February is Heart Month — and that doesn’t just mean it’s the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s also the month we focus on heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, heart disease and stroke take one in three Canadians before their time. Even more shockingly, it’s the number one killer of women in Canada.
While the numbers are scary, there is hope. Canadians can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by taking action. According to York Region Public Health, nine in ten Canadians have at least one controllable factor they can change themselves.
Here are our top healthy heart tips for taking back control of your health this Heart Month:
1. Be smoke-free
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease. If you’re still lighting up, talk to your doctor about creating a plan to quit.
2. Get exercise
Developing a regular fitness plan can greatly assist your heart health. Thirty to 60 minutes per day of physical activity, such as walking or ice skating, can help lower blood pressure. Research shows that even strength training two times per week using your body weight (exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups) can help build good cholesterol.
3. Control your blood pressure
One way to lower your blood pressure? Get a pet. According to Canadian Living, studies show that pet owners have lower blood pressure and heart rates.
4. Check your blood cholesterol levels
Getting a regular check-up at your doctor’s office for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar can help you see symptoms of heart disease coming before it’s too late.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
Certain foods, such as a handful of almonds, can actually fight inflammation and boost Vitamin E, according to Canadian Living. For more on what makes a heart healthy diet, visit http://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy.
6. Limit alcohol use
Too much alcohol can be a cause of heart disease and can raise your blood sugar.
7. Reduce stress
Watch funny movies. Leave your laptop at work. Take up a yoga practice. Whatever works for you to eliminate stress, do more of that. Stress can kill — literally — and reducing it will help you be healthier and enjoy your life more.
8. Manage diabetes
If you have a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, managing your health overall will help you maintain a healthy heart.
Did you know that Kerr’s has a line of light, no-sugar-added candy? Whether Fruit Smoothies, Toffee, or Chocolate Mints are your thing, there’s something for everyone — and more. Our light candies can be part of a heart-healthy diet so you can take care of your heart and enjoy a treat this Heart Month. See our full no-sugar-added product list at http://www.kerrs.com/light-no-sugar-added.
What are your best healthy heart tips? Let us know on social media. We’re @KerrsCandy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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