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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Your self-management journey - it can be easy

Dr. Ahmad Zbib, CPHIMS-CA is the Manager of Consumer eHealth at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He is responsible for the management and development of Suite of online behavior-change tools such as the Heart& Stroke Risk Assessment. Ahmad has a great interest in both provider- and consumer-focused e-health technologies.

Have you been hearing the word “self-management” more lately? Did you know that you have been self-managing your condition and those of your loved ones for most of your adult life?
We are not going to explain what self-management is. For more information on that, check out the Health Council of Canada’s recent report.
What we wish to share with you are some strategies to make your self-management journey easier. The Heart and Stroke Foundation offers a suite of online tools to help you better “self-manage” your health.

FACT: Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time. MAKE DEATH WAIT (video).

Start by learning your risk of heart disease and stroke. It is easy to do by taking our Heart &Stroke Risk Assessment. It will identify:
•    what is putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke; and
•    the actions you need to take to live a longer and fuller life. 

Once you know what you need to do, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions:
1. What motivates me? Write it down on a piece of paper and place it on your fridge to remind you when the going gets tough.
2. How important is it for me to change a certain behaviour that is putting me at risk for heart disease and stroke? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest. Do this for each of your risk factors.
3. How confident am I in changing my behaviour for each of the risk factors? Again, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest.
4. Start working on the behaviour that is the easiest to change -- the one that is most important to you and that you are most confident in achieving.

FACT: High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and among the leading ones for heart attacks.

High blood pressure on your mind? We have an app for that. Check out our Blood Pressure Action Plan. This tool will help you achieve and manage a healthy blood pressure.  Tracking your blood pressure at home and recording it gives you and your healthcare team some of the information needed to get your blood pressure to your target.

FACT: Did you know that losing 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure up to 7mm Hg systolic/6 mm Hg diastolic?

If you want to shed a few pounds, our Heart and Stroke My Healthy Weight Action Plan™ can help.  Check out this video to see how.
Knowing your risks and taking action to reduce those risks will help to give you a longer and fuller life and…. MAKE DEATH WAIT.

For more tools go to:

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