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February is Heart Month, a perfect time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health!
How a healthy heart works
Your heart is a muscle whose job is to pump blood around the body. Your heart pumps blood through a network of arteries and veins (heartandstroke.ca). To pump the blood throughout the body, your heart contracts and then relaxes, similar to clenching and unclenching your fist. With each beat of your heart, blood is pushed through your body via arteries. This is what creates a pulse and keeps us alive (heartandstroke.ca).
Heart disease is a general term that means the heart is not working properly. Some forms of heart disease are present at birth (congenital heart disease) while others develop as we age. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented by living an active, healthy lifestyle. (heartandstroke.ca) According to Health Canada, heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults and is the second leading cause of death in Canada. (Canada 2019)
We all have the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices such as:
1. Quitting smoking
2. Eating a healthy and balanced diet
3. Getting enough sleep
4. Exercising regularly
5. Monitoring blood pressure & cholesterol levels (Canada.ca, 2017)
Article Submitted by Barb Petelle, PCN Educator