The history of Heart Month
In 1952 a group of Canadian health advocates created the National Heart Foundation of Canada. Their goal was to place heart health at the forefront of the public health agenda, to educate Canadians about heart health, and to empower researchers enough to win the fight against heart disease. The Heart Month campaign itself started in 1958 when Dr. Wilfred Bigelow led the Foundation in a campaign to raise $600,000 for heart research.
We’ve come a long way since the early days of the Heart Month campaign. Today, more than 600 full-time employees and 140,000 volunteers help the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada make a difference in the fight against heart disease in Canadian communities from coast to coast. More importantly, the average person today has a much better sense of what constitutes heart healthy behavior.
Heart disease by the numbers
Why is your heart health so important to your loved ones? Because even though the number of fatalities from heart and stroke disease has dropped by more than 75 percent since 1952 when the Foundation started its crucial work, the fight isn’t over. Heart and stroke disease are still one of the leading killers of Canadian men and women, claiming a Canadian life every seven minutes. In fact, nine out of ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke or heart disease.
Our family, friends, and loved ones need us. And because 80 percent of premature heart and stroke disease is preventable, we owe it to them to practice good heart health.
These simple changes can improve heart health:
- Add exercise into your routine; aim for brisk walks at least three times each week.Try to move a bit each day and stay active.
- Quit smoking if you can, or cut down. Quitting can lower your risks for heart disease and stroke.
- Eat heart-healthy foods; fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, and foods with omega-3s like tuna and salmon are excellent choices. Watch how much sodium you add to foods, opt for spices instead, and keep an eye on how much saturated fats are in your foods.
- Don’t neglect your annual Doctor check-ups.
- Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol, and take steps to keep them under control if they are high. If you are prescribed medications, take them.
Taking better care of your heart starting right now is one of the best ways to celebrate Heart Month. It’s also a wonderful gift to those close to your heart who count on you. The ongoing drop in heart disease and stroke incidents is one trend we all want to be a part of.
While you’re taking care of your heart and the hearts of those you hold dear, make sure you’re taking care of them for the long haul, too. Ask your advisor what may be the right life insurance plan for you or contact Canada Protection Plan at 1-877-851-9090 for more information or for a no-obligation quote.