Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in Canada. It is also the number one killer globally, responsible for twice as many deaths as all forms of cancer combined.
According to Our World in Data, “the leading global killer in 2016 were cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which refer to a range of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. These include hypertension (high blood pressure); coronary heart disease (heart attack); cerebrovascular disease (stroke); heart failure; and other heart diseases. Cardiovascular diseases killed 17.6 million people—around one-third of all deaths.”
In Canada, 70,000 people die from heart disease and stroke every year. That’s one death every 7 minutes.
While these are very sobering statistics, there is some very good news to balance those numbers—up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable. That’s right, the lifestyle choices you make, and the healthy habits you choose, can help prevent heart disease and stroke by as much as 80%.
The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that 9 out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke, so there’s a lot of us that can improve our risks significantly.
Preventable Lifestyle-related Risk factors:
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Some risk factors—such as age, or hereditary factors—are outside of your control. But there are risk factors for heart disease that you can do something about, and you’ll find that many lifestyle factors improve more than one risk.
•High blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, then consult with your health care provider to determine how to best manage the condition. Lifestyle choices to improve high blood pressure include losing excess weight, being physically active daily, eating a plant-based diet, limiting your sugar, sodium and alcohol consumption, stop smoking, and reduce stress.
•High blood cholesterol
To improve your blood cholesterol levels chose heart-healthy foods, especially good sources of soluble fiber, and healthy omega fatty acids. Increasing your physical activity level (high intensity is critical) and quitting smoking are important lifestyle changes.
•Diabetes and pre-diabetes
If you have diabetes, then regular management of your blood sugar levels by a health professional is vital. Lifestyle-related factors include losing excess weight, lowering body fat, eating a sugar free plant-based diet, drinking water (not sugary drinks), daily exercise, improving circulation and reducing stress.
There’s just one word to say about smoking. Don’t. Do everything you can to quit this habit, and ask for help from medical and health experts, friends and family.
Being overweight is a risk factor for many degenerative diseases, including heart disease. Chose an organic, plant-based diet, eliminate sugar and grains, hydrate, commit to daily activity, develop good sleeping habits, and reduced stress to bring your weight into an ideal range.
•Being physically inactive
They say physical inactivity is the “new smoking.” So move daily and move often. Avoid sitting and choose activities you enjoy as dosage = results.
An unhealthy diet doesn’t give your body the nutrients it needs on a daily basis, and also contributes to excess weight gain and even diabetes. Choose an organic, plant-based diet eliminating sugar, gluten and all processed foods.
Stress is a modern-day killer. Not the short-term “fight or flight” stress, but the long-term, chronic stress that depletes our body systems and exposes us to high levels of stress hormones and inflammation. Make stress management a health goal, and meet it though increased activity, better sleep, intimacy, meditation, and mindfulness.
•Excessive alcohol and drug use
Vibe Life is a clean lifestyle, with no room for alcohol or recreational drugs. Fun-seekers can find much more joy and satisfaction through meeting accomplishments, outdoor activities immersed in nature, music, art, travel, laughter, love, quality self care and personal time on and off the VIBE mastering the art of self connection.