2013 was a tough year in our family for illness. I lost both my great aunt and my mother. I have three beautiful children to stick around for and a fiancé to share the rest of my life with, therefore all aspects of my family’s health are my number one priority in 2014 and beyond. Since February is known as Heart month aka the month of love, what better topic to talk about than the health of our hearts?
Taking care of our hearts physically is just as important as taking care of them emotionally. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. It seems like heart health takes a bit of a backburner to cancer but it is just as deadly.
Did you know that your heart may be aging faster than you? Knowing the cardiovascular age of your heart will lead to better heart health management. Do you have any idea what your heart age is? There’s an easy way to find out.
The Heart Age Calculator is a simple online tool to help you calculate your cardiovascular age and assess your risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. What do you need to do? Not much, just answer a few easy questions regarding your lifestyle (including height, age, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, personal & family history, your daily habits and more). It sounds a little daunting but as you’ll see below, it really isn’t. Besides, it’s your heart and it’s worth the 5 minutes to take the test!
Now you all know I’m quite open with a lot of things and my age is one of them. I am proud to say that I’m 38 years young! So, let’s see if my heart is the same!
Starts off quite simply, not even a lot of typing – you just click on the responses. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of pages, you really will fly through them.
This test is actually the only scientifically validated online tool available to provide a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines.
Unfortunately, I don’t know my cholesterol, glucose or blood pressure levels and what’s great about this test is that it gives you options to choose from if you don’t know such as did your doc say you were healthy last visit etc. (Note to self – I should ask these questions at my next doctors appointment)
Page 10 asks about physical activity – this is the section I was dreading – I know I don’t do enough and I sit in a sedentary job all day. It asks if you exercise moderately or vigorously – does chasing after a toddler count? How about cleaning a large house? What about yelling at a tweenager and teenager? On average I’d say maybe 5-6 hours of moderate activity and 0 vigorous (my personal trainer cousin would not be proud).
Page 11 asks my favourite question of all – do you sleep well? BWAHAHAHAAH Oh I am still laughing at that one, did I mention co-sleeping toddler?
Page 12 allows you to review and check your answers:
AND GUESS WHAT – My heart age is less than my actual age! Woohoo – 36.4 years
I even asked my team at work to take the test! Spread the word 🙂
Just because I have a healthy heart age, by no means does that result in me being “out of the woods” for heart disease, it’s important that I:
1) Don’t Smoke
2) Monitor my blood pressure
3) Get Active
4) Regulate my cholesterol
5) And take control of my health!
So will you take the test? Think of it as a Valentine’s gift to yourself – knowledge truly is power! It’s time for you to get Heart Healthy and encourage your family, friends and other Canadians to take the test too! The first step is getting that baseline information. Taking the Heart Age Calculator test will get you on your way to a healthy heart!
I did it, my family members have done it, heck, even my coworkers have done it, now it’s time for you to do it!
Are you young at heart? Take the test. Happy Valentine’s Day!