Occasionally I get a bee in my bonnet about certain things. After my first aid course, I want to talk about heart disease and how it is preventable!
This weekend I attended a first aid course, as part of my training to become a marathon coach. The first day of the weekend, we focused on CPR/AED and emergency first skills.
Through this training, we learned about it heart disease and some scary key facts about heart disease. (If you tuned in on Saturday, or through Katch, you may have caught my mini-rant about this.)
Some quick facts for you (from my Red Cross manual):
- Heart disease is the #1 killer of adults over 44
- There are 3 non-controllable factors of heart disease
- There are 6 (that’s twice as many as 3) controllable factors of heart disease
- Blood pressure
So many of these controllable factors tie into one another. To me, its so easy:
- Don’t smoke (it’s gross)
- Eat well
- Manage stress
- (if needed) Manage blood pressure
Basically, live a healthy life.
I know, it’s drilled into us, but if people actually listened and took it to heart (pun not intended) I surely believe we’d see those heart disease rates go way down.
I feel like we’re far more concerned about cancer (not that cancer isn’t awful, it is), or car accidents, or freak accidents, and not enough about our hearts.
Quick aside: My grandma, a non-smoker, passed away from lung cancer. So sometimes we can do things right and thanks to a freak cell mutation, wind up with cancer. Please don’t think I’m making light of cancer. Statistically speaking, most cancers are a freak accident. Heart disease is not. (I’m not including the freak accidents, or undetected heart issues in this).
Did you know that doctors cannot reverse any damage done to a heart? So if you have a heart attack and part of your heart is damaged, you will then live the rest of your life with a damaged heart? That’s pretty scary if you ask me.
I’m grateful that I was raised in a healthy home. I was an active child and swam competitively (practicing 10-15 hours a week) from the time I was 7. My parents were both health conscious and all of our meals were extremely healthy. Any junk or treats were kept to a minimum, and we really only enjoyed them once a week or if we were camping.
[Tweet “Heart disease is a preventable disease – YOU are in control of YOUR health. See how you can take control today.”]
Sure, it sucked to be the kid that didn’t have Lunchables and treats at school, but now I am so thankful my parents got me off to a good start health-wise.
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Since my opa passed away in July, I also reflected back on his life and how healthy and active he was. He and my oma participated in the Manitoba and Canadian Senior Games for years and both won multiple medals. He learned to scuba dive in his sixties (seriously, how cool is that?!) and I remember swimming with him from the time I was 7, up until I was living with them when I was 19.
I believe that by being healthy my opa was able to live a much more comfortable life in his 80s. If he hadn’t been healthy and active in his youth, the damage would have already been done and his life (and, really, my life) would not have been as full.
[Tweet “Heart disease is a preventable disease. Be healthy TODAY and let future you thank you!”]
I wish I had something wonderfully profound to say, but I don’t. The onus is on us to make changes in our lives and to want to live a better and healthier life.