Portrait of a old woman

Portrait of a old woman

February is Heart Health Month, when we raise awareness of the risks of heart disease.

Heart Facts

  • The heart does more physical work than any other muscle in your body
  • The size of an adult heart is roughly the same as 2 fists, 1 fist for children
  • Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day
  • The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime
  • A woman’s heart beats more quickly than a man’s
  • The heart can pump blood to your toes and back in about 16 seconds
  • The ‘thumping’ sound your heart makes in caused by its 4 valves opening and closing

Risk Factors

As we get older, our risk of heart disease increases. However, there are many other considerations to take into account that are controllable and can reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Diet – What you eat is very important in reducing the risk of heart disease. You should eat as many servings of fruit and vegetables as possible while avoiding fatty foods and foods high in sugar.
  • Smoking – Smoking causes blocked arteries, damaged lungs, and high blood pressure. All of these factors contribute to a greater risk of heart disease.
  • Exercise – Getting regular exercise is crucial to reducing your risk. Daily exercise improves circulation, reduces stress, and helps keep your body weight at an ideal and healthy level.

Useful Approaches

Sometimes knowing what changes you have to make in your life are easier said than done. Here are some suggestions of how to get started.

  • Get support – Having someone there to help you through a life change such as quitting smoking or changing your diet can make all the difference between success and failure. At Retire-at-Home Toronto, our caregivers can provide all the support needed to make these adjustments feel rewarding and meaningful.
  • One day at a time – It is important not to get over ambitious with life changes. Any modification to your daily routine can be difficult. Implementing these changes in small, manageable increments is a good way to get started so you do not feel overwhelmed and want to quit.
  • Keep it simple – Little things like adding extra vegetables to your favorite meal, or walking to the store instead of driving can be enough to instigate positive change. Try out different types of exotic fruit to give you variety while creating new experiences. Any positive step in the right direction helps.

If you think you are at risk of heart disease, make an appointment with your doctor to get officially checked. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to set up a consultation, please contact our office.