Category Archives: Health & Fitness

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!

Heart-strong Strategies for Cholesterol Control

This Sunday truly is a day for matters of the heart. Along with the love we give Mom for Mother’s Day, May 10 will also mark the first National Lipid Day. The day has been designated to raise awareness of high cholesterol and what the condition does to rob you of the unique gift of good health.

Your body needs some cholesterol, particularly the “good” high-density lipoproteins, but elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins – LDL cholesterol – can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages. This may lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Strategies for combatting lousy levels of LDL include eating a healthy diet, not smoking, 84153A_300x300exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Should your doctor deliver the news that your cholesterol needs to be brought into check, we have some ideas to help you get moving in the right direction.

First, get started with The Best Handheld Body Fat Analyzer we’ve found. It was rated The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its accuracy and ease of use. The Best Handheld Body Fat Analyzer stores up to eight user profiles, making it a unique gift idea for an entire family. It was also the only unit that provided body mass index readings and explained whether the BMI measurements were in the normal, average, or high range.

81590_300x300Walking can form the foundation of a get-fit program. The Full Screen Pedometer displays five data points at once. With a single glance at the LCD screen, you can see steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned, time elapsed and the average pace, making it a swift, uncomplicated way to begin and end each exercise session.

83287_300x300Monitor your progress with this The All Day Fitness Watch that tracks resting heart rate, calories burned, and overall activity, and rates your fitness. The device compares your current resting heart rate to the average reading from the past week and assesses a fitness score. As fitness improves, resting heart rate decreases and the fitness score allows you to track progress and set goals. An integrated accelerometer detects all movement, automatically tracking time spent moving each day.

You can learn more about the dangers of high cholesterol and how to treat it from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ease the Pressure of Monitoring Hypertension

Today ushers in National Blood Pressure Education Month. Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, the event is intended to increase awareness of the impact elevated blood pressure can have on the unique gift of good health.

Hypertension increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. For those already diagnosed with the condition, the American Heart Association recommends home monitoring. While not a substitute for regular visits to your physician, home monitoring can help your doctor determine if treatments are working and provide a record of readings over time. And for those who suffer “white coat anxiety” in the doctor’s office, self-measurement can help determine if an elevated reading at the doctor’s was correct.

87180_300x300We feature several products that can help you home-monitor, and that make for thoughtful unique gifts for someone you care about.

This The Best Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor is The Best because it was easy to use and produced the most accurate readings in tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. When each monitor’s systolic and diastolic measurements were compared to readings taken by a cardiology nurse, The Best model’s results deviated from the nurse’s by an average of only 5 mmHg, making it superior to other models.

81575_300x300For easy portability, The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor we’ve found earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its accuracy and ease of use. The monitor’s 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. Panelists lauded The Best model’s automatic inflating cuff because it “felt nice around the wrist and was easy to put on.”

86268_300x300Finally, this The Largest Display Blood Pressure Monitor displays clinically accurate readings on an oversized LCD display that’s easier to see than other monitors. The cordless device displays systolic and diastolic measurements in 1 1/8″-high digits, with the pulse reading shown in smaller digits below. The monitor uses the oscillometric method, a technique recommended by the American Heart Association for its ability to accurately measure readings for hypertension.

Simple Steps To Healthy Feet

These are the only pair of feet you’ll ever have. And during April, Foot Health Awareness Month, the American Podiatric Medical Association urges each of us to consider the impact foot health has on the unique gift of total body health. It’s a great time to focus on finding relief for those aches and pains below your ankles.

We have some suggestions for items that will improve how your tootsies feel. These products are a real shoe-in to provide the relief you’re looking for, or make for welcomed unique gifts for loved ones who are no longer so light on their feet.

83772_300x300These toe-aligning foot gloves have separate toe pockets and gentle arch compression to help realign toes, reducing foot pain. Designed like comfortable gloves, the socks reduce friction and moisture and ensure each little piggy has ample wiggle and breathing room. Spreading the toes also stretches foot muscles, promotes balance, and eases the discomfort of bunions, hammer toes, and other conditions.

86835_300x300Pressure on your feet day after day can lead to uncomfortable and unsightly calluses. Our exclusive callus-removing foot treatment is a natural therapy that removes layers of tough, dead skin in a single treatment to leave feet soft and smooth. The disposable booties are lined with a mixture of 18 natural moisturizers and exfoliants that slough away dead skin cells and help speed circulation.

84089A_300x300Using technology pioneered by NASA to heal astronauts’ injuries, this pain-relieving device’s 172 LEDs produce safe infrared heat to stimulate blood circulation, relieve swelling, and loosen muscles in the feet. Developed by Hammacher Schlemmer, it is the only of its kind made specifically for the feet. The safe and comforting LED light penetrates deep into tissue to help relieve the soreness common with plantar fasciitis, neuroma, and tendonitis.

So at the end of the day, if your dogs are barking, try these unique gifts for relief and you’ll feel toe-riffic in no time!

Snow Kidding, It’s Almost Spring

It’s been another brutal winter! But after relentless waves of frigid arctic air and historic depths of snow in the northeast, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that it’s almost over.

This Sunday, March 1, is the meteorological start of spring and the unique gifts the season gives us: soft, warm breezes…longer days…buds promising leaves and flowers soon to come. Nature is nearly ready, but are you ready to shed bulky clothes in favor of lighter, tighter and trimmer garb?

If your well-intended new year’s resolutions to hit the gym frequently have fallen by the wayside, you may find it easier to work out at home. But where to store bulky exercise equipment? We have the solution with a few exclusive-to-Hammacher Schlemmer items that fold away for easy storage when not in use.82354_300x300

This recumbent exercise bicycle folds in seconds to half its set-up size for unobtrusive storage under a bed or in a closet. What’s more, this recumbent model encourages users to sit upright and pedal with correct spinal posture. The bicycle has a menu of workouts and displays your heart rate, exercise time, speed, calories burned, and distance traveled.

83905_300x300For walkers, this motorless treadmill folds to only 14″ high. No tools nor removal of any parts are needed for the walking platform to fold flush with the handlebars to enable storage in a closet or against a wall. The treadmill surface adjusts to four different incline heights, heart rate sensors are built into the handlebars, and it has eight levels of resistance.

84168D_300x300Whether at home or traveling, this portable fitness center provides a rigorous, full-body workout, yet folds to the size of a briefcase. Small enough to fit in an airplane’s overhead bin or store under a bed, the compact gym contains everything needed for intense aerobic, strength, and circuit training. Also included is access to an online fitness community, making it an ideal gift for road warriors who want to maintain a workout routine.

With any of these workout aids, you’ll be ready for spring sports or swimsuit season in no time!

The Key to Your Healthy Heart

February is the season of hearts. There’s Valentine’s Day, of course, and throughout the month, we recognize American Heart Month.

In partnership with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health care professionals, The American Heart Association and private sector entities have teamed up for the Million Hearts® initiative. The goal is to prevent one million heart attacks by 2017. The initiative puts a spotlight on high blood pressure as a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

Do you or someone you know need to take control of monitoring your blood pressure to gain the unique gifts of better cardiovascular health? We have some ideas to make checking your numbers easy, right in the comfort of your own home.

75439_300x300The Best Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it was the most accurate and had the most comfortable cuff. Each monitor’s measurements were compared to readings taken by a registered nurse. The Best model performed nearly 2-1/2 times more accurately than lesser models. Panelists preferred The Best model’s cuff because it did not over tighten like other monitors and was smooth against the skin.

86268_300x300If accurately reading small numbers is difficult for you, this cuff-style blood pressure monitor displays clinically accurate readings on an oversized LCD display that’s easier to see than other monitors. The monitor uses the oscillometric method, a technique recommended by the American Heart Association for its accuracy and clinically proven to provide accurate readings for hypertension.

81575_300x300This wrist blood pressure monitor earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it displayed a 94% accuracy rate when readings were compared to those taken by a cardiology nurse. Panelists lauded The Best model’s automatic inflating cuff because it “felt nice around the wrist and was easy to put on.”

American Heart Month is an ideal time to takes steps to keep your heart healthy. Self-monitoring is a unique gift to yourself and a great way to get started!