Category Archives: Health & Fitness

The Net Effect of Tennis is a Sport to Love

Yesterday, the Wimbledon Tennis Championship served up its first-round games of this year’s tournament. The oldest—and arguably the most prestigious—tennis tournament in the world, something about this championship gives us the urge to dig our long-neglected rackets out of the closet and volley some balls.86750_1000x1000

You, too, could be playing at a moment’s notice with this freestanding tennis set that instantly creates a court on a driveway, patio, or any hard, flat surface. Requiring no tools for setup, the nylon net simply slips over the snap-together metal supports to create a regulation-height, 12′ wide court. The smaller court, reduced-size rackets, and slower rebounding ball add up to a fun, active game, ideal for building or relearning long-dormant skills.87186_1000x1000

If you’ve not played in a while, you may need to work on your grip strength. This hand fitness trainer slips on like a glove and has latex-free elastic bands that strap to each fingertip, providing resistance as you open your hand to build strength. Flexing your hand lets the trainer strengthen the extensor muscles in your hands, wrists, and elbows. This strengthening trainer also makes an ideal unique gift for anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome or osteoarthritis.87671_1000x1000

It’s not uncommon for new players, or for those who have not played in years, to experience some discomfort in the knees or elbows. This pain-relieving wrap relieves your discomfort naturally using cool gel packs that stay cool up to one hour—200% longer than typical models. Developed exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, the wrap relieves muscle soreness and aching joints and ligaments. It also provides a soothing, consistent pressure that gently compresses to increase blood circulation and facilitate healing.

The enjoyment of tennis is a unique gift of genteel sport we owe to the French, with refinement by the British. If your love for the sport will be limited to seeing the event on TV, no worries…we’re rather inclined toward that approach ourselves.

Spend a Day Car-Free and Care-Free

On June 16, the U.S. will celebrate the 11th annual National Dump the Pump Day. The day is designed to encourage car-lovers to use public transportation or other means to get around for the day.

Even in these days of relatively low gas prices, choosing not to drive is an economical choice and results in the unique gifts of cleaner air through reduced emissions of carbon and greenhouse gasses.86716_1000x1000

If you’re getting around on public transportation, you’ll want a good bag to carry your things. This Argentinian leather carryall stows all the essentials for a day at the office, shopping, or playing tourist in your own town. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the surprisingly spacious nylon-lined interior is split into two zippered compartments. One can hold a tablet, plus it has snap- and zip-closure pockets, two mesh pockets, a pocket for a phone, loops for pens, and a key ring. The other is a divided compartment that keeps larger items handy.83485_1000x1000

While dumping the pump, you may choose to tool around on bicycle. Come evening, you’ll be a safer and more confident cyclist with this virtual safety lane. The device mounts to a bike’s seat post and projects two 5-milliwatt red lasers onto the ground. Providing motorists with a visual indicator of a rider’s width, it’s ideal for increasing the safety margin around a cyclist during pre-dawn or dusk rides. If you know someone who commutes by bike, it’s the perfect unique gift for them, too.83736_1000x1000

Walking is a great alternative for going short distances car-free. These lady’s lightweight slip-on shoes provide all-day comfort, thanks to four layers of cushioning and support in the soles. Recipient of the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for foot health, the shoes have a contoured footbed and deep heel cup for arch support and plantar fasciitis relief. For gentlemen, we recommend these knee-pain relieving walking shoes. They employ flexure zones built into the outsoles to reduce knee loads by 20 percent.84344_1000x1000

Along with the environmental benefits of going car-free, these alternative modes of transportation have another benefit, too: you’ll get more exercise. And that is a unique gift for your health that just can’t be beat.

Allergy Relief Coming Right Atchoo

For each blooming flower and every freshly mowed lawn, there’s someone sniffling and sneezing from seasonal allergies.

The remedies in your local pharmacy can make you either sleepy or sleepless, dull your sense of smell, or lose effectiveness over time. Fortunately, we are featuring a few medication-free approaches that will give you the unique gift of easy breathing in no time, so you can get on with enjoying summer.77024_1000x1000

This Sinus Relief System painlessly decongests sinus cavities to improve your breathing and mitigate sinus discomfort. Developed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist, the unit delivers a gentle, low-pressure pulsating stream of saline that irrigates nasal passages. Clinical tests proved the pulsating stream facilitates the movement of sinus cilia, microscopic “hairs” that move like oars to rid sinuses of mucus and allergy-inducing impurities.83897A_1000x1000

This handheld Personal Steam Inhaler ranked the highest in every test conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, from steaming effectiveness, to comfort, to ease of use. Its patented capillary force vapor technology produces a micromist that panelists described as “comfortably warm without being overwhelming,” unlike lesser units that sprayed droplets of hot water. The Best model requires no warm-up and produces the unique gift of sinus-soothing, germ-free vapor for up to 25 minutes.82296_1000x1000

Remove allergens from your home with this Filterless Air Purifier. It emits billions of harmless electrons that attach to air impurities and convert them to negatively charged ions, causing the allergens to bond to the positively charged collection tube. An independent testing laboratory showed it removed airborne dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke particles 100 times smaller than the average bacteria. The collection tube is removable and rinses clean once or twice a month for a lifetime of reliable air filtration without the cost of filters.

Anyone who “nose” what it’s like to have seasonal allergies suffers this time of year. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms during summer or even all year long, try any or all of these unique gifts so you can embrace the summer weather we all awaited.

Let’s Hear It for the Ears

Today is National Save Your Hearing Day, a yearly reminder to turn down the volume and be good to our eardrums.

For many of us, it’s too late. All those rock concerts years ago have done us in. Symptoms of mild hearing loss include a ringing or hissing noise in the ears called tinnitus and difficultly hearing conversations in a noisy environment. We have several items that are ideal unique gifts to help anyone with minor hearing difficulties.79741_1000x100084896_1000x1000

This voice-clarifying digital earpiece makes conversations easier to hear. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the device features an advanced microchip that amplifies human speech frequencies above background noise so that spoken words are clearly audible and easier to discern. The rechargeable earpiece has eight adjustable volume levels and four different sized silicone caps to accommodate most ears. 87935_1000x1000

This wireless speaker uses similar technology to enhance television viewing by boosting the sound of dialog. The infrared transmitter attaches to the TV’s audio ports and sends its signal to the speaker. The speaker has its own volume control, plus a headphone jack for private listening.

As hearing loss progresses, it’s common for background “white noise” to interfere with discerning conversations. This window air conditioner is the world’s quietest. It uses reengineered internal mechanisms to deliver powerful cool air while producing a gentle hum equivalent to a rain shower, more than 1/3 quieter than its clanging competitors88273_1000x1000.

Those affected by tinnitus understand how annoying the condition is. This vibrating wand quiets the ringing, rushing, or buzzing sounds for up to 18 hours. Applied to four points on the outer ear and surrounding bones, the wand’s gentle vibration stimulates the auditory nerve, muffles the clatter of tinnitus, and trains the brain to ignore it. Consider this unique gift for anyone you know afflicted by the condition—they will certainly be grateful.

Audiology experts recommend the 60:60 rule…listen with earphones at no more than 60 percent of maximum volume, for no more than 60 minutes a day. At loud concerts and when using lawn mowers and other noisy tools, wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. If your hearing has been exposed to a high-decibel environment, give them the unique gift of a 16-hour “noise detox” of silence to give your ears an opportunity to recover.

Modern Strategies Help Relieve Chronic Pain

Approximately 100 million Americans—that’s nearly one out of three of us—suffer from some form of chronic pain. Current estimates show this results in about $600 billion per year in medical treatments and lost productivity.

A not-insignificant percentage of this figure is spent on pain medications. While pharmacology has given millions the unique gift of sweet relief from their constant discomfort, there are also non-pharmaceutical approaches that can help decrease pain and improve your quality of life. Two breakthrough technologies are now being used by millions as alternatives to medicinal pain relief. 86427_1000x1000

The first is a technology initially developed by NASA to treat astronauts’ injuries. This method makes use of LEDs to deliver infrared heat deep into tissue. A study by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee showed it reduced inflammation by up to 37%, making it ideal as a daily therapy for those with arthritis. 84089_1000x1000

This mitten-like device, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, is lined with 40 LEDs that generate gentle, yet penetrating heat that stimulates circulation, relieves swelling and loosens muscles in the hand. We also offer an exclusive foot pain reliever with 172 LEDs that penetrate tissue to ease plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and neuroma. 83544_1000x1000

For those afflicted with lower back pain or discomfort in the knee, shoulder, arm or leg, this pain-relieving, hands-free wrap secures with a 40″-long flexible strap. It helps ease swelling in joints and loosens tight muscles in all parts of the body using 63 integrated LEDs. Know someone suffering from arthritis or even a weekend warrior who overdoes it? This is a great unique gift idea for either of those folks. 87169_1000x1000

The other breakthrough technology uses harmless high-frequency electrical pulses to stimulate nerves and block pain signals throughout the body. Hammacher Schlemmer’s exclusive All Night Chronic Pain Relieving Wrap can help relieve pain from diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis without the need for costly prescription drugs. A built-in accelerometer detects when you are sleeping and automatically reduces the intensity of the treatment while still reducing pain.

Use of any of these devices can be combined with other drug-free methods of pain relief: biofeedback, meditation, gentle stretching, applying ice…or even making use of soothing music and aromatherapy. With these strategies and new technologies, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate pain pills for the long term!

Exercise Your Options for Fitness Resolutions

How did you do with your resolutions from 2015? Don’t worry, neither did we. Even halfway through February, it’s still not too late to turn over a new leaf for real in 2016.

You see, the latest technology makes it easier than ever to track your fitness goals. You might even find exercise and eating right is more fun when you have manageable daily goals, not to mention a little help from your technology “pals”. You’ll be enjoying the unique gifts of better health in no time! 83741_1000x1000

Monitoring your progress has never been easier than with the Wellness Monitor Wristband. It automatically tracks daily movements, as well as sleep cycles, to help determine if you are getting sufficient exercise and sleep. It automatically uploads the information via Bluetooth when within 15 feet of a compatible paired device. Data can also be synched into popular fitness apps such as SparkPeople and Lose It! 12341_1000x1000

Amp up your treadmill workouts with this dome-shaped monitor that takes you on a virtual adventure through some of the world’s most exotic locales. Found in Europe’s top-tier health clubs, the 38″ hemispheric, concave monitor sets up in front of your existing treadmill to create an incredibly lifelike portal. You can run through California’s Joshua Tree National Park, jog along the Pacific coastline, or even take a run through the mysterious Area 51. A wireless sensor automatically syncs the movie’s speed with your running pace. 87662_1000x1000

Measure your results with this behavior-influencing bathroom scale that uses a color-coded digital readout to display weight lost or gained since the last time you weighed yourself. The LCD’s background illuminates red if you’ve gained weight and green if you’ve lost weight, allowing you to quickly track your progress. Up to eight users can store their profiles and their results over up to 30 weigh-ins. This scale is a motivating and unique gift for your whole family when you’re in it together.

You will improve your odds of achieving your resolutions if you frame your fitness goals as a path to achieve better health and happiness. Break up your resolutions into smaller measureable goals that will give you a chance to mark success every few weeks and by this time next year, you’ll find keeping resolutions in 2016 was easier than you ever thought possible.

Time to Focus on Matters of the Heart

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Throughout February, we celebrate American Heart Month—it’s a great time to start taking those small steps that can make big improvements in your risk factors.

While you’ve certainly been made aware of all the steps you can take to enjoy the unique gift of better health, these measures bear repeating. We love our readers and want them around for a long time! 81590_1000x1000

Get a pedometer to record your daily steps. Physicians recommend a minimum of 6,000 steps per day for health maintenance and 10,000 daily steps for weight loss. If you’re looking for an easy-to-read device that displays steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned, time elapsed and average pace, check out this Full Screen Pedometer87662_1000x1000

Speaking of weight loss, we have a tool to help. This behavior-influencing bathroom scale uses a color-coded digital readout to display weight lost or gained since the last time you weighed in. The LCD’s background illuminates red if you’ve gained weight and green if you’ve lost weight, allowing you to quickly track your progress. As many as eight users can store their profiles and results over up to 30 weigh-ins. This scale is a motivating and unique gift for your whole family when you’re in it together. 87991_1000x1000

Know your numbers, especially your blood pressure. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this is the only home blood pressure monitor that can also assess the health of your arteries. Healthy results are clearly depicted in the green zone on the device’s large LCD screen, while numbers in the red zone indicate arterial stiffness. This healthy-heart tool also displays systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. 87759_1000x1000

You can keep tabs on your pulse rate and oxygen levels, too, with this Talking Fingertip Heart Rate Monitor. Eliminating the need to wear uncomfortable chest straps, visit a doctor or provide a blood sample, the pulse oximeter simply clips to a finger and automatically announces your blood’s oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Finally, if you’re a smoker, we don’t have to tell you to quit. But if you do smoke, this is the one change you can make that will make the biggest difference to your health and longevity.

Take the Pressure Out of Maintaining Good Health

Recently, an ongoing study being conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed conclusive evidence that healthy blood pressure guidelines should be lowered, from the current systolic level of 140 down to 120. 87119A_1000x1000

While new guidelines have not yet been made official, the findings present food for thought. To maintain the unique gifts of good health, most of us will need to be more vigilant about our blood pressure levels, being more proactive about self-monitoring and taking preventive measures. 87180_1000x1000

For regular self-monitoring, we recommend The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, it was rated the best because it was the most accurate and easiest to use. If you prefer the more traditional cuff-style monitor, we also recommend The Best Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor for its ease of use and accuracy. Both of these monitors’ readings were compared to those taken by a cardiology nurse and showed little deviation. 82763_1000x1000

Along with self-monitoring, you can positively impact your levels with increased exercise. Increasing your core strength will improve your fitness overall, and better fitness generally leads to lower blood pressure. The Compact Core Exerciser is a compact trainer that simulates cantering on a horse to strengthen and tone the core muscles. You’ll engage lumbar muscles, abs, glutes and thighs, building core strength that will also help prevent back injuries and improve your balance and posture. 12674_1000x1000

Lowering stress is another means toward lowering your blood pressure. When it comes to relaxing, nothing beats the combination of gentle heat, massage, and aromatherapy to sooth the mind and body. The Personal Day Spa produces a sauna-like heat that penetrates deep into tissue. Its memory-foam bed delivers a full-body vibration to relax tense muscles and joints. And an integrated aroma diffuser releases subtle scents from essential oils. This is a perfect unique gift idea for someone who needs to destress on a regular basis. Perhaps that someone is yourself.

The NIH is expected to make results of their study final by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can start taking proactive steps now to lower your blood pressure and increase your health and longevity.

When a Pain in the Head is a Pain in the Neck

The World Health Organization estimates that half to three quarters of adults aged 18 – 65 years in the world have had headache in the last year. Besides the enormous cost to society  in lost productivity, any headache that forces you to curtail your activities is more than a headache; it’s a real pain in the neck.

Over-the-counter medications often bring the unique gift of sweet relief. Today, there are also a variety of prescription medications that can help prevent recurring migraines. For many folks, however, studies have shown that a drug-free approach can alleviate up to 87% of headache occurrences.83951_300x300

Many a headache has been caused by eye strain. Make sure you’re working under adequate lighting and eliminate any glare. If you do get an eye-strain-induced headache, this massage mask uses mist, vibration and warmth to relax and soothe the eyes. Its integrated massager pulses to alleviate eye fatigue with gentle vibration that relaxes and calms.84087_300x300 87478_300x300

A professional massage focusing on pressure points in the neck and shoulders can be a unique gift for a sufferer of tension headaches. For a pressure point treatment that you can have at your beck and call this headache reliever targets key points in the head and neck. The embedded therapy balls apply an even pressure on the sub-occipital muscles at the base of the skull. It can be placed in the freezer for cold therapy that helps numb pain and contracts throbbing blood vessels. Also employing the unique gifts of cold therapy, our Superior Headache Relieving Wrap uses cool gel packs to provide relief.

If you have sinus headaches brought on by changes in weather or seasonal allergies, regular use of decongestants and anti-histamines can help. A hot, steamy shower may also ease the pain.

Lastly, if you experience an unusually severe headache or your headaches are increasing in duration, severity or frequency, contact your doctor. It may be the sign of a more serious condition.

Enjoy the Unique Gifts of Fitness at Any Age

Tomorrow is National Senior Health & Fitness Day. Each year, the last Wednesday in May marks this event to promote the importance of regular physical activity for everyone, and especially for older adults.

Exercise is an important life-long activity, even more so as we age. It’s about more than just keeping the spare tires of our later years in check…strong muscles can help prevent falls, while flexibility helps your body stay limber, heading off some of the aches and pains that come with aging. Daily physical activity can help give you the unique gifts of fitness and good health at virtually any age.

84418_300x300Even those with limited mobility can enjoy an aerobic workout. The Seated Whole Body Pedaler, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, is a low-impact exercise machines that provides a complete workout from the comfort of a chair. Or you may prefer The Only Seated Strider, a compact, mini-strider that gives you a low-impact cardiovascular workout.

87158_300x300Losing grip strength starts to eat away at one’s independence. Without a sufficiently strong grip, it becomes difficult to open jars, door knobs, and even the refrigerator. The Superior Hand Strengthener consists of a set of three rubber rings that strengthen and build endurance in the fingers, hands and forearms. They make a thoughtful and unique gift for a parent, grandparent, or even yourself.

86928_300x300It’s been said you only feel as good as your feet feel. With seven built-in treatments, The Foot Pain Relieving Exerciser stretches, strengthens and massages the entire foot to help improve balance and alleviate pain. This device works the calf, heel, sole, and toes and has a massaging ball that can be warmed for frozen for hot or cold therapy.

Finally, you can measure and track your fitness at any age with The Wellness Monitor Wristband. The Fitbit automatically tracks your daily movements and sleep to help determine if you are getting enough exercise and sleep. After all, if 70 is the new 50, being fit will help you go like 60 till you’re 80!