In Canada, the second leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of heart disease is high, and Canadians need to be aware of the causes as well as prevention methods. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to prevent cardiovascular disease.
What is Heart Disease?
A heart disease is a condition that affects the heart’s ability to function. Specifically, one of the most common heart diseases is cardiovascular disease in which the arteries or blood vessels stiffen or become blocked by plaque. As a result, the narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels can lead to stroke, angina, heart attack, and death.
What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?
There are numerous risk factors that can cause someone to develop cardiovascular disease. They fall into three categories: lifestyle, genetic, and medical conditions.
- Risk factors associated with your lifestyle include smoking tobacco, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, unhealthy weight, and stress.
- Some genetic risk factors include being male (men are twice as likely as women to suffer a heart attack), being an older age, and having a family history of heart disease.
- Medical conditions that put you at risk for heart disease include having high blood pressure, diabetes, and pre-eclampsia.
To see how serious your risk for developing heart disease is, take this test on the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada’s website.
What Are the Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease?
Since there are multiple types of heart disease, there specific sets of symptoms for each condition. Some of the most common symptoms across the board include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort, tightness, and/or pain
- Increased or decreased heart beat
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, women commonly experience heart attacks and heart disease without any pain or discomfort in the chest. It’s important for women to be aware of other symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, and upper back pressure.
How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
There are several ways you can reduce your lifestyle risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, if more Canadians reduced their lifestyle risk factors, we could prevent over 80 per cent of premature heart disease cases.
So, here are some of the ways you can prevent heart disease:
1. Eat a Nutritious Diet
Your heart’s health depends on your diet being full of nutrients and minerals. Focus on lowering your cholesterol levels, controlling your triglycerides, and maintaining a healthy weight. For instance, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends eating 7-10 servings of vegetables per day.
2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day to prevent heart disease. However, getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day is key. That could mean going for walks, runs, bike rides, dancing, doing yoga, stretching, or any other physical activity you enjoy.
3. Reduce Your Vices
Not all vices, just smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and living in an overly stressed state. In addition to quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption, be mindful of your stress levels. Consider learning mindfulness techniques to help you cope with stress.
Take Care of Your Heart
Wildflower Health and Wellness cares about your heart’s health. Some of the ways we can help you prevent heart disease are with our naturopathic services. Managing stress, hormones, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet benefit all your organs, not in the least your heart.
Get in touch with us today to learn more.