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7 Gifts to Warm a Loved One’s Heart

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When it comes to gift giving, we all have people in our lives that have everything they need. But do they really?

Here's a different way of thinking about gifts: try giving them something that shows them you care and helps their heart.

Below are a few suggestions to get you started on your hunt for heart healthy gifts!

Fitness Tracker

Wearable fitness trackers can be a chic and healthy gift. Tracking steps, calories burned, or monitoring one's heart rate can start a friendly competition with oneself, and help motivate your loved one to go out and be active!

Bonus Tip: Check out some of the best fitness trackers of 2015 from CNet!

Airfryer

What do french fries, buffalo wings, and donuts all have in common? Well, other than being delicious? They are all deep fried -- brimming with fats and laden with calories. Enter the air fryer — a modern marvel of kitchen gadgetry that fries your favorite foods with just a fraction of the fat.

Blood Pressure Cuff

Not only a must have for heart disease patients, but for all exercise fanatics. A blood pressure cuff measures your systolic/diastolic blood pressures, heart rate and pulse so you can track your numbers and make sure they're within a normal range before, during and after workouts.

Bonus Tip: The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, upper-arm monitor. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they show less reliable readings.

Tea Set

Studies have found that drinking green tea is associated with a decreased risk of stroke. This drink, filled with catechins, may lower systemic blood pressure and support healthy cholesterol levels - but make sure to have this conversation with your physician if you are already taking medications prescribed for these conditions. A cup of tea can also be very relaxing and ease some stress!

Bonus Tip: Pick a mug that evokes a happy memory as a part of your gift. We can all use reminders of happy times!

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is essential and water bottles are easy to carry, eco-friendly and most importantly, can help replenish fluids lost during your most intense workouts. With so many varieties that actually work while you're exercising, you'll never go thirsty!

Bonus Tip: Need somewhere to store your medications while exercising? We have the answer. Several brands now make a small accessory for the top of water bottles. An excellent find for patients with heart disorders.

Meditation Cushion

We're in the midst of a mindfulness revolution. While definitions vary, mindfulness is a meditation practice that emphasizes the awareness of moment-to-moment experience with openness and without judgment. Extensive clinical and neurological research has shown that the practice of mindfulness can improve mood and quality of life, enhance emotional regulation, and provide a number of physical health improvements - including cardiovascular benefits. While mindfulness can be done without a cushion, many practicing meditators find a dedicated cushion, sometimes called a zafu, aids their practice.

Bonus Tip: The Penn Program for Mindfulness provides an eight-week introductory course to mindfulness that has helped more than 10,000 people start their meditation journey.

Bluetooth Earbuds

Paired with a streaming music gift card, this techy gift can be perfect for those who have made fitness one of their heart healthy goals. Without no wires in the way, your loved one can listen to tunes while walking, running or exercising – minus the tangled mess.

Bonus Tip: Create a workout playlist for each kind of activity - one to get the heart pumping and one to relax/cool down. Check out Philly Mag's workout playlist archives for some inspiration.

About this Blog

The Penn Heart and Vascular blog provides the latest information on heart disease prevention, nutrition and breakthroughs in cardiovascular care.


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