Keeping your heart healthy is much more difficult than most would think. Nearly a third of the world’s population faces a high risk of heart disease due to a lack of preventative measures and other factors.
However, the good news is that technology has made it possible for anyone to easily find information about their condition and manage their health situation. Apple Health, Fitbit, and other apps have revolutionized the way people manage their health.
Learn about some easy ways to keep your heart healthy with apps or smart devices that can help track health metrics like blood pressure, weight, activity levels, and more.
1. Track your blood sugar level
The OneTouch Reveal app is a diabetes management app that helps you monitor blood glucose levels, insulin doses, and other important health metrics. You can enter your blood glucose readings manually or sync them from a compatible OneTouch glucose meter.
To get started, sign up for an account. Add an event, such as blood glucose readings, insulin doses, and more, by clicking the further (+) icon. You can view and identify patterns in your readings through charts and graphs, and record your blood glucose readings and insulin doses daily, weekly, or over a set period. Turn on reminders to be alerted when you check your blood glucose levels.
With the HbA1c comparator, you can compare your hemoglobin levels to your average blood glucose value over the past three months. You can sync data from health apps like Google Fit or Fitbit. This can help you better manage your diabetes or contact your doctor if you feel something is not right.
Discharge: OneTouchReveal for Android | iOS (free)
2. Record the highs and lows of blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be a major risk factor for adults. It can make the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. Over time, this can cause the heart muscle to become thick and stiff, increasing the chances of heart failure.
You should check your blood pressure (BP) levels regularly. According to Harvard Health, anyone with a reading of 130/80 mm/Hg or higher has an elevated BP.
For starters, you can use smart blood pressure monitors to monitor your heart health. These devices come with inflatable cuffs that wrap around your upper arm. The cuff is connected to a small computerized device that automatically inflates and deflates the cuff to measure your blood pressure. Most digital blood pressure monitors use the oscillometric method to detect changes in the volume and resistance of blood flowing through the arteries.
The monitor then calculates your systolic and diastolic blood pressure based on these vibrations and displays the results on a screen. These blood pressure tracker apps can also help you keep track of your blood pressure readings.
3. Control triglycerides
Cholesterol test kits and lipid tests work to measure triglyceride and cholesterol levels by using a small blood sample. These kits are less invasive than regular blood tests, but your doctor may recommend that you do both if you have high cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Home cholesterol test kits (like the test kits listed on Healthline) come with lancets and involve minimal pain. Instructions must be followed carefully to ensure accurate results.
Alternatively, you can also use Cardi.Health, a complete all-in-one app to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You can record blood pressure and pulse readings with the Cardi Monitor device and organize important health information in the app.
The premium version of the app gives you advanced information in real time. You can generate reports by sharing details with your healthcare provider. Be sure to set medication reminders and cholesterol tracking to stay in control of your cardiovascular health.
Discharge: Cardi.Salud for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
4. Measure your LDL cholesterol
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a type of fat that can build up in your blood vessels and damage your heart. LDL cholesterol is especially high in saturated fat and trans fat. According to this WebMD article, the optimal cholesterol level for adults should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
The LDL Cholesterol Tracker app was developed by the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at John Hopkins. It’s a fairly simple way to measure your LDL cholesterol levels. You only need to enter three measurements: total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol, and tap Calculate.
The app bases its calculations on a personalized factor for each individual using the Martin/Hopkins equation, which is an improvement over the traditional Friedewald equation according to a Clinical Biochemistry study. You will obtain the values of LDL cholesterol. VLDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol.
Discharge: LDL Cholesterol Tracker for Android | iOS (free)
5. Check your waist circumference
Waist circumference is an indicator of body fat levels. This is an important metric as it can help you identify areas of your body that are susceptible to weight gain and whether you are at risk for conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol.
The weights and measures tracker app is one such tool that can help you keep track of your BMI and physical attributes and understand how you are progressing over time.
He Calorie and Macronutrient Calculator The feature allows you to choose a calorie goal and choose your choice of diets or choose your macro ratio. You can analyze data about your weight with the weight tracker to see if there are any trends or patterns developing over time.
To get started, set up your profile by entering your basic information such as height, weight goals, date of birth, and gender. Then navigate through the app and enter your health data and other body measurements like chest, hips, waist, and more. The app will then calculate your BMI and body fat percentage.
You can compare this to the ideal levels of body fat percentage in the body fat analyzer section. As you log more data, the app gives you a detailed breakdown of your weight and BMI, weekly calorie intake, and calories burned.
You can track your progress over time by regularly entering your measurements and tracking them on an easy-to-read graph. Then adjust your goals as needed. The premium version of the app includes custom reports, multiple photo journal features, and more.
Discharge: Weights and Measures Tracker for Android (free in-app purchases available)
6. Track physical activity and heart rate
Physical activity is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Use wearable devices, such as smartwatches or activity tracking apps, to make sure you’re moving enough throughout the day. You can set goals for yourself through its step counter, training log, and distance tracking features.
A normal resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. You can use your smartwatch to get real-time information about your resting heart rate during exercise or during the day.
7. Track your calorie intake
Calorie intake is a key factor in weight loss and maintenance, as well as heart health. Tracking your food intake with nutrition apps and calorie counter can help you understand how many calories you’re consuming, helping you create a calorie budget that works for your lifestyle.
You can adjust any food sensitivities or allergies that may be present in your diet. Not only that, but you can also make sure you eat a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium for a healthy heart.
You may also want to avoid portion sizes that are too large or small for your current goals. Most of these apps come with helpful resources and reminders to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as reminding you to drink more water or suggesting healthy meal options.
Be proactive by using technology for your heart health
Knowing your health facts, eating right, and following an exercise routine can go a long way toward keeping your heart healthy. It’s never too late to do something proactive to keep those tickers running strong. Try implementing the tips in this guide, and you’ll be off to a great start in your heart-healthy efforts.