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14 Feb 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day! How to Keep Your Heart Healthy Year Round


Topics: Senior Health

Valentine’s Day—the day to celebrate love. Why not take this day to practice a bit of self-love?

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On a day that focuses so much on the symbolism of the heart, use this day to consider your real beating heart. Ninety percent of Canadians over 20 have a minimum of one risk factor for heart disease. Lessen your chances of developing heart problems by maintaining these healthy practices year-round.

We Like to Move It, Move It

We all know that daily exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Yet, sometimes life can get in the way. Whether you care for your elderly parents or have to drive your kids to hockey practice, the hours of the day just seem to slip away. As a result, exercising often falls by the wayside.  

Start prioritizing your health and get back on track. There is always time for exercise—you just have to find it. Dedicate your lunch hours to taking a walk or turn playtime into a fun cardio-intense session with your kids. There are many ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Say No to Tobacco

Whether you vape or roll your own cigarettes, tobacco in all forms is harmful to your heart. Both smoking and second-hand smoke are bad for your heart and can lead to serious problems down the line.

If you’re a long-time smoker, quitting can be extremely difficult. Start your tobacco-free journey now and get back on track to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Eat the Right Foods

Eating right should be a daily regimen for you by now. There are many health risks associated with unhealthy eating. To avoid heart-related issues, your diet should avoid trans fats. This doesn’t mean cutting out all fats—our bodies still need saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats. The key is moderation. This means saying yes to things like avocados and salmon, but no to foods like cake and margarine.

When in doubt, always go for a meal option with fruits and veggies.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep deprivation can affect your body in many ways. Not only will you be less motivated to exercise and eat right, but you’ll also be putting your body at serious health risks. The average adult should sleep for seven to nine hours, and seniors for seven to eight hours.

Set up a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Your heart will thank you!

Give Stress the Boot

High stress levels can contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are both detrimental to your heart health. Practice stress-relieving techniques or make changes to your daily life to reduce stress.

Is work causing too much pressure? Maybe it’s time to start looking elsewhere. No job is important enough to risk your health.

How are your finances? If you dread every credit card bill you receive, there are ways you can better manage your finances and get your debt paid off. Creating a budget and tracking your spending is the best way to see where your money is going and where you can cut back.

Are you simply just too busy? You can’t do it all. If you’re trying to manage a family, work, a social life, as well as caring for an aging parent, take a break. There are home care providers available to take the stress off your shoulders.  


Tennille Kerrigan

Tenille is the president of Senior Helpers Canada, the premier franchise that delivers on what families and their loved ones need most. She has bachelor’s degree in business administration from York University, and has over 10 years of experience as a business owner and director. With Senior Helpers, our franchisees provide the professionalism and expert care that families and their aging loved ones require.

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