Ah, Valentine’s Day…when a young man’s fancy turns to love. Among those of us who are more mature, however, matters of the heart often involve a visit to a cardiologist.
Much is known today about the relationship between high blood pressure and risk factors for heart disease. Only a doctor should diagnose hypertension, but the patient can track his or her own blood pressure levels by using a home blood pressure monitor.
The best blood pressure monitor we’ve found for home use earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it was the most accurate and was one of the easiest to operate in comparison tests. The monitors’ systolic and diastolic readings were compared to those taken by a cardiology nurse, and The Best model displayed a 94% accuracy rate—the highest of any blood pressure monitor. It automatically illuminates when the device is held at heart level—the ideal position for accurate readings. Panelists lauded The Best model’s automatic inflating cuff because it “felt nice around the wrist and was easy to put on.”
Exercise is also key to keeping blood pressure in check. Many folks are better able to stick to their exercise goals when varying their routines to avoid boredom. Try walking a few days a week and biking another day or two. Having your own equipment at home to exercise indoors during bad weather, at night, or whenever the mood strikes also increases your chance for success.
The Virtual Reality Treadmill keeps your routine interesting by adjusting its incline to simulate the terrain you’re watching on a television. The included video player transmits first-person, high-definition video of trails, hills, and city streets in the majestic landscapes of northern Italy and the southwestern United States to your TV.
Some find space is at a premium when equipping a home gym. The Foldaway Recumbent Exercise Bicycle folds in seconds to half its set-up size for unobtrusive storage under a bed or in a closet. This recumbent model encourages users to sit upright and pedal with correct spinal posture. The bicycle has an LCD for simple navigation of workout menus, displaying your heart rate, exercise time, speed, calories burned and distance traveled, and the bicycle’s resistance adjusts at the turn of a knob.
If you haven’t been active, increasing your exercise level can help lower your blood pressure in a matter of a few weeks. Set your goal, stick with it, and track your progress with your blood pressure monitor.