Technology & Health

In today’s fast paced world, technology is everywhere and serves as a major part of many peoples’ daily lives.  Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, do these sound familiar? Of course they do. We want to introduce you to some lesser known technological gems that may very well help you in your health and wellness goals! We tried the following Apps and games which may help rather than hinder your health. By equipping your smart phone with these Apps you will have instant access to the benefits they provide, so no excuses this time!  We challenge you to find a few spare minutes during the day to test out these resources for yourself.  Give it a try and discover what works for you.

HeadSpace App – Meditation & Mindfulness – “Train your mind for a healthier happier Life.”

This pocket meditation app’s front man Andy Puddingcombe was ordained at a Tibetan monastery in the Indian Himalayas.  With over half a million users, Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world.  Headspace offers a free trial and subscription service to learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness.  The App offers hundreds of meditations for everything from stress reduction to sleep. We tried it!  We liked the simplicity of the app. We found Andy’s guided meditations (and voice) to be peaceful, relaxing and clear. Headspace offers meditations of varying lengths which made it easy to find one that fit our schedule.  We liked the App’s ability to document how much we meditate.  Also the short meditations “Breathe,” “Unwind,” and “Restore” were fantastic 1 – 3 minute meditation resources for those of us with sometimes crazy schedules.

FitBit – Movement and Exercise – “Find Your Fit”

Have you heard someone ask if you are “counting your steps?” Fit Bit is a wearable technology device that tracks every part of your day – this includes activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep.  The fit bit syncs with your phone and computer and comes in many colors and designs, so you can stay color coordinated. By simply increasing your steps per day you can burn more calories, increase muscle tone and increase cardiovascular health.  The Fitbit app allows you to connect with friends and family to encourage and challenge fitness goals – it makes the process that much more fun! Fitbit was the first to introduce automatic, wireless syncing and offers the thinnest, lightest GPS + heart rate device on the shelf. We tried It! We liked the step counting feature which helped to inform how our steps varied from day to day and how it related to our overall feeling of well-being.  We noticed that on the days we accumulated less steps we didn’t feel as good. Some days we would walk around the block just to get the count to our daily minimum and felt much better from the fresh air and sunshine. According to FitBit – the device helps you lose weight the healthy way.  “We believe — and medical studies prove — that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to simply keep track of the foods you eat. Gimmicky machines and fad diets don’t work, so we designed a free website and mobile apps that make calorie counting and food tracking easy.”

Pokemon Go – Game for Smart Phones – “Catch Pokémon in the Real World with Pokémon GO!”

Hand holding a phone with Pokemon Go openPokemon Go is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game for iOS and Android devices. The game uses GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location. This game encourages you to get outside and move as it’s the only way to play. This includes a healthy feature that is a step related game activity.  You are rewarded in the game with extra points, prizes and stats the more steps you take as you walk with your phone. We tried It!  We had fun testing out this game and it actually got us moving more!   We felt more inclined to walk to lunch to increase our game related step rewards and found ourselves encouraging each other to stay outside just a little bit longer each day. We also found we were encouraging each other to go on walks outside of work to achieve small goals within the game. According to the PokemonGo blog, one dedicated gamer utilized the game to help him lose over 85 pounds.  Before adding weight lifting to his routine, the gamer found the initial encouragement to begin his weight loss journey and found inspiration to go outside and move because of the game.

My Fitness Pal – Nutrition and Exercise Tracking App  – “Lose Weight with MyFitnessPal – The fastest, easiest to use calorie counter app”

The My Fitness Pal app is a diet and exercise journal app that allows you to track your daily movement (cardio, weight lifting, sports, and mind-body practices like Pilates and yoga) and food consumption. We tried it! We enjoyed being able to input our workout and see the daily calories shift according to our exercising and eating. We felt a new component of mindfulness growing in our eating habits as we practiced entering our food into the food journal. It gave us a second moment to check in with what we had consumed which allowed us to make future decisions in a more informed way. Now it’s your turn! Let us know what your favorite health technology is and send a few paragraphs to us here  for a chance to be featured on our blog. Happy “teching”!

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