Healthy Heart Program We are pleased to announce we have developed a new program to improve preventative care at WCFHT. This program will involve those who are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and will provide them with treatment and management options to lower their risk. Our goal is to identify individuals at risk of developing CVD and provide them with a complete risk assessment. This may involve updating lab tests, family history, blood pressure and review of medical conditions. Through this program we hope to improve health outcomes by discussing the benefit of various treatment options including setting diet and exercise goals and in some cases initiating medication. This program is the first of its kind at WCFHT, and will focus on informing those who may be at higher risk. Patients will then have the opportunity to work with their healthcare team to help understand their risk and create a plan of action to help lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and improve overall health.
Improving Cardiovascular Health with Lifestyle Changes
Healthy lifestyle behaviour is an essential part of reducing risk of developing cardiovascular disease and is the recommended first-line treatment for all patients at any level of risk. The expected benefits from physical activity and/or healthy eating are similar to the estimated 30 to 35% relative risk reduction (RRR) for statin (cholesterol tablet) therapy, in preventing the disease from developing in the first place. Maintaining this lifestyle long-term is key to reducing your overall cardiovascular risk.
The following resources provide general information on how lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. They are intended to provide general information that can be used to help get you started. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. While we have taken care selecting this list, we cannot accept any responsibility for the content published by the authors. Please consult websites for up to date information.
WEIGHT Either maintaining or achieving a healthy body weight can help to lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 – 24.9, waist circumference of < 88cm Caucasian North American women (<80 cm for non-Caucasian) and <102 cm for men (<94 cm in non-Caucasian).
Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener: A validated tool designed to assess your current adherence to the Mediterranean eating pattern. Complete this questionnaire to get started on making dietary changes.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends adults accumulate 150 mins of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week and at least 2 days of strength-based resistance training per week.
Use the FITT acronym: F: Frequency, try to exercise for at least 5 days a week doing aerobic activities and 2-3 days of strength and range of motion types activities. I: Intensity, try to exercise at moderate intensity. Use the talk test, you should be able to talk at moderate intensity but not sing. T: Time, the goal is 30 mins of continuous exercise at a time and try to achieve 150 minutes a week. You can start with just 10 mins and slowly build up. T: Type, the type of exercise should be fun, feasible, familiar and forever. In other words, do something that you enjoy, that you are familiar with and that you can do for a long time.