Improve Your Health with Technology

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Healthcare is being challenged to support health and well-being with technology in a meaningful, effective, and human way. With the cost of healthcare increasing andand health issues rapidly changing, there is potential for technology to be an empowering resource to our personal health and wellness. Through apps, we can take an active role in planning and monitoring our own wellness plan.

There is also technology that goes beyond the app. Kinsa has developed a Smart Stick Digital Thermometer that plugs into your phone and records fevers, symptoms, medication dosages, and other important health data in a time-stamped log for each family member through the free app. Scanadu Scout is a device that can simply be placed on your left temple for a few seconds and your vital signs are displayed on your iPhone via Bluetooth. ThriveOn is an online andand mobile service that offers counseling without long wait times, in-person appointments, or high fees. It provides a personalized program with reading, interactive exercises, mood andand behavior tracking, andand weekly feedback from a ThriveOn coach.

Finding the apps that work for you, however, can be daunting at best. Ask your friends andand family for recommendations. I will continue to share interesting and beneficial apps in this column and would love for you to share your app discoveries with me. Many companies are beginning to provide a health tracking app for their employees as well that includes team challenges, personal health goals, and even the ability to invite friends and family to join.

When searching for apps for daily health and well-being, keep in mind three main pillars of health to find a balanced wellness program that works for you:  Nutrition/Diet, Exercise, and Mental/Emotional/Spiritual. Here is a list of a few of my current favorites:

Nutrition:

The Blender Girl Smoothies ($4.99). I love smoothies and they can be a quick nutritious option for the girl on the go; however, many are packed with unwanted calories and sugar. Each recipe has nutritional information and options depending on your individual nutritional needs and goals.

Exercise:

Yoga Studio (free). I’ve always preferred weight lifting and cardio but would love to enjoy the benefits of yoga without going to a class. The app has classes available depending on your fitness level and yoga experience. As a bonus, it has guided meditations!

Mental/Emotional/Spiritual:

Five Minute Journal (free). This has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It encourages beginning each day with gratitude and ending each day with positive reflection.

There are many health benefits to tracking your calories, exercise, sleep, water intake; connecting with friends and co-workers for a little healthy e-competition and e-team building; having a doctor and medical information at your fingertips; and even taking time for e-meditation. However, there are health benefits to disconnecting as well. A constant state of digital connectedness can have a negative impact on your health and life.

Obesity: In a study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Evidence Library on the relationship between screen time and body weight of adults, they found that more screen time is directly linked to an increase in obesity and other health-related concerns. It’s not rocket science that the more time we spend sitting and staring at a screen, the less time we are being active which further exacerbates obesity.

Irregular sleep: The light emitted from your digital device has been proven to increase cortisol and suppress the body’s production of melatonin, the chemical that causes deep sleep. There are apps available to reduce the impact of the blue light emitted. However, it is best to have a digital curfew to ensure a more restful sleep.

Eyesight problems: Many people complain of dry or itchy eyes, headaches, and blurred vision after looking at a screen for too long. But the lasting effects are even more serious. Extended exposure to blue light can cause permanent eye damage. I highly recommend wearing glasses with blue light lenses to protect your eyes.

Relationships: Although technology is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, it can also hinder the relationships that are right in front of us. Make it a practice to put away digital devices and spend intentional time being present and engaged.

Health is a state of balance. When kept in balance, technology can be a tool that will empower you to achieve a greater state of health and wellness.

Cindy is a Certified Integrative Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer for professional women. She has been helping women achieve their health and fitness goals local and abroad for the past 15 years. For a free consultation,
contact Cindy at cindy@whollydesigned.com.

 

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