Tips to Improve Your Health This fact sheet provides basic

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					Tips to Improve Your Health

  This fact sheet provides basic information only. It must not take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to a
  healthcare professional about any health concerns you have, and before you make any changes to your diet, lifestyle or treatment.

We all want to lead a long, healthy life and                                   2. Eat well to stay well
to take the best possible care of ourselves
and those close to us. While some risk                                         Healthy eating helps you feel great, stay well
factors can't be changed, all of us can                                        and control your weight. A healthy diet also
make choices that will promote our health                                      offers protection against heart disease, stroke,
and greatly reduce the risk of developing                                      cancer and other serious diseases. Follow
chronic diseases such as heart disease,                                        these tips adapted from Canada's Guidelines
many cancers, and type II diabetes.                                            for Healthy Eating :

Five steps to a healthier you                                                       •     Enjoy smaller portions of lean meat,
                                                                                          fish or poultry, trimming away any
1. Stay smoke-free                                                                        visible fat;
                                                                                    •     Plan your meals with the main focus
Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke                                                 on vegetables, fruit, and grain
are major causes of premature death from                                                  products such as rice, pasta, bread,
heart and lung diseases, stroke, and cancer -                                             and cereals. Choose more whole-grain
Canada's number one killers.                                                              foods like whole-wheat bread, brown
                                                                                          rice, and cereals. Include some
If you smoke, think about quitting now. It's                                              servings of dark-green and orange
never too late to stop - no matter how long                                               fruit and vegetables every day;
you've smoked, or how often you've tried to                                         •     Reach for lower fat milk, yogurt, and
quit. When you stop smoking, your risk of                                                 cottage cheese in the dairy case (1 per
heart disease drops rapidly. After a few years,                                           cent or 2 per cent butter fat, or skim);
it's almost as low as if you had never smoked.                                      •     Cut back on fats like butter, oil and
You can join the five million Canadians who                                               margarine. Prepare food using as little
have quit. Ask your doctor about ways to quit                                             extra fat as possible;
smoking, or contact the organizations listed                                        •     Limit salt, alcohol and caffeine.
below.                                                                                    Prepared foods are high in salt. More
                                                                                          than two alcoholic drinks a day raises
If you don't smoke, don't start. And                                                      blood pressure - a serious risk factor
everyone should avoid exposure to second-                                                 for both heart disease and stroke.
hand smoke - a serious hazard with the same                                               Alcohol should be limited to a
health risks as smoking. It's especially                                                  maximum of two drinks per day and
important for children and people with                                                    coffee to four regular-size cups.
asthma and respiratory problems to be in a
smoke-free environment.
3. Make physical activity a part of your life     High blood pressure is a serious health
                                                  problem that can lead to heart disease and
Want to protect your health, achieve or           stroke. But it's controllable. If your blood
maintain a healthy body weight, have more         pressure is high, follow your doctor's advice
energy and relieve stress ? Regular physical      faithfully.
activity does all that and more. It helps your
heart, lungs and blood vessels work better,       Here are some tips on keeping your blood
and controls your cholesterol and blood           pressure healthy :
pressure levels.
                                                     •   Have your blood pressure checked
It's easy to get more active. Take the stairs            regularly;
instead of the elevator. Get off the bus a few       •   Stop smoking;
stops early and walk the rest of the way.            •   Get regular physical activity;
Walk to the neighborhood store instead of            •   Drink less alcohol or stop completely;
driving. Use a manual mower to cut the lawn.         •   Maintain a healthy body weight;
                                                     •   Use less salt.
Do something physical that you enjoy. Brisk
walking is a good start. Swimming, skating,       5. Relax and enjoy life
bicycling, and dancing are great activities.
Anything that gets you moving and raises          Take time for pleasurable activities and to
your heart rate counts.                           enjoy the company of friends and family.
Begin slowly and work up to a more vigorous       Do you often feel tense, driven or irritable ?
level. Try to include at least 30 minutes a day   It's time to identify the sources of negative
of moderate activity on most days of the          stress in your life, and to take steps to reduce
week.                                             or manage them. Find out about relaxation
                                                  and stress management techniques from your
If you have a heart condition or other medical    family doctor or the organizations listed
problems, take medications, or have been          below.
inactive for a long time, talk to your doctor
before changing your level of activity. Ask       Want to know more ? Contact your local
about special exercise programs.                  public health unit for more information about
                                                  the above topics or other health concerns.
4. Know your blood pressure                       The following organizations are also
                                                  excellent information sources.
You've never felt better. How could high
blood pressure be a problem ? Unfortunately,      The Consumer Health Information Service
you could have high blood pressure and            offers information on a wide range of health
never know it because there are no obvious        topics. Toronto Reference Library
symptoms. It hits men and women of all ages       Telephone: 416-393-7168 or 1-800-667-
and occupations. Tense people can have            1999.
normal blood pressure; calm people can have
high blood pressure. The only way to know         The Hospital for Sick Children offers
for sure is to have your blood pressure           information about child safety, child growth
checked by a health professional.
and development, parenting, and general
medical topics. Contact the Resource Centre
for Health Information and Disease
Prevention. Telephone : 416-813-5819.
Hours : Monday to Thursday, 9:30 am to
3:30 pm. Closed Friday.

You can get information on Cancer from the
Cancer Information Service, a partnership of
Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian
Cancer Society. Call them at : 1-888-939-
3333 or visit their website at

Government of Ontario

For information about health services and
resources :

For consumer-friendly health tips and
information :

INFOline: 1-877-234-4343;
TTY:      1-800-387-5559

Telehealth Ontario:
1-866-797-0000; TTY 1-866-797-0007

INFOline is open during business hours
and can provide general information on

Telehealth Ontario is a 24/7 service which
uses nurse practitioners to answer your
immediate health concerns.

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