Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. Approximately 2.4 million Canadians are living with diagnosed heart disease today, but we can help reduce that number by encouraging our patients to adopt heart healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
February is Heart Month and, in honour of our hardest working organ, we want to shed some light on the many health benefits that come with living a heart healthy lifestyle. There’s a reason why we’re often told to “follow our hearts” – heart health is directly correlated with our overall health.
Here are just a few ways that a heart healthy lifestyle can improve your overall health and well-being:
Preventing Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Like heart disease, experts agree that the vast majority of dementia or Alzheimer’s cases are a result of multiple factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle. But it’s now thought that conditions that affect the heart can also increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
You see, the heart and the brain are best buds. Just like any dynamic duo, they tend to mimic each other. The same vascular problems that contribute to heart disease (including a buildup of fat in the arteries and stiffening of the arteries) can also damage brain function by interfering with the flow of oxygen-rich blood needed to nourish our brain cells.
Promoting Healthy Weight Loss
Regular exercise is key in reducing the risk of heart disease. Ideally, you want to aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week—which works out to a brisk 30-minute walk, five days a week. By experimenting with different types of activity, you’re likely to see healthy weight loss as a result.
Weight loss has added benefits, too. Not only is it good for your blood pressure, weight loss can also improve the way your body processes glucose and insulin, and it can reduce inflammation.
Better Oral Hygiene
Researchers have been studying the connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease and it appears that a healthy mouth may contribute to a healthy heart. Some studies suggest that because of how vascular our gums are, bacteria from gum disease may enter the bloodstream and help to form fatty deposits in our arteries.
In other words, by concentrating on flossing and maintaining healthy gums, you may be able to reduce your risk of heart disease!
Our practitioners are dedicated to helping you form a plan to improve your overall health. Whether you are looking for support with your diet, exercise routine, or healthy ways to manage pain, we have a service to help. Contact us today to book an appointment.