In my teens and early twenties, I never gave much thought to my health or how I might be impacting my later well being. I smoked, I partied, I stayed up late, and the most exercise I got was walking to the corner store to grab a bag of chips and a slushy drink.
I quit smoking about 10 years ago when I realized I’d been a smoker for more than half my life. That was a really, really hard thing to do, but so worth it. And then hubs and I decided to start a family, and all of a sudden my health became a priority for me. I wanted to provide the best start for my kids, and taking care of myself and having a healthy pregnancy was crucial to that.
After Teagan was born, I started thinking about how much I wanted to be around to see my kids grow up. To see them have kids of their own. To retire and travel the world with my husband. I decided I needed to make some more changes. I wanted to eat better, get more active, and lose the extra weight I had put on after quitting smoking and getting pregnant.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Luckily, there are things we can do to reduce our risk. Things like quitting smoking, getting active, controlling your blood pressure, and reducing your cholesterol levels. Do you know your heart age? You should! The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends knowing your cardiovascular age and risk profile to help you better manage your blood pressure and blood lipids. Knowing and understanding your heart age leads to better heart health management.
February is Heart Month, and there’s no better time than now to start taking better care of your heart. Shoppers Drug Mart wants to get the word out about the risks of heart disease and stroke, and their website is featuring a unique Heart Age Calculator to help you take charge of your cardiovascular health.
The Heart Age Calculator is an easy online tool that helps Canadians calculate their cardiovascular age. It’s free, confidential, and no registration is necessary. Just answer some simple lifestyle questions to assess your risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. The calculations used in the test were developed by physicians and statisticians at McGill University, and it’s the only scientifically validated online tool that gives a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines.
It literally took me three minutes to take this test. Partway through, there were a few health questions I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know my cholesterol levels or blood sugar levels, which I guess I need to talk to my doctor about. If you don’t know these numbers either, there’s an option to say, “I don’t know” and the calculator will sub in the average values.
And here are my results. I just turned 37 last December, and I’m happy to see my heart and arteries are doing well! I want to be around for a long, long time. It’s pretty gratifying to know that the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle, like quitting smoking, getting more active, eating healthier, and losing weight, are having the results I’m looking for. This is great motivation to keep it up!
Five Steps for Heart Health
So what are some things you can do to get heart healthy?
- Stop smoking
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Lead an active lifestyle
- Regulate your cholesterol levels
- Take control
Now it’s your turn to take control of your heart health by taking the test. I did it, and you can do it too! Take the Heart Age Calculator test and leave me a comment telling me how you scored. What changes will you make to get heart healthy?
Disclosure: Although this post has been sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect the views, opinions or positions of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. or its affiliates or licensees. Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information within this blog post and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or for any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.