These health tools can help monitor blood pressure, exercise


New technology comes out every year that make our lives easier, from new smartphone applications to kitchen tools and more. One that we think could greatly benefit seniors is a wearable monitor that checks heart rate, blood pressure, exercise, sleep and other health indicators.  These can help with reaching fitness goals faster and help stay accountable with reminders to keep moving throughout the day. They can also benefit if you live a more sedentary lifestyle and are at risk for hypertension, diabetes and other illness.
There are plenty of wearable monitors you can buy, but not all of them are up to standard. It’s important to consider the monitor’s battery life, accuracy, ease of use, durability and whether it is water resistant. We all forget to charge our phones or take off certain items before getting into the shower, so we want to make sure this new device can withstand long periods of time without charge and the occasional shower without breaking down.

  • Apple Watch | From $399
    The Apple Watch is a multi-use accessory that helps you check your calendar, text or call someone, check the weather and many other functions. The reason we enjoy it is because it allows you track your steps, record workouts and see your heart rate all day long. Taking it a step further, you can pair it with blood pressure devices so you can have a record of readings to determine what is normal for you on a daily basis.
  • FitBit Charge 3 | Cost: $149.95
    This device hits all of the most important points with its ability to be charged only once a week, it has a heart rate monitor, counts steps and it is water resistant.
  • FitBit Versa Lite | $168.99
    If you have seen your grandchildren wearing an Apple Watch and you would like something similar without the fuss, the FitBit Versa Lite looks similar but focuses mainly on fitness. You can record a walk or a swim, check your phone applications like the weather, and track activity and heart rate all day long.
  • Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band | Cost: $249.99
    This fitness band is considered a top choice because it motivates you to move after an hour of inactivity and records calories burned throughout the day. It is also stylish, water resistant, has a long battery life and monitors sleep.
  • LETSCOM Fitness Tracker | $35.99
    Many activity monitors can be expensive, so if you want to get one without breaking the bank, the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker is reasonably priced and features many of the same things as the others. You can check your steps, sleep and heart rate all day long. It is also water resistant.

We recommend investing in an activity monitor to help stay accountable and be on top of heart rate and other functions. Knowing your body’s normal rhythms allows you to have a better understanding of changes and which ones to worry about. This can help your doctor know when to look into something specific or if something is considered normal for your everyday life.
As a disclaimer, even though these trackers attempt to be accurate, they are not always reliable. They do not detect when a heart attack is happening, and they do not tell you if your heart rate is normal or abnormal for you. It is up to you to keep yourself accountable and understand the limitations of technology.

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