Do you remember what it was like trying to live a healthy lifestyle before technology came along? I certainly do!
When attempting to eat healthy, I had to trust the food labels because information wasn’t readily available. I had no idea how many steps I needed to take in a day to maintain optimal health. I didn’t have a device on my wrist to notify me to get up and move if I’d been sitting for too long. If I had a cold, flu, or other annoying minor sickness, I had to actually travel to the ER or doctor.
Staying healthy was boring, time consuming and hard to track. With the cost of healthcare skyrocketing, it’s a perfect time for innovation to emerge that can help. I’m sharing 5 tech ideas that make staying healthy easier than ever before…
1. Calorie counters
Back in the day, you had to count your calories on scraps of paper or a journal (yuck!). Now, you can use one of many free calorie counters and diet planning apps. My personal favorite is MyFitnessPal. My weight loss goal was ten pounds. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! I kept failing to reach my targets. MyFitnessPal logged my height, current weight, target weight and target day for the weight loss. Each day the app told me the max calories I could consume to hit my goal. Furthermore, there is a social aspect to the app that allows you to celebrate your wins with others. Interested? Learn more here.
2. Food planners
There was a time when I attempted to go gluten-free (I admit, there were several times). Before discovering food planner smartphone apps like Food.com, I was losing the “gluten free” battle because it was difficult to plan meals and find foods that fit into my diet. Once I discovered Food.com, I was able to sift through a catalog of gluten-free recipes and also see which stores near me carried the ingredients. What a great resource! Interested? Learn more here.
My pain tolerance is high, but when I’m sick, I’m curled up under the covers like a baby. The last thing I want to do is get out of bed, get dressed, sit in a room with other sick people, wait a really long time to be “seen,” only to confirm a sickness I already self-diagnosed. With telehealth, you can call a U.S.-based, board-certified doctor, schedule a phone or video consult and even get a prescription, if needed. Compared to the cost and time spent on an office visit, the price is a steal. Interested? Learn more here.
4. Doctors Online
I always have medical questions about my children that aren’t worth setting an appointment with a specialist. With an online doctors service, I can email board-certified specialists and receive a response within 24 hours. If you have a best friend that’s a doctor, you know exactly how I relieved I feel having access to this service. Interested? Learn more here.
Have you ever tried to find a good doctor, schedule a procedure, obtain a price beforehand or verify the accuracy of your bill? It will literally drive you insane. Advocacy companies have apps that will allow you to check approximate pricing prior to booking procedures. Sometimes an app just isn’t going to do the trick and you need actual human intervention. Trained advocates can help you navigate your healthcare needs. Sanity preserved! Interested? Learn more here.
6. Health dashboards
Whether you’re tracking steps, calories, blood sugar or something else health-related, consider using a health dashboard app. When visiting the doctor, instead of trying to recite your “numbers” by memory just pull out your smartphone and ta-da, it’s all there. I use an iPhone 6 and it comes with a dashboard app named “Health.” I really like the Medical ID tab that stores important information such as medical conditions, allergies & reactions, medications, blood type, organ donor status and emergency contact info (very useful). Interested? Learn more here.
7. Activity Trackers
Tracking your movements is the craze now. Activity tracking apps will track exertion from walks, runs, bike rides, weight training and even sleep (yes sleep!). It’s motivating to see the progression over time. However, some days require a little extra motivation. Apps like ‘Zombies, Run’ adds excitement to your running routine. Throughout your run (or walk), the app will allow zombies to “chase” you, which means you need to pick up speed or else. Interested? Learn more here.
Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite healthy living apps? Have you used something that’s really changed your health? Comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!