Be kind to your heart


Be kind to your heartTaking the lives of more than 14,000 Canadians each year, stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death. With June being Stroke Awareness Month in Canada, we wanted to help you recognize the signs of stroke and share with you the necessary precautions you can take to reduce your risk.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function, caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) that causes brain cells in the affected area to die.

The warning signs of stroke

  • Weakness – Sudden loss of strength and sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.
  • Trouble speaking – Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary.
  • Vision problems – Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.
  • Headache – Sudden severe and unusual headache.
  • Dizziness – Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 right away. Getting immediate medical attention can significantly improve your rate of survival and recovery.

While there are many risk factors that you can’t control like family history, age, gender and ethnicity – living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious food and exercising regularly can all help you to reduce your risk of stroke.

Preventable causes of stroke

  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Stress
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation

Your Employee and Family Assistance Program can help you get you on the right track to healthy living. Our Health Coaches can work with you to create a risk reduction action plan targeting:

  • Weight management
  • Healthy eating
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress management
  • Exercise as a component of a healthy lifestyle
  • Blood pressure management
  • Cholesterol management
  • Diabetes
  • Heart health

To connect to one of our Health Coaches, call 1 866 833-7690. You may also want to learn more about our new service, Fitness Coach Connects. You get three free sessions with a professional Fitness Coach, Fitbit™ wireless activity tracker and an online program to get you on the path to improved health and well-being.

Download the poster – Stroke: Know the warning signs




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