Since February is heart month, I wanted to share with you an exciting new way you can be proactive about heart health. Thanks Omron for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions and statements are my own.
Heart disease is a silent killer. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. 1 in 4 deaths every year are caused by heart disease and you're at greater risk for it if you're overweight, sedentary or have hypertension. Heart disease can happen to anyone. It doesn't discriminate. You can have heart disease and never know it. If anyone knows this best, it's my mother.
My Mom had six bypasses and never had any signs or symptoms of heart disease yet according to doctors, she was a ticking time bomb. While her blood pressure was slightly elevated and she was overweight, her numbers were within what doctors deemed an acceptable range. Doctors explained to us the blockage was so bad she would have had a massive heart attack and would mostly likely not have survived. Two weeks in the hospital, months of cardiac therapy and a massive lifestyle overhaul was the recovery and I'm sure she would tell you it was anything but easy.
After bypass surgery, my Mom has had to monitor her blood pressure regularly. To monitor her BP, she uses a blood pressure machine which is bulky with a lot of wires. She's mentioned a few times how something portable would be more convenient for the gym and traveling. Well, her dreams have come true because Omron Healthcare recently developed Project Zero, a new line of wireless blood pressure monitors that will be available for purchase later this year!
Project Zero medical devices which include a wrist blood pressure monitor and an upper arm blood pressure monitor, use Bluetooth Smart Technology enabling users to synch data automatically from their blood pressure devices with the OMRON Connect mobile app. This is a great feature for users and gives them the ability to share the data from the app with their doctor without having to write it down and keep track of it.
The upper arm blood pressure monitor looks a lot like a traditional blood pressure cuff. It's worn the same way, on the upper arm, but without all the wires and tangly business making it convenient for on-the-go! It also has a hypertension level indicator and irregular heartbeat detector.
The wrist blood pressure monitor appears at a glance like a watch, but it's much more. In addition to tracking blood pressure, the device tracks heart rate, steps, calorie burn, sleep and can also be used to set reminders to take medications. According to Jeff Ray, Executive Director of Business and Technology for Omron Healthcare, the wrist blood pressure monitors "offer users the ability to tie fitness back into health."
What sets Omron Healthcare's wrist blood pressure monitor apart from other activity trackers that are worn similarly, is that it's a medical device that offers greater accuracy for heart health. Most activity trackers do not have the integrated blood pressure tracking and while the medical device is not meant to be a wearable fitness tracker, the company has discovered people prefer wearing them on a regular basis. The only catch is that you have to elevate your wrist to heart level to get an accurate reading. A small habit to train yourself to do if you get the device.
Both products will be available for purchase at the end of 2016 in pharmacies where blood pressure monitors are currently sold and will retail from $99 -$200. I would actually like to get one for myself to track my heart rate and blood pressure during my workouts. Given my family history of heart disease, it's probably a smart investment.
I want you to know that it is never too early or too late to be proactive about your health. With healthy lifestyle changes, the human body has this amazing ability to repair damage. Any positive change you make, big or small, will reverse damage thereby reducing your risk for heart disease. It's never too late to invest in your health and a convenient, blood pressure device like this is a small price to pay to protect your heart!
As for Mom, it's been two years since her heart surgery. She's in the best shape of her life, spunkier than ever and I couldn't be more proud of her! Thanks Omron Healthcare for giving my Mom and many others an easy way to be proactive about heart health!
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Disclaimer - This post was sponsored by Omron. All opinions and statements are my own.