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Celebrating Heart Month with Awareness

posted Feb 3, 2016, 10:37 AM by Walk Strong Calgary
According to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, "heart failure affects 600,000 Canadians, and another 50,000 will be diagnosed this year" (2016). The unfortunate truth is that heart disease is a silent epidemic and according to the Foundation, it's growing. 

When a person experiences heart failure, the impact is widespread, and let's face it, it's a life-changing event, particularly in cases wherein there was no prior diagnosis. Family members are in shock and overwhelmed and the patient faces a potentially long recovery period. Even though medical science has certainly progressed when it comes to treatment, heart failure is still misunderstood. 
While there is currently no cure, there are things we can do in the way of prevention. Assessing your personal risk factors is a great place to start. This free on-line tool can help - 
Risk Assessment - but of course having a medical checkup with your doctor is essential in knowing your current state of health, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I would wager that your doctor will include physical activity in his or her advice regarding prevention. 

Walking is one of the BEST ways to strengthen your heart and make it more efficient. It's easy, requires no special 
equipment aside from a good pair of sneakers, and it's a very natural function of the body. Start with a gentle walk around the block or in the park and gradually increase distance and speed. Pick a route that includes hills for some additional intensity. Boost your walk when you're ready with short intervals of gentle jogging, provided you don't have knee or hip issues. 

A great way to take your walk up to the next level is to join us for Walk Live classes. Compared to a normal walk, these group fitness workouts use every major muscle group. We incorporate a variety of moves with the upper and lower body across all planes of motion, improving joint mobility, muscle strength and tone (hand weights or resistance bands are added), and best of all, strengthen our most important muscle - the heart. The important thing is to START WALKING, and any time is the right time to start! Visit for more information.

Nancy Ehle is a Certified WALK Leader, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach. She holds several industry specialties including Fitness & Menopause, Diabetes & Exercise, Sports Nutrition and more. Nancy's passion for health & wellness is infectious and evident the moment she steps in front of a class. Follow her on Facebook!

Heart & Stroke Foundation's 2016 report on the health of Canadians: