5 Affordable Gadgets to Help Monitor Your Heart
As physicians learn more, it becomes clear that a number of factors contribute to heart health. While wisdom of yesterday focused only on diet and exercise, new studies are showing correlations between heart health and other factors, such as stress and sleep patterns. Here are the top five affordable gadgets to help you achieve heart health.
1. B1 Basis Band
Developed by Basis Science, the B1 band goes far beyond the cumbersome EKG chest strap or runner’s arm band. It’s water-resistant and the battery lasts several days without recharging, which means you can wear it constantly for days.
The B1 wears like a watch, and even displays the time and date. It includes many health-related sensors, including skin temperature (factoring in ambient temperature), movement and activity level, heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns and other biological metrics. The data is stored on the web so it can easily be shared with a personal trainer, physician or through social media if you’ve got fitness buddies or concerned loved ones. For patients who buy Lipitor, the band can keep their doctors better informed on the helpfulness of the medication.
2. Fit Bit
Image via Flickr by Grand Canyon NPS
The Fit Bit does most of what the B1 Basis Band does, except it’s easier for most people to use and features visual displays of the information, such as pie charts and grafts. It hooks to the computer so you can store and retrieve information anytime. It counts your steps and calories, but also monitors sleep patterns – which is a good indicator of overall health.
Additionally, the Fit Bit lets you enter what you eat and keeps up with the calories you’re taking in, not just the ones you’re burning. It monitors your activity level and lets you know where you can make improvements. After all, it doesn’t matter how many calories you’re burning if you’re still taking in more than you work off.
3. Stress Eraser
Experts insist stress and heart health are intimately linked. It just makes sense that learning to reduce the stress in your life leads to a healthier heart (and a happier you). The Stress Eraser monitors when your stress levels rise and guides you through breathing exercises to help you relax. The Stress Eraser encourages relaxation by making a game out of it. You get points for how often and how quickly you can breathe your way out of a stressful situation, protecting your heart in the process.
4. Zeo Personal Sleep Coach
Like stress, sleep contributes to heart health. The Sleep Coach keeps records of your sleep patterns and examines your daily activities to see how they relate to your quality and quantity of sleep. The coach makes suggestions on lifestyle changes to help you achieve healthier sleep habits, which eases stress on the heart. Better sleep habits also help boost the immune system and improve cognitive functioning.
5. Ormon Full Body Sensor
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by David Holt London
The number on your scale isn’t the only indicator of heart health. Actually, some slightly overweight people are healthier than some super skinny ones. The Ormon Full Body Sensor takes in a multitude of factors to help determine overall health. It tracks weight, but factors this in with body fat content, body mass index (BMI) and other metrics to provide a more comprehensive view of your health situation. All of these gadgets are under $200, and most are less than $100, a trivial expense when compared to a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life.