February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular
health, and what we can to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.
We can all reduce our risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices, including quitting smoking, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These initiatives support healthy living and help to prevent chronic diseases in all ages.
Beyond healthy choices, cardiovascular disease is also influenced by biological and other risk factors, we also need to invest in research in this area.
During Heart Month, we should take the opportunity to learn more about the risk factors for heart disease and what can be done to prevent it. Making one small change towards a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference.
During the span of this Heart Month, 5,760 people will die from heart disease in Canada. In order to combat this staggering statistic, St. John Ambulance encourages all Canadians to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
You could feel so short of breath, as though you ran a marathon, but you haven't made a move. Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.
Common heart attack signs and symptoms include: Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain, and shortness of breath.
Heart attack occurs when one or more coronary arteries get blocked. Treatment depends on the severity. The main goal is to prevent further damage to the heart and to restore blood flow quickly, for which there are several medications and surgical treatments.
As we reflect on the condition of our hearts this month, may we endeavor to commit ourselves not only to our heart health with physical goals, but remember that part of our heart that is not physical, but spiritual in nature, by endeavoring to show kindness, respect and caring to those that we come in contact with every day.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY & HEART MONTH!