.
Eat a Healthy Diet:
Having a well-balanced diet can improve cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, help maintain a healthy weight and so much more.
- Aim for 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose whole grain foods - these are higher in fibre and keep you fuller for longer.
- Incorporate fatty-fish, like salmon, into your diet.
- Limit highly-processed foods (like chips, hotdogs, cookies etc.) that have limited nutritional value while being high in sugar and salt.
Being physically active helps keep your heart healthy. Exercise can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, increase energy, and improve sleep
- The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends 150 minutes of exercise each week.
- Just starting out? Break your exercise into 10-minute intervals and work your way up to 20-30 minutes a day.
- Make small goals to stay motivated. Walk around your block in the morning, do an online exercise class once a week, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Living with high levels of stress can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Learn to manage your stress by determining your triggers and learning how to manage your response. Find out what works best for you:
- Deep breathing exercise
- Practicing mindfulness
- Goal setting
Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, but as soon as you quit your risk is immediately reduced and your body starts to recover.
- Within 24 hours of quitting your chances of having a heart attack go down.
- Within 5 years your risk of having a stroke will be nearly that of a non-smoker.
- Within 15 years your risk of heart disease will be similar to someone who has never smoked at all.