Make over your space; create a heart-healthy environment

September 26, 2016 | by Jacqueline Ross, M.D.

How heart-healthy is your home?

It doesn’t take much to create an environment that supports a healthy heart. Basic lifestyle tweaks (that become a habit) can get you there.

The American Heart Association reports cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year.

If you’re not getting regular check-ups and screenings, cardiovascular disease can progress unnoticed until it triggers an event like a heart attack or stroke. You may not realize your life needs a heart-healthy makeover – so take a look at the suggestions below and see if there’s anything you should consider.

Most of these suggestions are probably things you’ve heard before.

The best part is, by making these changes, you’ll start to feel better now – and your heart will be a lot healthier in the long run.

  • Go smoke free. If you smoke, it’s time to stop. Smoking raises your blood pressure, makes it harder to exercise and increases the tendency for blood to clot.
  • Make exercise a daily staple. Schedule time for exercise. It doesn’t have to require a home gym or even be intense – a 10-minute walk around the block three times a day will improve your heart health.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment. Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. As this U.S. News report spells out, losing sleep can hurt your heart. Does your bedroom or nighttime routine need a makeover?
  • Stock the kitchen with healthy food. Your food choices and your weight are two key areas when it comes to heart disease. Making an effort to eat healthier will pay off (and, eventually, you won’t miss all that junk food). Learn how to read nutrition labels and work some healthy recipes into your meal rotation.

A heart scan is the safest and most accurate screening tool for detecting the early build-up of calcium in the coronary arteries, the most common cause of heart disease. Schedule your scan by March 31 and receive the $75 Heart Scan special.

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