Heart matters…

February is Heart Month….

There are a few things that get my heart beating like riding my mountain bike, swimming a couple mornings per week and attempting the Gillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30” workout video, I dare you to try it! Statistics though, are kind of  boring but they also get my heart rate up. None of us ever thinks we are part of the statistics being quoted and for sure we don’t ever want to be A STATISTIC and we don’t want the people we love to be a statistic, but the statistics are scary and not made up. So here goes… (please read this slowly all the way to the end)

 Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time and is the #1 killer of women – taking more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined.

So what are the risks?

Nine in 10 Canadians (90%) have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity,obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes).

Each year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke. Each year, more women than men die from stroke.

Diabetes: According to the National Diabetes Surveillance System (2005), 6.6% of the population age 20 and over, have been diagnosed with diabetes. Researchers project an increase of diagnosed diabetes in Canada to 2.4 million by the year 2016.

Approximately 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Diet: Canadians of all ages get more than one-fifth of their calories from “other foods,” which are food and beverages that are not part of the Four Food groups (real food).

Snacks, that is, food and drink consumed between meals, accounted for more calories than breakfast, and about the same number of calories as lunch.

Vegetables and fruit

Seven out of 10 children ages 4 to 8, and half of adults, do not eat the recommended daily minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit.

56.2% of Canadians (age 12+) consume fewer than five servings of vegetables and fruit per day.

Eating out:According to Statistics Canada, almost 25% of Canadian household food dollars are spent in restaurants.

Nearly one in 10 meals and snacks is from a restaurant.

Of all the money spent on food in Canada, 40% is spent in foodservice outlets.

Statistics show that on any given day, 30% of kids living in North America visit a fast food restaurant.

Physical activity: Nearly half (49.5%) of Canadians ages 12 and over report being physically inactive.

Among Canadian women ages 12 and over, 52.5% are physically inactive.

Among Canadian men ages 12 and over, 46.5% are physically inactive.

Only 43% of people over the age of 65 are active; the fewest in any age group.

It’s estimated that if you are inactive and become physically active, you can reduce heart attack risk by 35% to 55%.

Children and physical activity: Over half of young people ages 5 to 17 years are not active enough for optimal growth and development. 82% of Canadian teenagers may not be active enough to meet international guidelines for optimal growth and development.Girls are significantly less active than boys with 64% of girls and 48% of boys being physically inactive.

Only 20% of Canadian children receive daily physical education in school, 41% receive one to two days per week, while 10% receive no physical education at all. These numbers get worse as children move through high school.

Physical education classes averaging 18 or more minutes a day can more than double the odds that an overweight or obese child becomes and remains physically active.


Ladies, you need to be a role model!  Your daughters will not be active if Mom is not active.  It takes committment. I know we are all busy and carving out time to get moving (with our bodies) and making healthy meals seems daunting, but for the sake of your health and your kid’s health start now. There is always time for the things that matter. Don’t wait until one of you are a statistic. Call a family meeting. Make a plan. Set goals that are sustainable and achievable. Make them SMART.  Make them  SPECIFIC, MEASUREABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC AND TIMELY.  If your goal is to get everyone moving more, ask how it is going to happen. Break it into smaller goals that are specific. For example: I (we) will go for a walk 3 times a week for 20 minutes. Our health, our children’s health is our responsibility. If you heartily agree let me hear your goals, plans or even your frustrations.