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Top five technologies to boost your health and fitness

Here are five ways that technology is earning a rep for making us healthier. 

Can technology make you healthier? It plays an integral role in the way most of us live our lives, and increased use of smartphones and tablets is often blamed for the inactivity epidemic sweeping much of the developed world. The World Health Organisation has identified a lack of physical activity as the fourth biggest mortality risk factor globally, causing six percent of deaths worldwide1. But there is also plenty of brand new tech that helps you to lead a healthy life, through increased activity, better diet and more sleep. The following tips and gadgets can make keeping track of your health more convenient and much more fun.

Wearable fitness tech

 There is a fantastic choice of wearable fitness devices on the market, including discreet bracelets and clips. You wear the device at all times to get a detailed picture of key health indicators such as activity levels and sleep patterns. Your bracelet or clip can tell you how many calories you have burned that day by sending all the data it collects to an app on your smartphone2. This makes it easy to see how much physical activity you are doing, and turns getting fit into a game rather than a chore. Track your progress and work towards achievable goals and you’ll soon see the difference in your overall health.

Apps

Whatever you’re keen to keep track of, there is a free app to help you do it. From restless nights to compulsive snacking habits, almost any problem that is detrimental to your health has a corresponding app that can help you manage it. Knowledge is power, and if you know where your weaknesses are then you’re one step closer to overcoming them. For example, apps that give you accurate calorie counts for the food you eat3, as most people underestimate how much they eat and may be consuming more than they realise.

Social Accountability

Many health and fitness apps have a feature that allows you to share your progress online via social media. There are also many online communities which you can join for free to connect with people who have similar goals to you, and get advice, motivation and recognition for your achievements. Certain apps have taken this concept to the next level, rewarding you in cold hard cash for hitting your fitness goals and charging you if you don’t. Increasing your accountability for your diet and exercise is an extra nudge to get your trainers on and out of the door. 

Heart rate training

 For people who exercise regularly or who are in training for a particular race or sporting event, heart rate-based training can provide extra accuracy for tracking progress. Your heart rate gives you a clear indication of how hard you are working and makes sessions such as interval training more effective4. There are countless online training programmes to follow to reach your target for marathons, half marathons, triathlons and other endurance events. Many of these rely on completing sessions at a set intensity in order to get the most from your body. Invest in a good heart rate monitor and you will be able to ensure you are not under or over exerting yourself during each training session.

Online personal training

Many personal trainers cater to online clients, sending tailored workout plans and keeping up to date with your progress via email. This gives you access to an entire world of specialist knowledge and allows you to find a trainer which is right for you, rather than the one who just happens to work at your local gym. More and more people are finding their way into regular training due to the flexibility and affordability of online personal training. However, bear in mind that if you rely on the one-on-one motivation and advice on technique that a personal trainer usually provides, you may struggle with this type of programme5.

What should I do first?

Taking control of your health and fitness can seem like a daunting prospect. A health assessment can help you get a clearer picture of what changes you might need to make and where to start. Just like an MOT test for your car, a health assessment can identify any conditions you were unaware of and take a closer look at your long term health.

Find out more about NHS approved apps here.

 

Sources

1http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/pa/en/
2http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223782
3http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223782
4https://www.lifefitness.com/blog/posts/fit-tip-use-technology-to-improve-your-health.html?countryKey=emea.gb
5http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/10782652/Does-online-personal-training-work.html

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