How Technology can help YOU Achieve Health
That said, in my experience the right type of health technology applied to the right client at the right time can be of huge benefit.
But with so many different options available, where do you start when trying to find the perfect piece of health technology to help you not only monitor your health, but also improve it?
Fortunately, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to try out many different options, some of which I now use daily in my practice as I help others to achieve their health and performance goals.
Throughout this article I will outline my experience and how each piece of technology can be used with the intention of giving you insight into which piece of health technology may be most effective for achieving your own health and wellness goals.
First things first…
In my humble opinion, the Internet is probably both the best and worst tool we have at our disposal when it comes to achieving health.
With enough persistence you can find just about any piece of information ever discovered by man, inclusive of health and wellness advice.
This is perfect for those of us seeking the answers to our own health challenges.
The trouble is, the information is so vast and often conflicting, that most of the people that use the internet as a tool to find the information needed to get healthy often end up drowning in the information overload and make very little overall progress.
There are plenty of great websites and blogs out there loaded with useful information (such as this one! 😉 ). You may just have to sift through a lot of rubbish in order to find them.
One thing I highly recommend when using the internet for advice though, is that you don’t try to self-diagnose your health complaints.
So many health conditions have ‘cross-over’ symptoms that it’s way to easy to convince yourself you have something far worse than you really have and this will just lead to unnecessary stress and worry.
Then on the flip-side, there is of course also the risk that you’ll convince yourself that your condition is much better than it may actually be and then put off getting professional help when it’s really needed.
The best advice I cam give you when using the internet is to be intelligent with it’s application. Then it can be a very effective tool.
Heart Rate (HR) Monitors
HR Monitors can be a very effective tool for monitoring the effectiveness of your fitness programme.
By monitoring your HR before during and after training you will be able to make informed decisions about your training and whether or not your programme is achieving your goals or not.
For example, if you’re new to exercise and you have a resting heart rate of 72bpm (Beats per Minute) and it drops to 60bpm over the first couple of months it’s safe to say that your fitness (and likely your health) are improving, so therefore your programme is doing it’s job.
HR Monitors are also great for giving you a heads up about whether or not you may be overtraining.
If for instance you find that your morning resting HR is increasing it’s possible that it’s because you’re overtraining and your body isn’t getting adequate recovery between sessions.
Taking a few days off or significantly reducing the intensity and/or duration of your workouts for a while is often enough to help things recover optimally.
If this doesn’t help though, it could be that you have inadequate nutritional habits to support your training or a more serious health issue so I would recommend getting things checked out with your Doctor.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
By far my favourite piece of health technology for monitoring current health and health improvements over time is HRV.
It can do everything that a HR Monitor can do, plus more.
I have been using HRV in my own practice since March 2011, and used alongside Mitochondrial Therapy it has been the single most effective tool for helping to bring about health in my clients.
Clients from all walks of life with conditions such as ME, Chronic Fatigue and even Fungal Infections.
Although HRV does not diagnose – as in it cannot tell you the specific disease/ illness or ‘problem area’ – what HRV is effective at, is showing us how the body is coping with, or adapting to the total summation of all stressors it experiences on a day-to-day basis.
This includes all forms of stress – mental, emotional, physical, chemical, electromagnetic, etc.
Knowing this information can give us an indication of the factors affecting an individuals health as well as the best approach to take in order to help the individual improve their health.
HRV can also be used in completely healthy individuals to help monitor their exercise or sporting activities.
We can monitor readiness to train, individualised physiological changes during and after the training as well as a persons rate of physiological adaptation to their training over time.
GPS Trackers are useful for not only tracking your general daily activity level but they can of course be used to monitor improvements in your performance over time.
Let’s say for instance you’re somebody that likes to go running on a regular basis.
Well a great way to track your performance progress would be to use a GPS Tracker. You’ll be able to monitor improvements in your time per unit of distance covered and of course the opposite is also true, distance covered per unit of time.
For example, if you can cover the same or more distance in less time than previous weeks you’ll know that things are moving in the right direction.
Then if you’d like to take your results even further you could use GPS Tracking technology alongside a HR Monitor or for even better results, HRV.
Many HR Monitors actually come with built in GPS Trackers these days and failing that, there are plenty of Mobile Apps you can download (many of them free) to do the job for you.
Another advantage with the Internet is the introduction of online Health Courses. Not only for coaches trying to improve their skill-set for helping others but also for those who are trying to achieve health and wellness.
Now although nothing tends to be better than actually going to visit somebody to learn from them on a one-to-one basis, online coaching courses are pretty much the next best thing.
Often with direct and simple to implement steps, online courses offer a great option for those that want to learn about health in the comfort of their own home and then implement the changes in their own time.
Poor posture isn’t ideal for anybody.
It often leads to impaired organ function (shallow breathing, poor digestion, etc..), joint and muscle imbalance as well as increased risk of pain or injury.
As an experienced rehabilitation coach, one of the main aspects I focus on with my clients that are in pain is the restoration of optimal posture.
Once we’ve established optimal mobility in the necessary areas of the body the next step is usually teaching the brain and the nervous system to hold the body in the correct position – upright (for most, chest up, head back and chin tucked) and not hunched over with rounded shoulders and forward head carriage.
What I used to do was get my clients to carry a small digital timer and set it to alert them every 15 minutes with a quick beep.
This beep was simply a reminder to them to ‘pick themselves up’ and correct their posture…
…4 times and hour, 16 hours a day = 64 reminders a day.
You see breaking a habit such as poor posture takes a fair bit of time and effort. And if like many, you’ve had poor posture since childhood (due to sitting at a desk in school all day), a few exercises alone each week isn’t going to be enough to correct your posture. The exercises simply strengthen the muscles which have become weak.
But what we need with this new strength is a reminder to ‘pick ourselves up’ so that the nervous system realises that this new position is where you’d like it to hold the body. Basically we’re reprogramming a new ‘normal’ position.
This is where the Lumo Lift now comes in. It’s a simple device that tracks changes in your posture throughout the day and whenever you fall outside of ‘good posture’ it gives you discreet vibrational feedback as a reminder to hold good posture – even more effective than 64 reminders a day!
You can also connect it to your mobile device to track your progress and improvements as well as your activity levels throughout the day.
To find out more, visit: http://www.lumobodytech.com/
“WHAT!?” I hear you say.
Sounds weird I know but read on and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Technology has had so much impact on health that there are even companies and businesses using technology to help their clients stay active and healthy.
Take Oscar for example. Oscar is a company which provides health insurance in New Jersey and New York.
In order to help their clients stay healthy they offer their members a free MisFit Flash. Misfit Flash is a wearable fitness tracker that measures your activity and sleep habits on a daily basis.
You then just simply sync it with your Oscar Mobile App and you can even earn up to $240 a year by hitting your daily targets – nothing like getting paid to take care of yourself, hey!
It’s a rare thing to see companies taking care of their clients in this manor but it’s simply another example of how technology is impacting health throughout the world.
There are of course many other items I could talk about but I think there’s enough here to get you started.
But before you go, why not leave a comment below telling me how you may have already used technology to monitor and improve your health in the past.
And of course, you’re welcome to share this article with anybody you feel may benefit from the information.
As always, thank you for your time!