“Eat Well, Get Active, Live Better”

Article posted February 8, 2012

Here is a frightening fact. Did you know that each year approximately 74,000 Canadians die of heart disease and stroke? That’s over 200 per day, or over 8 per hour, or 1 person approximately every 7 minutes.

Here is another fact. It doesn’t have to be that way.

We learned this at our Halton Chapter Community Meeting in January.  Our featured speaker was Chuck Burdick, who is a volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  

Chuck had an incredible amount of information. The following are a few brief notes that are intended to serve as memory joggers.

Chuck’s basic message was loud and clear. Chances are that we are all at various levels of risk. However there are things we can do to minimize that risk.  These include:

  1. Eat a healthy diet
  2. Be physically active
  3. Reduce or eliminate the major risk factors of;
  •  Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

February is Heart and Stroke month. Everyone is urged to evaluate their own situation and where necessary to take action. As their current campaign says “Make Death Wait”

Risk factors that we cannot change include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Ethnicity
  • Prior stroke or TIA

Risk factors that we can do something about include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • Heart Diseases such as Atrial Fibrillation

Chuck brought along several excellent booklets and it is hoped that everyone took a copy with them. Most of the information he presented can be found in those booklets.

He also referred extensively to the Canada Food Guide. The Guide contains a wealth of information about healthy eating. Poor diet is linked to many kinds of diseases. Read the “Nutrition Facts” label to help you choose food products that are good for you. Look for the “Health Check” symbol. 

You can download the Canada Food Guide at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide

An excellent source of information is The Heart and Stroke Foundations website at www.heartandstroke.ca  On this site you will also find an online Risk Assessment questionnaire which will enable you to see where you currently stand on this very important issue.

There is a lot of information out there. There are many helpful suggestions. Maybe we knew most of the information presented. We just need the will to do something about it.

Bottom line is that IT IS IN OUR OWN HANDS.