Hey everyone!

I just realized today that I haven’t talked very much about my platform as Miss Teen Comox Valley-World; The Heart and Stroke foundation. Having this foundation as my platform means volunteering, organizing and/or hostessing fundraising events, participating in local fundraisers, and getting in touch with the foundation to let them know I’m on board.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is  a volunteer-based charity. Its main goals include funding research leading to eliminating heart disease and stroke, and reducing their impact through the promotion of healthy living. A lot of people don’t realize that the number one cause of heart disease and strokes is unhealthy lifestyles. This isn’t true for all cases, but it’s still important to eat right and stay fit.

Being a young person myself, I know it can be difficult to think about the future and the state your health will be in. At 18, I don’t think about having heart disease; it feels like I can eat and do whatever I want and not be effected by it, but the reality is your health will catch up with you. Here are a few facts about how to prevent heart disease:

  • Be smoke-free.
  • Be physically active.
  • Know and control your blood pressure.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fat.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Visit your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s advice.

Our society is facing the problem of obesity, mostly in young people. With all the processed foods, junk food, and fast food, it’s difficult (and sometimes more expensive) to eat a healthy meal. On top of this, the technological advancements our society has seen in the last 10 years encourages young people to sit inside and play video games, watch TV and movies, or surf the Internet. It’s ok to do these things in moderation, but it’s important to make time in your day to exercise and eat right. Take the time to make yourself a healthy meal; your body will thank you 🙂 Develope a work out plan that you can follow everyday that fits your schedule. Balancing work and school and friends can leave little to no time for anything else. Make eating healthy and working out a priority and you wont have to worry about health problems later in life. Consider it delayed gratification. 😉

The other part of the foundation is stroke prevention. Surprisingly few people know exactly what a stroke is so here’s a definition from the website:

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

Eating well is a good way to prevent a stroke. Check out the Canada Food Guide for a guideline to eating right. If you’re worried about developing health problems use this chart to find your BMI, and if you need to, take the proper steps to regain your healthy self.

If your BMI is

  • between 18.5 and 24.9, you’re at lowest risk of developing health problems.
  • between 25 and 29.9, you’re considered overweight.
  • 30 or more, you’re considered obese.

I hope this little bit of info helps keep you healthy and happy. If you’d like more information just check out this page for more health tips.

~ Somer


Written by: Somer McNeil

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