Heart and Stroke Foundation researchers share their best heart disease and stroke prevention tips.
What’s the secret to living a long and healthy life? It’s no secret at all! A healthy lifestyle helps prevent 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke—leading killers of Canadians. And it’s never too late to start leading a healthier life. We asked Heart & Stroke Foundation researchers for their top prevention. Here’s what they had to say.
Dr. Jacob Udell
Get off your video screen right now and go exercise. I think that a healthy balance of exercise and less sitting … getting up off your desk, if you have a sedentary job, is probably one of the best things you could do.
Dr. Paul Fedak
One very simple thing that really almost anybody can do is get a bit of cardiovascular aerobic exercise on a regular basis. This probably is the one single best thing you could do to prevent heart disease.
Dr. Jill Cameron
My number one health tip for Canadians to reduce their risk of stroke is to take care of themselves. Exercise, eat well, watch your alcohol consumption, manage stress, and really engage in life in a very positive and productive way.
Dr. Sheldon Cheskes
Stop smoking. I think that’s a no brainer. Smoking has such a huge impact on cardiovascular disease and it’s just very difficult for some people to stop, yet it is a critical factor. You can’t control your family history, you can’t control genetics. But there are some things we can control and smoking is a big one.
Dr. Todd Anderson
Nine out of 10 Canadians carry at least one cardiovascular risk factor. My number one tip is really to know your numbers. Know your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your blood sugar, your waist circumference, if you have a fitness tracker, track your steps. If you can do those important things you can really reduce your risk.
Dr. Andrew Demchuk
Pay attention to your blood pressure. We have these beautiful little machines, one press of the button and you know your blood pressure in 20 seconds. You ─ anyone who has a history of high blood pressure or who’s gone to the doctor and have even a bit of elevation ─ should take ownership of their blood pressure. It is the number one risk factor of stroke.
Dr. Eric Smith
Learn the signs of stroke. There are things that we can do to stop a stroke or reverse it if you call 911 quickly enough. These signs include: changes in the face like drooping of one side of the face or the other, weakness of the arm like inability to lift the arm, and changes in speech like slurred speech or inability to speak. If these changes happen, call 911 immediately.
Add healthy years to your life. Try the free Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment to learn how.