– Recent advances in technology have made it easier than ever to unobtrusively track a number of statistics related to your overall health. At drugstore.com, our health monitors allow you to check vital signs like your heart rate and blood oxygen levels as well as the number of steps you take and your hours of quality sleep. You can use these results to modify your behaviors and work towards your goal of following a healthier lifestyle.
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Whether you have a health condition that requires constant monitoring or are a fitness buff who wants to make sure that you are keeping up with optimal workout conditions, a few simple readings can tell you a lot about how well your heart is functioning at any given time. Watches with heart rate monitors measure your pulse and can give you an idea how hard your heart is working--regardless of your current activity level.
What Heart Rate Should I Train At?
By subtracting your age from the number 220, you can approximate your body's maximum heart rate. If your goal when working out is to burn fat and lose weight, many experts agree that you should aim to keep your heart rate in the range of 50 to 75 percent of your calculated maximum. If your goal is cardiovascular exercise (also known as aerobic exercise), on the other hand, then fitness advisors recommend trying to keep your heart rate between 75 and 85 percent of the maximum. Doctors usually advise that it's not a good idea to work out above 85 percent of your maximum for any extended period of time because doing so may pose a risk to your health.
How Does an Oximeter Work?
While pulse monitors are essential to measuring heart health, oximeters help you take a closer look at your lung function. These tools clip onto your finger and use an infrared light to measure the amount of oxygen-saturated blood flowing through your body. If your oxygen levels are below a certain percent, then your body may have trouble operating at its full potential. Ask your doctor to advise you on what percentage is ideal for you. Oximeters are easy to use at home, and they can be especially helpful for asthmatics or anyone else with pulmonary problems to keep track of lung function over time.
What Can Pedometers Measure?
For decades, counting steps with a small gadget known as a pedometer has been one of the key elements of many popular diet and exercise programs. Recently, however, these simple tools have undergone a major transformation, and the advanced pedometers available today are able to track much more than just your walking distance. Many modern pedometers include features to measure how many flights of stairs you walk up during the day as well as how many total calories you have burned. Others can be worn on your wrist at night and can track your sleep quality by measuring how often you are restless. Many of these tools can then sync with your smartphone or computer to give you a useful overview of your overall health.
Whatever your reasons may be for wanting to keep closer tabs on some of your body's key statistics, it's easy to collect all the data you need using one of our health monitors available at drugstore.com. Always be sure to consult with your health care practitioner to be sure that you are engaging in the correct activities for your individual health and so that you can understand what your readings should be for each type of monitor.