February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what we can do to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults according to 2012/2013 data, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada. In 2016, 12% more women than men died of heart conditions, stroke or vascular cognitive impairment. Wear Red Canada is celebrated annually across Canada on February 13th to raise awareness about women’s heart health.
According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Almost 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through healthy behaviours. That means that habits like eating healthy, being active and living smoke free, have a big impact on your health.
Some of the biggest risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, an unhealthy weight, an unhealthy diet, stress, not getting enough sleep, and excessive alcohol and/or drug use.
As many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices, a regular massage routine is a very healthy choice that will help to increase blood circulation, reduce your stress and improve your sleep and, therefore, reduce your risk.