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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

Boggios: A healthy choice for your whole life

Spring is just around the corner. It’s a time of new life – not only for the plants and animals – but for you too! It is the perfect time of year to make a few simple changes to your daily routine in order to get your heart into great shape, so you’ll have a spring in your step for many years to come!

Our heart is like the engine of our body. Without fuel, it will not work; without maintenance and regular use, it will not function properly; and if you look after it, it will last for many years without the need for repair.
The fuel for our heart is the food we consume. Healthier food choices will result in a healthier, stronger heart.
Here are five easy ways to improve your diet:

  1. Cook with less fat – Steam, bake, broil, or grill meat, poultry or fish instead of frying.

  2. Eat more vegetables and fruit – Add them wherever you can: soups, sauces, stews. Fresh, frozen or canned are all healthy choices.

  3. Use less salt – Try to avoid adding salt when cooking and always taste your food before shaking the salt over it. Try flavouring your food with herbs, spices, garlic, or lemon juice instead.

  4. Cook with more whole grains – Use brown rice, whole wheat flour, and whole wheat pasta in recipes where you would normally use the white version. Also, instead of quick oats, use whole rolled oats as they are the healthier option.

  5. Don’t miss out on fibre – Eat the peel with the apple or the skin of a baked potato for extra fibre as long as they are washed. You could also add rinsed, canned beans to recipes for a fibre boost!

Daily physical activity is the regular use that your heart needs to continue functioning properly. According to Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines, adults 18-64 should be doing a total of at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. Aim for about 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Activities may include brisk walking, bike riding, dancing, or jogging. The best way to get started is to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Take the dog for a brisk walk around the block, spend a day at the park with the family on the weekend, do some gardening, or maybe join a dance class and make some new friends too!

Along with a well-balanced diet and daily physical activity, your heart needs a check-up every once in a while. Your doctor can check your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar during an appointment to see that your heart is in good working order and may make recommendations to you based on the results.

Drinking too much alcohol, smoking and high levels of stress can also have negative effects on the heart. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than two drinks a day for women or three drinks a day for men. If you are a smoker, the sooner you become smoke-free, the sooner your body will recover. Talk to your pharmacist about ways to kick the habit. Everyone experiences the feeling of being stressed at some point or another, but the key is how you handle it. It may be as simple as taking a few deep breaths for some people, while others may do daily meditation or practice yoga to remain stress-free. Taking time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy is another way of keeping your stress level to a minimum. Find a new hobby, activity or project that you might enjoy doing either on your own or with friends.

Many people will already be doing one or more of these things to look after their hearts, and that is great, but if this all seems a bit daunting, don’t worry because of course, you do not have to make all of these changes at once! Decide to make one change this month and maybe add another next month. Before long, you’ll be right on track to keeping your mind, body and heart happy and healthy.

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