Healthy Living

"The Art of Healthy Living TM

Making Lifestyle Changes Work for You”

Behaviour Does Affect Health -
Risk Factors for One Illness Are Often Risk Factors for Others

Losing Excess Weight, Limiting Alcohol Intake, Stopping Smoking, Eating Fruit & Vegetables, Reducing Your Stress or Being Physically Active to Lower Your Blood Pressure Will Also Lower Your Chances of Developing Heart Disease, Cancer, & Diabetes!

Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 Kg) through eating better and becoming physically active may lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and help to reduce your risk of heart disease. This will also help to lower your risk of developing diabetes and cancer. Losing excess weight promotes general well-being and helps to improve self-esteem. To see if you are at risk, check your Body Mass Index on the next page, and discuss with your physician.

DRINK ALCOHOL? To lower your blood pressure drink daily no more than 2 standard drinks - men to a max of 14 drinks/week, women to a max of 9 drinks/week. This will also reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon and rectum, esophagus, larynx, liver, mouth and pharynx. (Canadian Cancer Society)

DO YOU EXERCISE? Regular physical exercise, such as 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity 4-7 days per week can lower blood pressure, and helps to maintain a healthy body weight. (Hypertension Canada) Exercise also treats other causes of heart disease eg. high cholesterol levels, and helps to lower your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Canada). Parents who are physically active are more likely to have children who are physically active. It’s also one of the best ways to help you stay at a healthy body weight, which reduces your risk of developing cancer. If in doubt, talk to your physician.


You need a significant amount of potassium and calcium in your daily diet. Eating fruit (two or more of a variety of fruits daily) and vegetables and low fat dairy products will help to lower your blood pressure. A diet low in animal fat is important to prevent cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke. Eating every day plenty of fruits and vegetables will reduce the risks of developing cancer, and coupled with a diet high in fiber (eg. whole grain cereals and breads, legumes, brown rice, fruit and vegetables) will help to maintain a healthy body weight.

Cutting down on excess salt intake is effective in lowering blood pressure. Substituting potassium for salt can be effective. Ask your physician.


Make a plan to stop smoking, and avoid second-hand smoke. This is one of the most important steps you can take for your overall health and to prevent cardiovascular disease (eg. heart attack or stroke). Smokers’ Helpline (tel: 1-877-513-5333) is a free, confidential service that can help you develop a quit program, provide tips to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms and refer you to support services in your community. It is estimated that smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths in Canada and is related to more than 85% of lung cancer cases (Canadian Cancer Society) -

To help lower your blood pressure, consider customized cognitive behavior therapy with relaxation techniques. Schedule time for things you enjoy, use humor, and don't try to do too much. Like physical exercise, they all help to relieve stress. Being physically active is also an effective stress reliever.


Your Body Mass Index (B.M.I) is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. A result in the range 18.5 to 24.9 with a waist circumference < 102 cm for men and < 88 cm for women is recommended to prevent hypertension. Weight loss strategies should use a multidisciplinary approach that includes dietary education, increased physical activity, and behavioural intervention (Hypertension Canada).


According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active, and maintaining a healthy body weight See Canadian Cancer Society web site on how best to protect yourself and your family from the sun, and for early detection and screening guidelines. Remember the importance of visiting your physician and dentist if you notice a change in your normal state of health

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