By Sarah Casper
February, you are a great month. Spring is around the corner and you have Valentine’s Day which brings out a lot of emotion and celebration for the ones you love most. Another great reason to love February is that it is Heart Month. Over 60 years ago a group of doctors and researchers had a vision of putting heart health into the minds of the public. And rightly so! The estimate is that heart disease takes a Canadian life every 7 minutes and that almost every one of us has a risk factor.
We hear a lot of things not to do in order to prevent heart disease. Here are some really easy things that we CAN do have a healthy heart:
- Eat at least 5 fruits and veggies every day.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Go for a walk. A 30 minute walk each day is great for your heart and mind.
- Take time to relax – stress is hard on our heart.
- Sleep! It gives your heart a break by reducing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Doing these things, and more, can help save your life. Still, there are people in your life that do have heart disease. Knowing what to look for and what to do if someone is having a heart attack is priceless. Early recognition is key to helping someone survive. If the person is complaining of severe chest pain, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, has shortness of breath, is tired, has pale, cool, clammy skin or is suddenly lightheaded or dizzy they may be suffering from a heart attack. It is important to call 9-1-1 immediately to get help to you. If they go unconscious give CPR – 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths of air until medical help arrives. If you have access to an Automated External Defibrillator, use it along with CPR.
So when you are thinking of your loved one this February, why not take a CPR class – you may just save their life and that is the best gift of all.