Tag Archive for: Heart Health


O-Tip of the Week: Exercise — The Key to a Healthy Heart!

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of February, Heart Month, our O-Tip series will feature Heart Smart Life Hacks.

You’ve heart this before and we’ll say it again:  physical activity is extremely beneficial for all aspects of your health.  When it comes to heart health, regular cardiovascular activity is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and keep your ticker ticking!

Learn more about the benefits of exercise for your heart in the following care of WebMD.

WebMD:  Get Moving for a Healthier Heart


O-Tip of the Week: Heart Smart Diet Tips

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of February, Heart Month, our O-Tip series will feature Heart Smart Life Hacks.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation states that high blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke and a leading cause of heart attack.  Help prevent your risk, and lower your blood pressure by trying the DASH ( Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) diet.  

Learn more care of The Heart and Stroke Foundation:  The DASH Diet to lower high blood pressure




The Link Between Stress and Heart Disease

Stress can negatively affect many aspects of your physical and emotional health including your heart.  In recent years, more attention has been paid to reducing stress to help prevent heart disease.  The following from Forbes Magazine discusses two new studies that have uncovered more information about the connection between stress and heart disease.  Read the article to learn more and check out our post, How Stress is Affecting Your Health, for solutions to reduce stress.

Forbes:  The Link Between Stress And Heart Disease May Lie In The Brain


Heart Attack Recovery

In our ongoing dedication to promote awareness during Heart Month.   We found this great information from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) on the role of Occupational Therapy in heart attack recovery.  As a heart attack is a life-altering event, often requiring permanent lifestyle changes, occupational therapists can help people to recover from the initial incident, to rebuild a life of function, and to promote change that will help with prevention.  Thanks to CAOT for your great description of how we help:

Take Heart. You can still do what’s important to you!

Heart disease has a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. It can lead to discomfort or chronic pain, activity limitations, disability and unemployment. “An estimated 345,000 Canadians aged 35 to 64 reported living with heart disease. More than a third (36%) of these reported needing help with household tasks or personal care” (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 1999). Heart disease requires lifestyle changes to prevent progression of the disease, further cardiac events and activity restrictions.

An occupational therapist in conjunction with other team members will help you determine what activities you can safely perform and how to modify activities to decrease the amount of energy required. This is important in achieving the maximum result from limited exercise capacity.

Try these occupational therapy strategies…

1. Use body mechanics: Smooth, rhythmic and repetitive motions are easier on your heart. Remember to breathe regularly. Avoid lifting or carrying heavy objects. Sit to work whenever possible, for example when ironing or chopping vegetables. Avoid lifting or carrying heavy objects. Slide objects or use a cart if possible. Change position frequently; this allows different muscles to work, increases circulation and prevents fatigue.

2. Simplify tasks: Break the activity into small steps, i.e. preparation, activity, clean-up and final phase. Take frequent small breaks throughout the activity rather than fewer long rest periods. Adjust work heights and areas to fit you. The most frequently used items should be located between waist and chest heights. Avoid working with arms above shoulder level.

3. Remember physical conditioning: Follow a regular cardiovascular exercise programme as approved by your physician. An important element in maintaining cardiovascular activities is enjoyment; be creative – park a distance from work and walk in, join a mall walking program, exercise with a friend.

4. Recognize emotions: Anger, frustration, anxiety, and stress all increase the heart rate. Be aware of what creates stress for you and how you handle it. Try not to bottle up feelings – build your supports and talk to them. Decide on your priorities and learn when to say “No”. Pay attention to the activities that are stressful and schedule yourself accordingly, i.e. avoid unnecessary driving in rush hour and bad weather. Get enough sleep, rest, and maintain healthy eating habits. Work off tension appropriately.


Know The Signs of Heart Attack

February is Heart Month in Canada and during this month we will be featuring heart healthy articles and tips on our blog.  One of the most important tips we feel everyone should know is how to recognize the signs of a heart attack.  We’ve shown this previously on our blog, but it’s one of my favourite awareness videos.  Check out the following from Go Red For Women featuring Elizabeth Banks and know the signs… doing so could save a life.