Even though technology sometimes seems overwhelming, and other times it’s hard to tell who’s in charge, (wait- is my tech running me?) it turns out, technology is quite beneficial to our health, and our day-to day-lives.
For one thing, it helps us build good habits. And it has given us an increased awareness of the world around us, with access to a universe of information, including about our own bodies; how to get, and stay healthy, how to reduce stress, etc. It also keeps us connected with friends and family.
TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS US TO SHARE INFORMATION
Technology allows us to share health-related information and more easily build awareness about healthy choices. There are loads of wellness websites such as Positive HealthWellness that offer a variety of resources for people to stay healthy and positive. From accessing great recipes, to tracking fitness, to connecting with medical professionals, technology provides these gateways to better living and greater communication. And it also serves to inspire and challenge us.
TECHNOLOGY INSPIRES AND MOTIVATES
From YouTube channels to blogs and podcasts, to Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, there is a universe of new content on the internet everyday, that you can curate for yourself. Connection to these communities motivate and inspire us.
IT PROVIDES US TOOLS FOR BETTER HEALTH
There are a myriad of choices when it comes to miniature electronic devices that are worn, including smart watches, google glass, and activity trackers such as Fitbit which make it easy to set fitness goals.They can also be used to set reminders, and provide emergency assistance.
TECHNOLOGY HAS GIVEN RISE TO A HOST OF HEALTHY APPS
There are many sophisticated apps to track fitness and nutrition, and there are also apps for medical practitioners to connect with patients, such as MyChart which have enhanced patient communication and care and improved relationship between doctors and patients.
The MyChart app provides fast, secure access to the most frequently used features of MyChart. Users can quickly and easily access his/her medical records, send private messages to physicians and providers, see upcoming and past appointments, get lab results, proxy access and much more. Typical users are patients who travel frequently, salespeople who spend a lot of time on the road, students, and those who have come to rely on an Apple or Android mobile device for internet access and messaging.
This is a GPS tracking fitness app that keeps track of all the user’s fitness activity and delivers detailed statistics around their pace, distance, and time. Runkeeper tracks statistics, progress, and applies coaching, which allows the user to advance in their progress through their headphones with built-in audio cues; listen and control music while working out; measure their heart rate and take pictures to share and save while engaged in an activity. It tracks performance over time, allowing users to view a detailed history of activities; get notifications for new personal “bests” and milestones; measure progress against current goals.
MyFitness Pal is a free smartphone app and website that tracks diet and exercise to determine optimal caloric intake and nutrients for the users’ goals and uses gamification elements to motivate users. By either scanning barcodes or entering items manually into the database, the app is able to accurately track calories and nutrition, and allows users to journal as they work toward their goals.
ShopWell “lets your food do the talking.”
This free app tells you what’s in the food you’re buying at the grocery store and offers suggestions of new foods to try, that fit with your lifestyle. By scanning any item in the grocery store it provides all of the information about that product. Users can create a profile with food interests, and it suggests similar products that best match users’ interests right in the store you’re standing in.
Runtastic Suite of Apps
Runtastic offers a full array of health & fitness tracking apps such as Sleep Better, Mountain Bike, Heart Rate, and a myriad of other apps in the suite, all based on different activities. People can use Runtastic apps in combination with original Runtastic hardware to collect activity data directly within the app. Users can then synchronize the data to Runtastic.com for additional analysis, tracking and sharing.
Recently, Runtastic announced Runtastic Results, a bodyweight training app consisting of a 12-week customized bodyweight training plan, but also has standalone workouts that can be completed outside of the training plan. The Runtastic app, the core product, tracks a variety of metrics, such as: distance, time, pace, calorie consumption, and it is available in 18 languages.
Headspace is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. Its content can be accessed online, or via their mobile apps.
Headspace provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training online; accessible to users through the company’s website and via a mobile app on the iPhone and Android platforms. Users can access ten days of free content, after which they have the option to take out a monthly or annual subscription or continue with the free trial material. The techniques taught through the program combine elements of both calming and insight meditation.
The app’s interface shows different levels of meditation and employs gamification. Each session is about ten minutes long, usually in a video format.
The app is set up so that users complete one session (one meditation) every day for ten days. After ten days a series is completed. Currently there are six series for users to complete: Foundation, Sport, Health, Relationships, Performance, and Headspace Pro. Each series after the introductory series has different categories and meditation tasks for you to complete.
This free app is scientists’ favorite for fulfilling guidelines for a perfect workout.
You can choose whether you want to focus on strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching.
Since all exercises are body weight based, you don’t need equipment and it can be a great way to get a varied workout while traveling. With guided workouts and customizable workout plans you can use from any device, and hundreds of predefined workouts accessible in the library, all you need are some goals.
This app lets users measure and track anything and everything. By helping keep track of day to day habits and routines, one can spot patterns and more easily break habits. Users are trained on how to break one and build another by finding another similar but better, nicer one and repeating it til it sticks. Tools include setting reminders for each habit, to-do lists and repeating tasks, tracking, calendar planning, inspirational quotes, and graphs with success rates all in a game-like interface. In this game you’re competing with yourself, for the longer the better. HabitBull keeps users accountable.
Calm is the new Apple health and fitness app that provides soundtracks and guides for meditation.Calm is the #1 app for mindfulness and meditation to enjoy more clarity, peace, better sleep, and less anxiety. With guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs and relaxing music, it’s perfect for those who are just starting to meditate. Recommended by top psychologists and mental health experts to help you de-stress. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes and topics are numerous, from calming anxiety to forgiveness to loving kindness and also meditations for kids.
TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES LIFE AROUND THE HOUSE
Technology Built “The Internet Of Things” and it’s revolutionizing day-to-day life at home in so many ways!
Amazon Dash Buttons
This proprietary device is a consumer goods ordering system, and a wifi connected barcode that can be programed to order items before they run out. Placed near where the item is used and simply press to reorder. A light on the button turns green if the order has gone through successfully. The buttons are 4.99, but offer an instant credit for the same amount.
Dash Wand is Amazon’s kitchen assistant, allowing users to build a shopping list with it’s built in scanner and voice controls. Just say “paper towels” and its added to the list. It can also find nearby restaurants.
Installing a C-Sleep bulb in your bedroom allows you to schedule and toggle between three color temperatures, one for each time of day, via an app. A C-Life bulb elsewhere in your pad can also be dimmed and brightened with the tap of a phone screen. As a result, the light is more in touch with your body’s ideal natural rhythms, giving you a better shot at falling asleep each night.
UA GEMINI 3
Underarmour’s connected running shoe features an embedded chip that tracks your cadence, duration, distance, and sprints. They also sync with MapMyRun to offer stats on your mileage.
Amazon Echo is a brand of smart speakers built by Amazon. With Alexa, the voice controlled intelligent personal assistant, users connect with voice interaction to play music, audiobooks, set alarms provide weather, traffic, movie showtimes and other real-time information. It can also several smart devices, acting as a home automation hub. An all around favorite feature is the news updates.
The Switch is a standard plug on steroids. Using your Wi-Fi network, the switch lets you control any device from its accompanying app on your phone. So even if you forget to turn something off, you’ve got it covered. It works with Amazon Echo, making it very convenient.
The Link is a small disk that you can hold between your thumb and pointer finger or clip onto your sleeve, as your do-it-all remote. Using the accompanying app, you can set Link to take pictures, change music settings, find your phone when you’ve misplaced it. The Link can also track your activity and sleep, and can be personalized in so many ways, making it a very useful tool.
Roku Streaming Stick is an easy to use player, delivering smooth streaming experiences with channels that launch easily. Portable, you can even take it to a friends with a voice remote that lets you control TV and preferences.
The Breville Fast Slow Pro is a versatile multi-cooker that performs well under many scenarios, including searing meat, slow cooking and pressure cooking.
Some foods are tender with time. Others are perfected under pressure. The Fast Slow Pro automatically adjusts time, temperature and pressure between fast and slow cooking modes to coax maximum flavor and texture.
Bragi Dash Pro are wireless waterproof Earphones that deliver brilliant sound, with a design that seals around the ear to cancel out outside noise. Bragi also improves on voice calls, monitors activities, tracks fitness. delivers real-time translations, and access to Alexa. Bragi aims of becoming a futuristic computer in your ear.
And they’re well on their way!
Nest Cams are so fun, especially for watching your pets when you’re gone. Just set up the camera and download the phone app, allowing you to talk to your pup wherever you are. You can also set up the camera to watch for deliveries.
There are now innovations such as optical fiber, and fiber optic embroidery onto a wound to help it heal as it “monitors” the wound. The fiber’s coating color alters in response to changes in acidity, a key health indicator in wounds.
TECHNOLOGY CAN BRING US TOGETHER
All these innovations are fantastic, but if research tells us that achieving a life of love and happiness is or greatest desire, how does technology impact our goals?
If what we prize most- our greatest happiness- is in the quality of our personal relationships and interactions, then how does technology work to bring us together?
There are many answers in technology such as Skype and Google Hangouts, for conferencing and videos, with the ability to deliver greater reception for more refined interactions than ever before.
Mindfulness is an enormously positive movement that calls on us to become more aware in the present moment, more kind and grateful, and cultivate inner practices like meditation so as to find that sweet intersection of wisdom and happiness. Its popularity has spread online and now there are apps and tools for teaching us how to be more compassionate and grateful.
HeartMath is a set of tools such as surveys, stress solutions, videos, free courses,
and an app called Inner Balance. HeartMath assesses your current level of well- being and provides tools to bridge a connection between the heart and the mind for building a more fulfilling life, and deepening connections with others. By bringing physical, mental and emotional systems into alignment with the heart’s intuitive guidance, users become more compassionate, empathetic, heart-empowered individuals and awaken higher mental, emotional and spiritual capacities.
And then, there are podcasts and Youtube videos of not only grumpy cats and every kind of DYI project you could ever imagine, but also spirituality, secrets of the universe, and way of connecting with the divine cosmos.
Can technology help connect us with what’s truly important- ultimately teaching us how to be more kind and more loving, more compassionate and open hearted?
It’s all there for those care. Technology has given us so many more choices, and more time in our lives for the things that count.
What we do with all these is up to us!
Food for thought…