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?)
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:
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?
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.
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.