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3 Key Lifestyle Changes to a Longer, Heart-Healthy Life

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Did you know June is Stroke Awareness Month? The whole month is dedicated to stroke awareness, highlighting its massive prevalence in Canada. Heart disease and stroke are second and third only to cancer in leading causes of death, with nearly 14, 000 people dying from stroke in Canada every year. While the stats are alarming, stroke and heart disease are avoidable for the most part. There are three common denominators that have the biggest impact on your heart health, keep these in check and you’ll live longer and healthier:

 

Diet

High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and diet plays a role in all three. Simply decreasing foods high in sodium, sugar and trans fats – and increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce high blood pressure, improve metabolic function allowing your body to burn more fat, and prevent diabetes.

Exercise

A lack of physical activity goes hand in hand with a poor diet. Exercising can help with both high blood pressure and obesity. 30 minutes a day is all it takes to improve your heart health. The biggest barrier to exercising is time – and those who are pressed for time generally have high stress, another risk factor. Ironically enough, exercise can help stress too. If you are highly stressed and pressed for time, your best option is joining a gym that offers a variety of exercise options. Goodlife is the most popular and for good reason. With a Goodlife membership, you have the option to join in on daily free classes. If you are seriously pressed for time, quickly run through the convenient ‘20 Minute Fix’ machine circuit.

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Smoking, drugs and alcohol

Studies have shown it’s never too late to stop smoking. Quitting will cut your risk of stroke in half. according to Ontario Stroke Network, stop smoking for five years and your risk is the same as someone who never smoked. Illicit drugs like cocaine dramatically increase the risk of stroke because of their ability to narrow blood vessels and cause blood clots.

While it’s highly recommended to stop (or never start) smoking and illicit drug use, alcohol is still viable in moderation. In fact, studies suggest drinking one glass of wine a night can protect the heart. Emphasis on one.

 

These three lifestyle changes seem glaringly obvious but often get overlooked. Heart disease and stroke are a serious problem in Canada, meaning billions a year. Taking care of your heart will increase longevity, prevent disease and even help the economy.

 

Interested in improving your health with a Goodlife membership? They will be joining Entrepreneurs Club shortly, so you can get one at a corporate discount! In the meantime, check out the Club and see what other corporate perks you can get by being a member.

David is a Marketing Communications Coordinator here at 411.ca. He loves all things sports, technology, video games, and of course, helping small businesses grow.