The NSTEP Blog

Heart Health is a Long-Term Game

Written by: Terese

Greetings NSTEPpers!

Did you know February is Heart Health Month? That’s right! It’s all about that thing thump-thumping in your chest.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates 8 out of 10 cases of heart disease and strokes are preventable. Wow. How? Through a combination of the food we eat, the activity we partake in, and the stress we incur.

Now, there is not just one factor contributing to our heart health; it is all about the lifestyle we live. Even if we are young and healthy, it is still good to keep our hearts in the back of our minds (but not really, our heart belongs in our chest).

Here are some heart healthy tips to think about:

Physical Activity

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends children get 60 minutes of physical activity each day and adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week and muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week. Are your activity levels close to this? Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It could even be:

Eating for Heart Health

At each meal, try to have foods from all three food groups. Eating more whole, fresh foods can help our body regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. Here are some examples:

Stress Management

In our current world, stress is inevitable. See if you can take 15 minutes each day to unwind. Put away your phone, lay down or sit in a quiet room, and just be. A quick power nap, a short meditation video, or yoga can help your mind relax. My favourite strategy is my adult colouring book! Colouring books aren’t just for kids 🙂

And remember: heart health is a long-term game. Even though it may not feel very pressing now, engaging in healthy habits will make sure you don’t miss a beat later in life!

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