Seniors Outreach February 13, 2013

February is heart month and while Canadians are living longer, they are not necessarily healthier. The choices we make each day can help shape our future.  Heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women in Canada but most women don't know it.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada provides a tastebud-tempting calendar full of delicious recipes that will do your heart a favour. The Foundation also encourages people to embrace good health habits. The key is to reduce as many risk factors as possible that increase our odds of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. While our genetic heritage can't be changed, we can all work to reducing the risks through the choices we make every day.  Here are some of the risk factors to be aware of:
• The cost of physical inactivity. Any physical activity can have a positive impact on your heart's health.  Remember, Seniors Outreach offers Link to Health programs in most communities within Kneehill County.  In Three Hills, Link to Health is offered at Bethel Church on Thursday mornings at 9:00 and will be starting this month at the Drop-In Centre and Robertson Manor. Link to Health also runs in Linden, Trochu, and Acme.  Get walking, bowling, curling, swimming, or dancing but keep moving.
• Cost of a poor diet. A nutritious and balanced diet helps you manage your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels and boosts your overall well-being. Check out Canada's Food Guide recommendations for your gender and your age group.
• Cost of excessive stress. Too much stress can elevate blood cholesterol or blood pressure and make it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle—especially since many of us respond to stress by eating, drinking, or smoking too much. In times of stress, it is important to care for our physical and mental health.
• Cost of smoking.  Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Within 10 years of becoming smoke-free, your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
• Cost of excessive drinking: If you drink alcohol, moderation is key.
You can visit the Health and Stoke Foundation's website makehealthlast.ca for tips and tools to help you move from awareness to action.  This month, choose to develop healthy habits that will add quality to your years.
On Thursday, February 21st at 10:00 a.m. at the Drop-In Centre, we will have a representative from the Heart and Stroke Foundation speaking at our Monthly Information Meeting in Three Hills.  Come out and join us and learn more on ways to protect and care for your heart.  Contact the Seniors Outreach office at 403-443-2555 for more information.