Show Your Heart Some Love and Keep Blood Pressure in Check

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 monitorbest-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.

How Many New Year’s Resolutions Survive January?

In the waning days of December, about 50 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. And by February 1, it’s reported that 82% of those resolutions have fallen by the wayside. With a little help, you can be in the elite 18% and resolve to keep your resolutions.

According to Scranton University, the top 10 resolutions for 2014 included losing weight (#1) and getting or staying fit (#5). And today’s technology is here to assist.Wellness Monitor

Among our favorites is The Wellness Monitor. This wristband automatically tracks your daily movements and sleep cycles to determine if you are getting enough exercise and sleep. The device automatically uploads the information to a website via Bluetooth when it is within 15′ of a paired device, or data can also be synched into popular fitness apps.

Another convenient device that helps track your workouts is The Smart Pedometer. Unlike typical pedometers with miniscule memory, this activity tracker uploads data to a paired compatible smartphone to chart your movements. When the pedometer’s flip-up jack is plugged into the smartphone’s audio port, a push of a button transfers results to a free fitness app that displays data in easy-to-read graphics.

Many folks resolve that this is the year they will put together a home gym…but how about an office gym! The Elliptical Machine Office Desk pairs an adjustable-height desk with a semi-recumbent elliptical trainer to let users exercise while on the job. Designed to be pedaled at slower cadences that break neither one’s concentration or a sweat, an average user can burn about 4,000 calories in a typical workweek. Considering 3,500 calories equal one pound of body weight, that could translate to more than 50 lbs. of weight loss in a year!

To increase your chances for success, develop a strategy that lets you reward yourself at intermediary milestones and recognize that you may slip up occasionally. Keep things around that remind you of your goal. Build a small but supportive social network of others who share your goal. On the flip side, self-blame, wishful thinking, and procrastination virtually never lead to success.

National Save Your Hearing Day – Can You Hear Me Now?

Do you find yourself asking people to speak up? Unfortunately, age-related hearing loss is common—affecting 30 percent of adults aged 65-74 according to the National Institutes of Health. But hearing loss caused by everyday noise is completely preventable.

On National Save Your Hearing Day, Save your hearing day.tune into these protective tips from the Hearing Health Foundation:

  • Wear headphones or earplugs if you work in a loud environment to save your hearing.

Avoid prolonged exposure to power tools, rock concerts, and other noisy situations that produce more than 85 decibels (the sound level of city traffic).

Pump down the volume on that MP3 player—listening at the maximum setting for more than 15 minutes a day can cause permanent damage.

If you’ve already suffered some loss of hearing, devices such as The Voice Clarifying Amplifier, The Voice Clarifying TV Speaker, and The Award Winning Sound Balancing Headphones amplify sounds while dampening background noise.

 

Healthy and Fit at Any Age – Senior Fitness

Senior FitnessLondon resident Fauja Singh ran a marathon at age 100.

Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan competed at the Summer Olympics at 71.

You may not be up for grueling athletic events, but celebrating a few more birthdays is no excuse for sitting on the sidelines. National Senior Health & Fitness Day is held annually on the last Wednesday in May to encourage older adults to get back in the game.

The National Institute on Aging agrees: A little exercise, no matter your age or physical condition, does a lot of good for your bones, heart, balance and mood. Even pumping iron —those weights at the gym, not the pills in a bottle—is recommended for senior fitness.

You may just need to adapt your routine, dialing it down from weekend warrior to recreational athlete, or ratcheting it up from couch potato to man (or woman) in motion. For a low-impact workout, try The In Pool Exercise Glider or The Power Assist Pedaler. Other good activities include walking, Tai Chi, or even a little housework. Because getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down.