There has always been a rift between technological advancement and personal health. As we progress, everything requires less physical effort (read: exercise), less care (thought), and less attention (focus).
We associate technology with laziness, zombification, and alienation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The practical applications of any technology are always, by definition, vast–almost limitless. So, instead of succumbing to the lure of stationary video games and motionless travel, consider these ways in which technology can transform you into a healthier person.
From activity trackers to running watches enabled with GPS, there has never been a wider array of devices designed specifically to help you monitor, track, and modulate your energy output and caloric burn.
If you aren’t sure where to start, but you know you want to apply technology to your life in a healthy way, buy a wearable device first. This will give you a better picture of yourself as a living, breathing, consuming organism.
Once you understand how many calories you consume vs. how many you burn, you’ll want to develop goals and find ways to track and achieve them. Luckily, there are about a million apps for that.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the search results, and don’t be afraid to ditch an app that’s too complicated or difficult to use. Reading reviews is a good way to weed out any stinkers, but you’ll still have to dedicate some time until you find a program that works for you.
Two apps will ultimately be plenty, you’ll know when you’ve found the right ones.
3. The Web
The most important achievement of our technological era is still, inarguably, our ability to share information across the globe; quickly, easily, without excessive cost. Utilizing support groups, chat forums, and social media can be an empowering way to make technology work for your health.
Whether your goal is to lose 50 lbs. or to become an Ironman, the experience of people outside your immediate community can be invaluable to your success. Without prejudice or expectation, people online can share their experience and wisdom to help you achieve your own goals. What might be even more surprising: there are countless people who do this for each other every day.
4. Medical innovation
Health isn’t always just about eating right and exercising. For individuals with Diabetes, heart disease, chronic conditions, immune deficiencies, or individuals who are physically or mentally disabled, who suffer from birth defects, PTSD, or debilitating seizures, technology can be essential to everyday survival.
For these individuals it’s imperative to use every available resource (apps and the web are a good place to start) to gain knowledge pertaining to the most current treatments, cures, and trials. Always explore every avenue available before accepting a disheartening prognosis. Thanks to technology, there is never reason to give up hope.