10 Apr Heart disease: is a lack of exercise putting you at risk?
Many Canadians are unaware that heart disease and stroke take a life every seven minutes. Just as alarming is that according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, a whopping 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.
To help evaluate your risk, see this risk assessment tool and learn more about the lifestyle choices you can make to reduce your risk and optimize your cardiovascular health. Since insufficient physical activity is the single greatest risk factor for heart disease in both men and women, a commitment to regular exercise and a plan to help you stick with it, could be a game changer.
There are many ways exercise helps prevent heart disease:
- Cardiovascular activity strengthens our hearts and lungs and improves the body’s ability to use oxygen. With regular participation, aerobic exercise can decrease our resting heart rates so that our hearts don’t have to work as hard.
- Exercise helps lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
- An active lifestyle helps increase the good HDL cholesterol that transports fat away from the arteries to the liver for processing.
- Exercise improves circulation, helping to prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack.
- Physical activity can help in the maintenance of a healthy body weight.
- Physical activity helps reduce stress, an often-overlooked risk factor for heart disease.