Don’t just think about candy hearts this February

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada proclaims February as Heart Month, and want to remind us that nine out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke.

Recent stats say 80 percent of premature death from these illnesses can be avoided by adopting healthier lifestyle choices.

“When it comes to physical activity, Heart and Stroke recommends accumulating 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week,”says Jennifer Michaud of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “That’s just in bouts of 10 minutes or more…so even when stuck working at your desk all day, taking a stretching break for 10 minutes at lunch or walking around the block with your kids or your dog.”

She says shovelling snow can be good exercise, even though most of us don’t want to do it.</p><p>”Just make sure you stop if you feel signs of pressure or pains in your chest,” she says.

Michaud also reminds to make water your drink of choice and eat a healthy diet.

“Making sure you’ve got half your plate at every meal filled with fruits and veggies,” she says.

February is a special month at Heart and Stoke, but this year will be different. For the first time in 70 years, the organization’s signature Heart Month fundraiser, the door-to-door campaign where volunteers canvass for donations, will be virtual due to the pandemic.

Michaud says donors can still contribute online.

If you wish to make a donation, visit heartandstroke.ca.

Jeannette Rocher

Jeannette Rocher

After an internship with the CBC, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, the disappearance of two little girls, murder cases and other huge court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV.

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