Can Technology Lead You Down the Healthy Path?

12.13.2016

There’s no question that modern technology has made life easier for us. Just a few short years ago, it would’ve been impossible to do even half of the things that we can now do digitally. Indeed, most of us go through our days carrying enough technology in our pocket to make James Bond envious.

Unfortunately, all that convenience comes with a price, as the same tools that help us save time and accomplish more have also made us more sedentary.

Fortunately, the tide has started to turn in recent years as technology providers and consumers alike have begun to embrace a new generation of wellness technology to help keep us fit.

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of wearable technology, fitness trackers, and mobile apps to help keep us in tip-top shape. And you don’t have to have Tony Stark money to be able take advantage of this trend. Many of these apps, devices, and tools are affordable or straight-up free.

Here’s a quick look at what’s available to you:

Fitness Trackers and Wearables

Fitness trackers—like those provided by FitbitJawbone, and Garmin—have become all the rage in recent years, and with good reason. Not only do they provide a quick look at your daily physical activity, but they also provide accountability as you work toward your fitness goals. Integrating fitness technology into corporate wellness programs cranks it up a notch, allowing you to participate in wellness challenges with your colleagues that keep you motivated to keep moving.

Sleep Trackers

Most experts agree that we all should get about eight hours of sleep. But those restful hours are usually the first to go when things start getting hectic. This is where apps like SleepBot can help. With this app, you can track your sleep patterns, set reminders to sleep and wake up, automatically silence your phone, and cut off Wi-Fi, so you can rest with no annoying distractions.

Calorie Counters

I’ve always believed that data holds the power to influence your decisions and determine if what you’re doing is actually working. It’s true in business, and it’s no different with nutrition. Thankfully, popular apps like MyFitnessPal can help provide calorie information quickly and painlessly by taking advantage of your phone’s barcode-scanning capabilities. The app also allows you to set a weight goal and track your progress.

Budgeting Tools

With so much focus on nutrition and physical fitness, many of us often overlook the effect that mental wellness can have on our overall well-being. Financial stress is a major part of this, as many of us grapple with money issues to one degree or another. We talked briefly about financial budgeting tools last week, and it bears repeating that they can help minimize your stress by creating a budget and tracking your spending habits.

Wellness Portal

Many employers have a workplace wellness program in place—like the ones we offer at Viverae®—to help their employees embrace a healthier lifestyle. I’m not being biased here (ok, maybe I am just a little bit); if you’re fortunate enough to work for an organization that utilizes a wellness program, you should definitely enroll and take advantage of all the available resources.

The best wellness programs pack many tools—biometric data, Webinars, challenges, and more—all in one handy place. If the program offers a mobile app, like our Viverae app, then this data is accessible anywhere, anytime.

With all this technology to choose from, the real question is, do any of these things actually work. While there’s been a ton of research, the reports are conflicting; so it’s difficult to say for sure. Personally, I believe that wellness technology represents an excellent opportunity to track behavior and help you stay mindful of your decisions.

Of course, no amount of gadgets or gizmos are going to hand you a healthier lifestyle on a silver platter—I don’t care how sophisticated they are. Instead, it’s up to you to use the tools you have at your disposal and put in the necessary effort to get where you want to be.

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