FOR YOUR HEALTH
Put your heart
Heart month was February, and Costco weight, lower your
responded by putting out special dis- blood pressure and
plays of healthy heart items, such as manage stress.
supplements and blood-pressure monitors, as
well as scheduling heart-issue-related clinics Following doctor’s orders
for members in the Costco pharmacies. If you are at risk, it is important not to
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Costco Pharmacies offer informational
handouts on heart health, as well as many
other health concerns, such as cholesterol,
weight management, menopause, diabetes
and osteoporosis. Members can also find
books and videos on various health and
diet topics at Costco.
Check the Special Events page for upcoming Pharmacy clinics and programs.
Although February has come and make any medication, diet or activity changes
gone, keeping a healthy heart is a year- without consulting your doctor and, as the changesyou’vemade.—Information courtesy
round concern. state of your health improves, to get periodic of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada,
checkups to assess the effects of the lifestyle www.hsf.ca.
Know your risks
High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, an inactive lifestyle, being
overweight, having diabetes and a personal
or family history of heart problems all
increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, you can take steps
to minimize many of these risks, and you can
minimize the effects of a family history of
heart disease by making yourself as heart-healthy as possible.
Eating a healthy diet, which means following Canada’s Food guide, emphasizes a
meal plan that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain products, and less fat.
Heart health and aspirin ■ Did your father or brother have a heart
attack before age 55?
■ Did your mother or sister have a heart
attack before age 65?
■ Has your mother, father, sister, brother or
grandparent had a stroke?
■ Do you smoke or are you around people
who smoke tobacco regularly?
■ Do you have high cholesterol or high
Surveys have shown that aspirin is
increasingly being used to protect against
heart attack and stroke, but only about 25
per cent of patients who could benefit from
aspirin therapy are taking it. The following
list of questions from bayeraspirin.com can
help you determine if you may be a candidate for aspirin therapy. If you answer yes to
any of these questions, check with your doctor before beginning any aspirin regimen.
■ Do you get fewer than 30 minutes of
physical activity on most days?
■ Are you a man over 45 years old, or a
woman over 50 years old?
■ Are you 20 pounds or more overweight
for your height and build?
Physical activity can not only strengthen
your heart, but it can help control your
■ Are you a woman past menopause or
have you had your ovaries removed?
■ Do you have diabetes, or do you need
drugs to control your blood sugar?
Take a full hour to really empower
When it comes to working out, simply want to become healthier should stick
nobody will ever confuse me with with the goal of exercising for 30 minutes a
Richard Simmons. Thirty minutes day and gradually build up to an hour per day.
of exercise a day I can handle, no sweat (so to
speak). But a full hour—plus making time for Additional workout tips
a shower? I’m more likely to run up my credit ● Make exercise a daily priority. Put it
card than run on a treadmill for 60 minutes. on your schedule.
How about you? Are you ready for the ● Exercise with a friend, family member
30-minute workout—times two? or co-worker. It will help keep you commit-The Institute of Medicine—a branch of ted to the daily routine.
the National Academy of Sciences in the ● Put physical activity back into your
U.S.—suggests that an hour of exercise a day life by taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
can reduce the risk of early mortality. parkingfartherawayfrombuildingentrances,
Although this kind of news could be discour- walking to the store instead of driving.
aging to those, like myself, who struggle to ● Hide the television remote control. It
squeeze half an hour of exercise into their become physically fit,” she says. “However, may help you get out of the family room and
daily routine, even 30 minutes of getting that’s not the same thing as being physically into the exercise room.
physical is very beneficial. active to promote good health. You get a much ● Motivate yourself by remembering
“We have to get [people] off the couch in better bang for your buck by exercising for 30 how good you feel after you’ve completed a
the first place before we tell them they have minutes to get the health benefits of a 50 per workout and how good you feel knowing that
to exercise for an hour,” says Robyn cent [reduction in] risk of early mortality. you are taking care of your body.
Housemann, Ph.D., an assistantprofessor of “Exercising another 30 minutes makes “Even 20 minutes is a good start,”
community health in the School of Public you more fit, reducing your risk an additional Housemann says. “By teaching people to set
Health at St. Louis University. 10 to 15 per cent. But you’re still doing well attainable goals, we are encouraging them to
“An hour a day of moderate-intensity aer- to work out for a half hour.” see exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
obic exercise will help you lose weight and According to Housemann, those who —Mark E. Stroder
FROM THE CANADIAN EDITION