- February is American Heart Health Month
- We rounded up seven products to help your heart stay in top shape
Let's talk about hearts — and no, we don't mean the kind filled with chocolates that you're planning to give somebody on Valentine's Day.
February is American Heart Month. Every year, this national initiative raises awareness about heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. And it educates us about heart-healthy habits, motivating us to stick with them for the long run.
Part of this program is making changes to your diet, physical activity and daily routine to help keep your heart healthy. For instance, the American Heart Association recommends a variety of lifestyle changes, ranging from getting enough sleep every night to making a conscious effort to take the stairs instead of the elevator. And while uprooting your lifestyle may sound a little daunting, your ticker will seriously thank you for it.
To help get you started on your new healthy habits, we've rounded up seven products that are designed to help your heart stay in top shape this Heart Month.
'Mediterranean Diet for Beginners' from Rockridge Press ($8.49; amazon.com)
A key factor to keeping your heart healthy is monitoring what foods you're putting into your body. And for many, that means embarking on a new diet. The Mediterranean diet won the top spot in an overall diet ranking for 2019 done by US News and World Report and is thought to help lower the risk of heart attacks, according to a 2016 study. This food lifestyle emphasizes fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, with relatively small amounts of dairy, fish and poultry. If switching to a Mediterranean diet is the right fit for you, The "Mediterranean Diet for Beginners" cookbook is filled with delicious, easy-to-make recipes that will leave you feeling satisfied. Plus, it contains a seven-day diet meal plan to get you started, as well as some bonus tips and tricks to personalize your diet even more.
See How You Eat Food Diary app (starting at $3.99/month; itunes.apple.com)
It can be really hard to start a new diet. Even harder is tracking your progress, especially when your main focus isn't just a number on a scale. The See How You Eat Food Diary app, however, will keep you accountable without all that tedious calorie-counting. Simply set your dietary goal and then set reminders so you take a picture of your plate every time you eat. You will be able to see all your meals at a glance, which should motivate you to make smarter food choices.
RawSpiceBar spices and seasonings (starting at $7; rawspicebar.com)
Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which is why the AHA recommends a major reduction in sodium consumption. Fortunately, RawSpiceBar has a vast array of flavorful, salt-free seasonings at great prices. Purchase individual containers of the most popular spices, sign up for the subscription service, or even join the Spice of the Month Club. Whichever you choose, be sure to take the dietary preference quiz to receive recommendations just for you.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike ($149; amazon.com)
Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Luckily, you don't need a fancy gym membership to reap the benefits of a good old-fashioned sweat sesh. Enter the Exerpeutic, an upright bike featuring hand pulse sensors, large LCD display and easy storability. It's no wonder this folding bike has a rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon, with more than 5,800 customer reviews.
The Step Original Aerobic Platform ($59.99; amazon.com)
If a stationary bike isn't for you, The Step is a great alternative. The Step Original Aerobic Platform is the same step used in fitness clubs across the country, featuring a premium cushion top, nonskid feet and adjustable height. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, The Step is perfect for a multitude of different aerobic and strength-training exercises, so you'll never get bored.
Omron 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor ($40.88; amazon.com)
Regular checks are the only way to know if you have high blood pressure, especially considering most people with hypertension don't experience any symptoms. If you already know you have high blood pressure, the AHA recommends at-home monitoring. According to the brand, Omron blood pressure monitors are the No. 1 recommended product by doctors. These devices feature advanced accuracy, a comfortable contoured cuff and irregular heartbeat detection, not to mention a stellar customer satisfaction rating from over 8,000 customer reviews on Amazon.
Be Well T-Shirt ($14.95; shopheart.org)
This shirt not only brings awareness to American Heart Month, but is a great reminder of how to reduce the risk of heart disease. Even better, every purchase on the Official AHA Store helps support the AHA's mission, so you can feel just as good as you look.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.