On this page you'll find resources and info covering everything from healthy bones to knowing the signs of a stroke. Browse below to find the topics that apply to you and/or the ones you love!
Staying informed about good health practices is an important way to improve your overall health and sense of wellbeing. For more information check out some of the helpful resources below:
- Passport Santé: This website offers information on a wide variety of topics related to health & wellness.
- e-Connects (MedicAlert): This monthly online newsletter, produced by the Canadian Medic Alert Foundation, includes health & wellness information in their "Health & Wellness Corner", and healthy recipes under "Featured Recipes". It is not just for people with allergies - but for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
- The Globe & Mail (online newspaper): The Globe Life section has information about the latest health and fitness news and trends, plus nutrition advice.
- Jane E. Brody is the Personal Health columnist for The New York Times. She has degrees in biochemistry and science writing. Read her articles on health and nutrition.
- Santé et Services Sociaux Quebec
- Health Canada
Bones are the scaffolding that hold up our whole body. It is important to keep them strong and healthy. Read below for more information on healthy bones.
Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones).
Osteoporosis does not develop overnight. You can lose bone mass steadily for many years without experiencing any symptoms until a bone fractures. It is therefore often referred to as the 'silent thief'.
- It affects both genders and can strike at any age.
- Fractures from osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip.
- Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3 per cent per year.
- At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime.
- Osteoporosis causes 70-90% of 30,000 hip fractures annually.
- Twenty-eight per cent of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
Maintaining healthy bones
Nutrition, healthy eating habits and physical activity play a very important role in maintaining strong bones.
Keep your bones healthy by:
- Getting the recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercising regularly: include weight bearing activity such as walking.
- Avoiding smoking, and excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine.
- Visit Osteoporosis Canada and HealthandBone.Ca for the latest information on how to maintain strong and healthy bones.
Healthy bone resources
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: One of the many useful resources to be found on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety's site is this list of exercises for a healthy back.
- Reduce falls and resulting fractures with muscle strengthening & balance training: Dr. Lora Giangregorio - McGill's 2015 Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health - has developed a booklet "Too Fit to Fracture" and an exercise and osteoporosis video series.
Butt Out! Need help quitting the habit, or overcoming temptation to take it up again? Check out the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline website for online help, tools, resources and support.
Blood pressure and a healthy heart
A healthy lifestyle of eating right and physical activity plays a big role in keeping your heart healthy.
- Read the Government of Canada's tips on how to reduce your risk of heart disease by understanding the risk factors that cause it, and making changes to your lifestyle.
- Go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation's website to find out what you can do to reduce heart attack and stroke risk factors in your life, such as high blood pressure, unhealthy food choices, smoking, and stress.
- Also, check out the Heart & Stroke Foundation's Pamphlet - to assess your risk for a heart attack and stroke.
Know the signs of a stroke
In Canada, an estimated 62,000 strokes occur each year – that’s one every nine minutes! Unfortunately, 50% of adult Quebecers do not know any signs of stroke and only 6% recognize all three signs. Learning the signs of stroke and acting fast can mean the difference between life and death.
For more information, including a video showing what a stroke looks like - go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation's page on Stroke Signs.
Know the signs of a heart attack
Learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack so you can react quickly to save a life. Warning signs can vary from person to person and they may not always be sudden or severe.
Blood pressure info and action plan
- High blood pressure affects one in five Canadians and is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. The Heart & Stroke Foundation's Blood Pressure Action Plan can be accessed by reviewing their Pamphlet on Managing your Blood Pressure. It includes an online risk assessment. (Note: Always consult your physician regarding any medical condition.)
Women and heart disease
Did you know that heart disease is the most common cause of death for women? According to Wendy Wray, nurse director of the Women's Heart Health Initiative at the Royal Victoria Hospital, women tend to put off seeking medical attention as they think it is something else. Wendy Wray runs the Women's Heart Health Initiative - a prevention program for women to learn about their heart health and to make lifestyle changes before something goes wrong. Find out more about Wendy Wray's research (January 25, 2015 article in the Montreal Gazette) and learn more about the Women's Heart Health Program.
It is important for every woman to know about their risk factors and recognize the signs of heart disease and stroke. The Heart and Stroke Foundation strives to improve women's cardiovascular health through a number of initiatives. For more information visit their site to learn more about the risks that women face.
Men and women's health
Men and women have different bodies and therefore different health-focus needs. Read more to find out information about your gender.
- Changing the face of men's health: The Movember Foundation - a global organization spreading awareness about men's health. Check out Movember Canada.
- Knowledge Prevention - Early Detection: A few simple steps you can take to help improve your chance of living a happy and healthy life.
- Canadian Men’s Health Foundation presents "Don’t Change Much", a new social movement motivating men to live healthier with easy tips they can act on. It's just for the guys.
Over nine million Canadians are living with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and other conditions. Read below to learn more.
- Canadian Diabetes Association: Find out about the symptoms and signs of diabetes, take a questionnaire to find out if you are at risk, and learn some important steps that you can take to prevent diabetes on the Canadian Diabetes Association's website.
- For more information about diabetes (prevention, risks etc.), read Diabetes and You
- Take the online test and know your risk
- Learn more about diabetes (symptoms, risk factors, prevention), and healthy living resources at the Canadian Diabetes Association and also Diabetes Québec.
- Check out these free webinars from the Canadian Diabetes Association
Type 2 diabetes and diet
The number of people with type 2 (late onset) diabetes is increasing dramatically due to an aging population, rising obesity rates and a sedentary lifestyle. On March 14, registered dietician Mireille Moreau reviewed dietary habits we can change today to reduce our risk of developing this rapidly increasing chronic disease. Check out a copy of her Type 2 diabetes risk reduction presentation.
For more information about fibre in the diet and the glycemic index, read:
The Kidney Foundation of Canada's site offers information about living with kidney disease, including details about research happenings, the various treatment options available, and educational events related to kidney disease and organ donation.
On the Alzheimer Society's website, you can find out all about the disease, including risk factors and preventative measures. Cancer prevention starts with healthy living. Lifestyle changes can make a difference.
Learn about the underlying causes of arthritis and gain insight on how to help make living with arthritis a bit more manageable on the Arthritis Society's website.