Zona Plus - The Digital Handgrip Workout
Product Name: Zona Plus
Product Description: Lowers Blood Pressure & Boosts Longevity!
Offer price: $599
Zona Plus is a revolutionary digital handgrip device that uses AI to personalize short isometric workouts.
Ease Of Use
- Easy to use
- Short workouts, only 12 minutes
- Minimal setup
- Benefits are felt immediately
- Easy to track progress with included app.
- Integrates to 3rd party health tracking dashboards
- Peer-reviewed clinical studies showing effectiveness
- Workouts are challenging but not strenous
- Currently not FDA-approved
Hypertension is a significant public health scourge that increases one’s risk of cardiovascular diseases, cognitive decline, and overall mortality. As hypertension cases continue to trend upward, many people are looking for natural tools to help manage this condition.
The Zona Plus automated handgrip device is one such tool that utilizes isometric handgrip exercises to help manage hypertension.
Isometric handgrip exercise has been extensively studied and shows much promise in lowering BP.
The following review explains the science of Zona Plus and my thoughts after using the device.
What Is Zona Plus?
The Zona Plus is a computer-controlled handgrip device that automatically calibrates your natural handgrip strength to create personalized exercise sessions.
The device uses a series of algorithms to calculate each day’s exercise therapy.
I found the process of setting up the device and creating my exercises very easy – much easier than other devices or methods I have used.
Using the device is easy, with clear instructions on what exercises should be completed each day. It provides visual feedback about your progress throughout the session by alerting you when it’s time to rest or if you need to push yourself harder.
How Zona Plus Works
The Zona Plus uses the power of isometric exercise to induce a release of natural nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator that can lower blood pressure and relax your entire body.
Isometric exercises rely on the principle of “maximum voluntary contraction,” which means you are contracting your muscles but not moving any joints or limbs.
The pressure exerted against resistance without joint movement is known as an “isometric contraction.”
Studies show that isometric handgrip exercises can increase “maximum voluntary contraction” and improve hypertension control.1Debra J Carlson , Gudrun Dieberg , Nicole C Hess , Philip J Millar , Neil A Smart, Isometric exercise training for blood pressure management: a systematic review and meta-analysis Mayo Clin Proc. 2014
The Zona Plus takes this further by providing personalized exercise therapy based on your individual strength.
The device uses biofeedback to keep you on track throughout your session.
Biofeedback is the process of providing information back to the user on how their body is doing during an exercise session.
It’s like a personal trainer telling you to push harder or push less depending on what your body needs at that very moment!
Biofeedback is a very effective tool for hypertension management and can help lower BP when used regularly in conjunction with medication.2José Edimosi Costa Vitala Adrielede Morais Nunes Beatriz Souza de Albuquerque Cacique New York Barbara Dayane Araujo de Sousad Micaele Farias Nascimento Magno F.Formiga Ana Tereza N.S.F.Fernandes, Biofeedback therapeutic effects on blood pressure levels in hypertensive individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2021
Using the Zona Plus
You start your workout with a 1-minute warmup squeeze on each hand to get a baseline reading.
As you enter the actual workout, which is a total of 12 minutes split between 2 sessions on each hand, the Zona alerts you to either squeeze harder or squeeze less.
This ensures an optimal workout for your specific needs without overexertion.
While a non-computerized handgrip device can undoubtedly elicit a similar physiological response, the biofeedback-based algorithm allows you to squeeze longer and complete a full workout with ease.
The Zona App
The Zona Plus also includes an app that helps keep track of your progress.
It also integrates into fitness tracking dashboards like Headsup Health so you can analyze your gains alongside tracking data from your other wearables and devices.
Zona Plus Science
The science of the Zona Plus was discovered by Dr. Ronald L. Wiley, a respected cardiopulmonary physiologist while working for the U.S. Air Force in the 1970s.
Dr. Wiley was studying how to protect pilots from g-force blackout and made a surprising discovery – squeezing a steel rod while under flight conditions not only improved g-force tolerance but also lowered blood pressure.
To date, there are more than 20 clinical studies published on the effectiveness of Zona Plus therapy which have appeared in respected, peer-reviewed medical journals, such as: “Journal of Hypertension” and “International Journal of Cardiology.
Recognizing its effectiveness in naturally lowering blood pressure, the Zona Plus has been endorsed by The American Heart Association, the Mayo Clinic, and the Harvard Health Letter as a part of a hypertension management plan.
Zona Plus Studies
The Zona Plus has also been the subject of many studies investigating its effectiveness.
A recent 2019 study in healthy participants showed the Zona Plus elicits a significant drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure.4Daniel S Baddeley-White, Cheri L McGowan, Reuben Howden, Benjamin DH Gordon, Peter Kyberd, and Ian L Swaine, Blood pressure lowering effects of a novel isometric exercise device following a 4-week isometric handgrip intervention Open Access J Sports Med. 2019
Another 2020 8-week randomized control trial in patients diagnosed with peripheral artery disease published by the American Heart Association showed improved local vascular function and decreased diastolic blood pressure.5Marilia A. Correia, PhD, Paulo L. Oliveira, MS, Breno Q. Farah, PhD, Lauro C. Vianna, PhD, Nelson Wolosker, MD, PhD, Pedro Puech‐Leao, MD, PhD, Daniel J. Green, PhD, Gabriel G. Cucato, PhD, and Raphael M. Ritti‐Dias, PhD, Effects of Isometric Handgrip Training in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial J Am Heart Assoc. 2020
Isometric Handgrip Training and Blood Pressure
A systematic review from 2013 highlighted the potential of isometric handgrip training regimens in reducing systolic blood pressure. The meta-analysis showed that isometric handgrip training was superior to endurance training and dynamic resistance training in lowering systolic blood pressure.6Veronique A Cornelissen, Neil A Smart, Exercise training for blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis J Am Heart Assoc. 2013
Other literature reviews from 2014 and 2016 measuring isometric exercise and blood pressure showed similar results involving drops in blood pressure.7Jodie D Inder, Deborah J Carlson , Gudrun Dieberg , James R McFarlane, Nicole Cl Hess, Neil A Smart, Isometric exercise training for blood pressure management: a systematic review and meta-analysis to optimize benefit Hypertens Res. 20168Debra J Carlson , Gudrun Dieberg , Nicole C Hess , Philip J Millar , Neil A Smart , Isometric exercise training for blood pressure management: a systematic review and meta-analysis Mayo Clin Proc. 2014
Handgrip Strength and Longevity
Peer-reviewed studies suggest that poor handgrip strength is a powerful predictor of the increased risks of future disability, morbidity, and mortality.
One study of a half-million participants demonstrated that weak handgrip strength was associated with a greater risk for all-cause mortality.9Carlos A Celis-Morales , Donald M Lyall , Jana Anderson , Stamatina Iliodromiti , Yu Fan , Uduakobong E Ntuk, Daniel F Mackay , Jill P Pell , Naveed Sattar , Jason M R Gill, The association between physical activity and risk of mortality is modulated by grip strength and cardiorespiratory fitness: evidence from 498 135 UK-Biobank participants Eur Heart J. 2017
Other studies evaluating this data drew similar conclusions.10Carlos A Celis-Morales, research associate, Paul Welsh, senior lecturer, Donald M Lyall, research associate, Lewis Steell, student, Fanny Petermann, student, Jana Anderson, research associate, Stamatina Iliodromiti, clinical lecturer, Anne Sillars, clinical fellow, Nicholas Graham, clinical fellow, Daniel F Mackay, reader, Jill P Pell, professor, Jason M R Gill, professor, Naveed Sattar, professor, and Stuart R Gray, lecturer, Associations of grip strength with cardiovascular, respiratory, and cancer outcomes and all cause mortality: prospective cohort study of half a million UK Biobank participants BMJ. 2018
In a study of younger adults, weak handgrip strength was associated with increased risks for incident hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke.11Anthony W Baross , David A Hodgson , Sarah L Padfield , Ian L Swaine, Reductions in Resting Blood Pressure in Young Adults When Isometric Exercise Is Performed Whilst Walking J Sports Med (Hindawi Publ Corp). 2017
Collectively, these studies underscore the importance of grip strength as an indicator of health across the lifespan.
This makes regular use of the Zona Plus is an essential tool for slowing aging.
Handgrip Strength and Cognitive Performance
Zona’s heart-healthy and longevity-promoting benefits also exert influence on the brain.
There are plenty of examples of using handgrip strength as an indicator of cognitive wellbeing.
From a series of studies out of Korea, we know that greater handgrip strength was associated with higher cognitive function scores in the elderly.12Jae Yong Jang , Junghoon Kim, Association between handgrip strength and cognitive impairment in elderly Koreans: a population-based cross-sectional study J Phys Ther Sci. 2015
We also know that hypertension patients also get cognitive benefits from increased handgrip strength.13Shenghua Lu , Fabian Herold, Yanjie Zhang , Yuruo Lei, Arthur F Kramer , Can Jiao , Qian Yu, Scott Doig , Jinming Li, Zhe Yan , Jin Kuang, Ting Wang , Liye Zou, Higher Handgrip Strength Is Linked to Better Cognitive Performance in Chinese Adults with Hypertension Brain Sci. 2021
Even more impressive, we see that better handgrip strength even translates into increased cerebral blood flow in young people.14Fabian Herold, Tom Behrendt , Alexander Törpel , Dennis Hamacher , Notger G Müller , Lutz Schega, Cortical hemodynamics as a function of handgrip strength and cognitive performance: a cross-sectional fNIRS study in younger adults BMC Neurosci. 2021
This evidence shows the importance of incorporating exercises like that provided by the Zona Plus into your day for better overall cognitive health.
My Experience With The Zona Plus
The Zona Plus is one of the easiest, most impactful biohacks on the market.
What I love most about it is its convenience. I do the workouts while sitting on my couch watching TV or listening to a podcast.
You don’t have to keep track of anything or count or even sweat.
The algorithm acts as a personal trainer, and you simply follow the prompts to squeeze harder or less.
It’s really that simple.
That’s not to say that the workouts are easy.
Like any other exercise worth doing, there are plenty of times throughout each session where I feel a burn and want it to be over.
But hanging in there until the end is worth it when you feel that nitric oxide release and a sense of calm runs its way through your body.
It really is a similar feeling to finishing a strenuous workout, albeit to a lesser degree.
I have naturally low blood pressure, so I can’t use the device too often, but I find it helpful when stress is mounting.
It’s important to note that the Zona Plus is not approved as a medical device by the FDA, but they are currently running the clinical studies to present to the FDA and get eventual approval.