Heart Health Month – Learn How to #TreatYourHeart

Heart Health Month – Learn How to #TreatYourHeart

What’s in My Heart?

We all know that Valentine’s Day falls in February.  But did you also know that February is Heart Month?  Seems like the perfect fit. Since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canadian adults we need to get talking – and listening – more about our heart health.

If you are a regular reader of follow me on social media channels (you know like the twitterverse) then you probably know I’m pretty passionate about setting a good example for my daughter.  So one of my biggest motivations for staying healthy is to teach her that we need to respect our bodies.  If we treat them well they are more likely to treat us well in return.  And my other biggest motivation for wanting to be healthy – including heart healthy – is so I am around for my daughter.  I started this parenthood gig a little bit later in life and I want to do everything I can to make sure I’m around for all of the big, and not so big, moment’s in my little girl’s life.

My daughter loves to  imagine about things like getting married and being a mommy.  She talks about it, she asks questions, she dreams. And of course I dream too.  I dream about all of the things she will do her in life.  Maybe she will get married, maybe she won’t.  Maybe she will be a mother, maybe she won’t.  Wherever her dreams end up taking her I want to be there, to share them with her.

The More You Know

What do you know about your heart’s health? Do you know that the five major risk factors are smoking, not enough physical activity, being overweight, high cholesterol and high blood pressure?  When it comes to your health, knowledge is power.  And that is so important when it comes to your heart health – because knowing your risk of developing heart disease can help you make choices and changes that can make a huge difference in your life.

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating your cardiovascular age and knowing your risk profile.  There is research that shows understanding and knowing your cardiovascular age can lead to better health management.

I know what you’re thinking – this sounds complicated and/or time consuming and time isn’t something a lot of us have on our hands.  But it’s actually pretty quick, easy and painless thanks to Shoppers Drug Mart and the online Heart Age Calculator.  It literally takes just minutes to go through this test and see if your heart and arteries are older or younger than you.

The Heart Age Calculator is the is the only scientifically validated online tool available that provides a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines.

Let’s Take the Test

Of course I’m going to take the test. I wouldn’t be sitting here telling you all about this nifty tool if I didn’t plan to try it myself.  I’ll admit I’m a little bit nervous.  Who doesn’t get nervous before a test? But I’ll do it.  For science.  For you.  Ok mostly for me…

Let’s give this a go!

So the first thing I’m noticing (and really liking) is that you don’t have to register for anything.  There is no signing up, no place to enter my email and no need to read any lengthy disclaimers (because we always read those right?)

heart health

 

Time for some questions! These first ones are pretty easy – age, gender, height weight, etc.  Oh but what’s this? Cholesterol numbers? Oh dear.  Unless you’ve been to the doctor very recently (which I haven’t) or have a cholesterol problem  (which I don’t) there’s a pretty good chance you don’t know these numbers.  It’s ok.  I see a way out. Don’t let it raise your blood pressure.   I just clicked on the handy “I don’t know” box beside the questions. And this is what happened:

heart age calculator

 

Assuming that you go for regular (you do right?) check ups you can probably answer these questions with some reliability.

Now I’m being asked about blood pressure.  Do you take any blood pressure mediation? What is your blood pressure?  Again this might no be something you know off the top of your head – although you could head on down to Shoppers Drug Mart and find out. But again, not to worry.  Click on “I don’t know” and you are given some choices that you will be able to answer.

Next up – blood sugar.  Do you know your blood glucose reading?  Why no I do not.  I’m going to hit the “I don’t know” button again and a number magically appears.  I assume this is an average or standard reading for an adult.

Ok it looks like we’re now done with numbers.  Now a few questions about my health history – as it relates to my heart health. And then a couple of questions I can never really answer – about my family’s medical past. As an adoptee with little knowledge about my biological family I also have to answer “I don’t know” for these ones.

I’m now on step 10 of 12.  Wow, already? A couple of questions about how often and how strenuous I exercise. Oh good, carrying laundry counts as moderate exercise.  Ok, it doesn’t specifically say laundry but it does say “light loads” so it has to count.

In the home stretch now!  Do you sleep well?  Oh that’s a good one.  If you’re a parent to a young child (or maybe even a not so young child) I have a feeling you’ll give a little snort when you get to that question too.

And the final question – do you smoke?

Ok I’m doing it.  Hitting that submit button.  How old is my heart?

heart age

 

And here we have it.  My cardiovascular age.  And now you also know my actual age.  No more pretending I’m 29.  That ship has sailed. Well, not too shabby! My heart just might outlive me.  Wait, what?  I think I just confused myself.

I did it. I took the test. Wasn’t hard at all and now I know just a little but more about my heart health and that has to be a good thing.

Your Turn!

If I can do this so can you.  Take the Heart Age Calculator test. You really have nothing to lose and really it’s way more productive than playing Candy Crush.  I’m just saying…

So I want to know – did you take the test?

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.

 

This article has 23 comments

  1. You don't look a day over 38… you're heart, that is 🙂 This is a great reminder that we have control over our health and that we need to take care of ourselves no matter what age. Thanks!!!
    My recent post Happy Birthday, Dad. How old is YOUR heart?

  2. I took it and voila younger than my actual age! Having a history of heart disease in my family I actually jumped up and yelled yes! LOL Knowing that my hard work keeping my heart healthy for my boys is working made me happy!

  3. I went and did this and felt good that I can see where I can improve. Knowledge is power right? 

  4. It is so important to stay on top of your heart health. I love how easy it is to use the heart age calculator. It only takes a few minutes, and it provides your with a wealth of information to support you on maintaining good cardiovascular health. Being that heart disease runs on my husband's side of the family, I am going to insist that he takes this test. I'm always so worried about him. I swear he thinks he is invisible some days.
    My recent post February is Heart Month. Take Action. Be Heart Healthy!

  5. I did take the test and my heart age is a bit younger than I am. I am looking forward to making some changes and seeing if it improves even more 
    My recent post What is your Heart Age? #TreatYourHeart

  6. That is great that your heart age is better than your actual age – good for you!  I am a strong believer in setting a good example for my children too!  I have recently put a much larger focus on this.  It's not about "do as I say not as I do", right?!
    My recent post Find Out Your Cardiovascular Age with a Tool from @ShopprsDrugMart #TreatYourHeart

  7. I'm so happy to have taken the test and find out my heart is fairly young…younger than my true age!  It's so good to know and I'm going to continue taking good care of my heart 🙂

  8. I hadn't done this test before. While I didn't have all of the information required to properly do the test (family background, cholesterol levels), I think that the test was pretty accurate in stating that I have a healthy heart and lifestyle.

    Besos, Sarah

  9. So glad that mine is younger than I actually am – hope that is good news!

  10. Mine is older than I am, and I need to quite smoking and exercise more and lose weight to improve it. This tool gives you advice on how to make things better.
    My recent post How Do You Talk To Your Kids? #parenting

  11. I took the test and am happy to say, my heart is younger than I am in years…this is such an important reminder to everyone to make healthier choices in their own lives.

  12. I hear you on wanting to stay young at heart (and healthy) enough to enjoy many long years with my kids!  Def. something to live for! 

  13. Your right that wasn't so painful! I came in a few year younger then my birthday age! It all starts with teaching our children through our examples. We have the best job in the world and when armed with the knowledge we will defeat! 

  14. I took the test and am almost 2 full years younger heart wise than my age! YAY!

  15. Great to see your heart is younger than your age too! I was so happy to see that when I took the test! Loved the Heart Health Calculator, it only took a few minutes to take the test!

  16. This is such an easy test to take, there really is no excuse not to find out and then take action to increase your heart health!

  17. Sure did take the test! It's amazing the technology and opportunities we have at our fingertips now for accessing health info! Love it!

  18. I tired it too and I got 39 years old, which isn't bad since I'm 42. But it has motivated me to do more … small things can really improve my heart health! 

  19. I took the test, I'm 29. One year younger. I think there's a room for improvement. I love this tool, a great indicator of our heart health.

  20. My heart age was 37…and I'm 34 next month.  I think I have some work to do!

  21. Heart Health is so important! And women often have different symptoms than men .I was watching Rosie O'Donnel on TV today talking about her heart attack. She has no chest pain at all! Awareness is so important!

  22. Yay for Heart Month!! The Heart Age Calculator on Shoppers Drug Mart's website is sooo cool! Love that it's easy to use! My heart age is younger than me! Yay!

  23. Good point. I truly do love that you don't need to register to take this oh so important test.

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