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Family Features illustration

Heart health

The message that a healthy lifestyle helps protect your heart isn’t new. If you’d like to do more to take care of your heart, here are ways technology can make that easier.

Stop smoking. Apps such as Smoke Reducer for Android, and iQuit for iPhone can help you wean off tobacco. You can also use the Firefox add-on Quitomzilla, which shows you how much money you save by not smoking, the number of cigarettes not smoked, and the time since your last smoke.

Limit alcohol and caffeine. Keep track of how much you’re drinking with the DrinkControl or Alcohol Monitor apps for iPhone, or the SoberApp for Android. They estimate your blood-alcohol content and let you know whether you should drive. To monitor your caffeine intake, try the Caffeine Zone 2 for iPhone and iPad, or the Caffeine Monitor app for Android.

Keep tabs on your blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic recommends you monitor your blood pressure at home and visit your doctor regularly. With the iHealth Blood Pressure Dock, (www.ihealth99.com), you can accurately measure your blood pressure, track your readings over time, and share that information with health care providers, friends and family members.

Make sleep a priority. Not getting enough sleep can raise your blood pressure and make it more likely you’ll have a stroke or heart attack. Learn more about your sleep patterns with a sleep monitor. You can try a headband monitor, such as the Zeo, (www.myzeo.com), or an armband monitor such as the SleepTracker, (www.sleeptracker.com). Each keeps track of your sleep cycle and helps you wake up at the optimal time.

Know your family history. Knowing your family’s medical history can help you identify patterns that might be relevant to your own heart health. There are a number of online tools such as My Family Health Portrait at https://familyhistory.hhs.gov to help you gather and store that information.

– Family Features

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