Heart Health

Matters Of The Heart

**This post was written as part of my partnership with BAYER, however it’s as open as I’ve been in awhile.**

In the last week I have eaten ribs, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chips, soda, more chips and pizza. This is not the path I had set out for myself a year ago when I decided to start taking my health more seriously. That venture had actually started out pretty well, too, as I had been going to the gym regularly and started eating healthier at work.

So what happened? The truth is that I have no idea. While I was doing those things I was feeling great about it. I was enjoying competing in the Fitbit challenges with my friends, my running was bringing me a lot of joy and confidence, and I even hired a personal trainer for a little while. I can’t even remember why I stopped. Usually it’s either because I get sick and derail very quickly or get too busy with work and then get complacent afterward. You can’t deny that it feels good to curl up on the couch to binge watch through your favourite series. I just happen to take that to the ultimate extreme and give up on fitness altogether.

The reason I keep coming back to it though, is that now I have a family to raise and who look to me for a positive example of how you are supposed to live. I should mention at this point that most of the eating of junk I mentioned of the top is done either at work of when the kids are in school as I try not to let them see that side of their dad’s behaviour. Yeah, I know, that’s kind of sad in itself but I share it with you only so you know that through all the happy photos and moments I share, there is also a deep struggle.

I recently had my yearly physical and let’s just say that, outside of this week’s debacle, I have been slowly taking steps to try to reverse the damage I have caused over the last couple years. The aches and pains have started to creep up on me and as a closet hypochondriac, it’s only a matter of time before the anxiety starts kicking in again. With February being Heart Month in Canada, and due to the aforementioned hypochondria, I spent some time reading about the heart.

I found this very cool infographic that showed 11 Fascinating Facts About The Human Heart that’s worth taking a look at. Also, while you may not like to think about it, but it’s also important to be able to recognize a heart attack, which is what happens when a part of the heart muscle isn’t getting enough blood flow. Symptoms vary by individual; common ones include:

• Chest discomfort
• Upper body discomfort (including discomfort in the arms, jaw, neck and back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating and nausea
• Light-headedness

Aspirin 81mg Tablets

Another interesting thing I read is that in the case of a heart attack, the longer you wait, the more damage to the heart muscle can occur, so you should make sure you seek immediate treatment. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 then crush or chew two ASPIRIN® 81mg tablets – it could save your life. ASPIRIN® 81mg is approved in Canada for emergency use during a heart attack. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

So here I sit, tired and overweight, realizing that I’m googling “symptoms of heart attack” and wondering if this will be the wake-up call I need to get my butt in gear. Time will tell but I have a good feeling about it.

**Disclosure. I was compensated for my participation in the Bayer Bloggers program.**

Heart Health

Have You Had The Talk With Your Family?

So when I ask if you’ve had The Talk with your family, I’m talking about the uncomfortable conversation around heart health. A new survey conducted by Vision Critical and commissioned by Bayer Inc. found that 34% of Canadians aged 18-54 agree that they find it difficult to discuss their parent(s) and/or loved one’s health and well-being with them, while 59% of Canadians aged 35-54 worry about the health of a parent or loved one regularly, with 51% of that group agreeing that they are more concerned about their parent or a loved one’s health than their own.

We all have different relationships with our parents, making it easier or tougher to have this conversation with them, but the best way to approach it is while you are doing something you enjoy doing together. Whether that be cooking together, having coffee or in my case, going out for breakfast, the important thing is that you talk about it. Not sure how to start the conversation? How about bringing up the fact that calling 911, then chewing or crushing 2 ASPIRIN® 81mg if you experience the symptoms of a heart attack may help save your life? I guarantee that’ll at least spark a conversation about health while giving your loved one some valuable information.

A recent survey by Vision Critical found that while 75 per cent of Canadians feel they know the signs of a heart attack, only 10 per cent of those were able to correctly identify the correct symptoms.
Common signs of a heart attack include:

* Chest discomfort
* upper body discomfort (including discomfort in the arms, jaw, neck and back)
* shortness of breath
* sweating and nausea
* light-headedness

Approved in Canada for emergency use, I would also think your parent(s) would be happy to know that having some ASPIRIN® 81mg on hand may help save your life in the event of a heart attack. Even if they won’t admit it, I’ll bet they run out and grab some just in case. In fact, 64% of Canadians 55+ said they would buy ASPIRIN® 81mg if it may help save their life. You know, it also never hurt to accidentally leave some on their kitchen counter on your next visit.

The fact is, while a lot of us are afraid of having these uncomfortable conversations, they are often the ones that we need to have the most. If all you do right now is remind your parent(s) that in the event of a heart attack, to call 911, then crush or chew two ASPIRIN® 81mg tablets, then you are off to a great start!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.