Our overall health and fitness is so important today. Staying strong and healthy can mean the difference between fighting off a virus, and battling it miserably.One of the keys to being healthy is to have a strong and healthy heart. So how do you know if you have one and what can you do to boost your overall heart health and your well-being?
Get moving for a healthy heart
A healthy heart doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in a gym. Simply walking up to 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week goes a long way, and one way you can help hold yourself accountable is with a fitness tracker.
Heart rate monitors & fitness/health trackers
There are an increasing number of connected health devices that can assist with
general health, and heart health specifically. You can read your heart rate through your fingertips with a gadget like the Kardia Personal EKG. Or you can invest in a wearable to track your metrics.
Fitbit is probably one of the best and most popular fitness and activity trackers out there. It helps you keep your overall health top of mind, and besides tracking heart rate, a favourite feature is that it picks up any significant exercise you do and gives you kudos for it.
Watch out for ‘Health Watches’
Fitbit has actually launched a new category called a Health Watch and its new Fitbit Sense is the flagship wearable in this line. Able to track not just heart, steps and sleep, it can also give you data on stress and temperature so you have a heads up if you might actually be coming down with something. Fitbit also helps you be accountable by integrating itself into your routine and getting you moving through videos too.
Another option to track your heart rate besides a fitness tracker is by wearing a smartwatch. There are plenty of options out there but Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup and Apple Watches are probably the two biggies.
Use ECG devices and smart watches
The Apple Watch Series 5 and new Apple Watch Series 6 offer ECG sensor (electrocardiogram heart sensor), in addition to an updated optical heart sensor as well as many safety features such as high or low rate notifications, fall detection, and emergency SOS. An electrocardiogram measures how well your heart is working by recording the tiny electrical signals generated by your heartbeat. An ECG tracks heart rate (speed), rhythm (regularity), operating habits (working state), and can show the effects of food and medication. Best Buy has a selection of wearables that will all handle ECG measurements for you.
Want still more features? If you’re suffering some medical conditions or you’re an elite athlete, you can find plenty of options for wearables with advanced features.
One of the other options is Garmin and their smart watches are favoured by runners and hikers since they have built-in GPS and run tracking plus these also take heart rate readings and also measures blood oxygen levels.
Keep tabs on cardio with VO2 Max wearables
VO2 max is a great way to measure cardio endurance. The better your aerobic fitness, the more oxygen you get into your body during cardio exercise like running. As the exercise gets harder, your body needs more oxygen to maintain its performance. At some point, your body stops taking in more oxygen: this is your VO2 max. VO2 Max monitors like these can measure your blood oxygen so you’re always in the zone.
Try a DNA test kit
Wondering if you’re ripe for heart problems, or do you know you have a family history, but want more detail and certainty? A DNA test kit can give you the data you and your doctor may need to make smart decisions about your health.
Track weight accurately and in context
While it seems like many of us don’t concern ourselves with what the numbers on a scale say, it’s important to have an idea of your body weight. With a smart scale you can take it one step further by monitoring your BMI or body Mass Index, your muscle mass, bone mass and water percentage. This Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Smart Scale & Body Analyzer will monitor all of these things and will help you see the progress you’re making over time. Fitbit also makes extremely easy to use, accurate smart scales too.
Carrying extra weight on our bodies, especially around our waistline can lead to many health problems such as high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and chronic health conditions. A range of connected health sensors and monitors are available to help keep track of your heart rate, blood glucose levels, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and more.
Lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure can lead to thickening and hardening of the arteries and increases your chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Wireless blood pressure monitors that connect to your smartphone are also a way to keep tabs on blood pressure and heart rate. You can even send your daily readings to your physician.
Besides walking and other forms of exercise there are other things you can do to help lower your blood pressure. Stress is a huge factor in fluctuating blood pressure and learning to manage your stress is good for both mind and body. Meditation is one way to shut off your brain, be in the moment and relax and it can look different for each person.
The Muse 2 Brain-Sensing Headband is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to learn how to meditate or take their meditation experience to the next level. It provides real-time feedback on brain activity, heart rate, breath and body movements. You’ll need to download the Muse App onto your smartphone, pair the device and from there follow step-by-step directions to complete a focused meditation session.
If you need help chilling out, explore the complete range of relaxation and sleep aids to help you wind down and get a good night’s sleep.
It’s really important to think and talk about our heart health. Age is just a number and your heart doesn’t care if you’re 18 or 88, it needs to be taken care of at all ages to help you maintain your overall health and well being.
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