GroovyTek | Personal Technology Training

Getting Fit in the New Year? How Technology Can Help You Get Healthy

Fitness is on many people’s minds as we think about the new year. Every headline is about new diets, new workout plans, new ways to become ‘the best version of yourself’ in the new year. Every magazine article is obsessed with cardio and celery sticks for New Year’s Day. What if you’re not interested in losing weight, though? What if you want to be strong and healthy in 2020? If you’re over the age of 40, health professionals may have bombarded you with scary terms. Heart disease, osteoporosis … these terms are thrown around. To stay healthy, you might need to make changes in 2020. 

New Year’s resolutions often fail. Most people ditch their resolutions by February. No one wants that statistic to represent them. It usually does, though. How can you make sure that doesn’t happen? Maybe you’re tired of tracking calories in a notebook, writing healthy meal plans down and trying to keep track of everything. There are some great solutions in personal technology to solve these issues, though! 

One of the best fitness apps available is MyFitnessPal. It’s a user-friendly app that tracks daily food intake and activity. Many people use this app to track their diet. You can use it to maintain or gain weight. If you’d rather be mindful of your daily calorie intake and exercise, MyFitnessPal does that, too. 

Start by downloading MyFitnessPal from your smartphone’s app store. You’ll be asked a few questions to personalize your experience. Weight goals, activity levels, gender, birthday, height, weight, and weekly goals are included. After it collects all the necessary information, the app will ask for daily input. You can log every meal in MyFitnessPal. This allows the app to calculate caloric intake. A library of food options is available to put into the app. Based on your height and weight, the app provides a calorie goal for the day. 

If you’re interested in calculating calories burned, log your activities in MyFitnessPal. If you do cardio or lift weights, log it! The calories you burn are deducted from your daily goal. Counting every calorie may sound like too much work. MyFitnessPal’s approach does help you stay on track with your goals. If you’d rather try another app, though, there are lots of other options! Some apps track steps, heartbeat, and overall wellness. 

Recent iPhone models come with a pre-installed step counter app. There is a motion detector chip inside your phone called an accelerometer. If you carry your phone everywhere, it tracks your steps and movement. 

If you don’t own a recent iPhone, no worries! Pacer works as a third-party app that acts as a step counter. This app calculates and displays information based on how many steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve walked, and the calories you’ve burned. 

Most Android smartphones have built-in accelerometers, too. Newer devices include an app called World Walking. If you choose to turn this app on, it automatically tracks your steps. Maybe your Android smartphone doesn’t have this app. If not, there are plenty of Android-friendly apps that do the same job. Google Fit is a great place to start. 

If you’re looking for something different, heart rate tracking can be crucial. If you’re in great health, you might only need to do this at the doctor’s office. If you’re worried, though, heart rate tracking is worth it. State-of-the-art technology includes pulse-sensing watches, fingertip recognition, and more. 

Fitbit and Garmin both produce smart devices that track your heart rate. They can use your fingertips to determine your pulse rates. When it comes to a wearable device, like a watch, both companies excel. The Apple Watch, for instance, has the ability to count steps and monitor heart rate. These smart devices are gaining in popularity as people discover a need for them. 

Some people, though, want to establish their sleep patterns. They struggle with consistently getting the amount of sleep they need and are always exhausted. There are many apps available to help smooth your sleep schedule. Sleep tracks in smart devices function as a sleep information system. You can log your patterns in the app. Over time, it will detect patterns. Stages of sleep, insomnia, and hours of sleep per night are included. Most apps offer information and tips based on that information. You can alter your habits based on the information provided. Most professionals suggest you aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you're not getting consistent sleep, start there. Then, you can build your way up to long hours spent asleep.

CBTI-Coach, one of the best sleep trackers, was created in conjunction with the Veteran Affairs National Center for PTSD, the Stanford School of Medicine, and the Department of Defenses’ National Center for Telehealth and Technology. The idea initially derived from dealing with insomnia caused by PTSD. Over time, it expanded to a larger market. Their site recommends that if you’re engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, that you use the app with a healthcare provider. Otherwise, you can use it independently.

The app entails four different insomnia prevention tools. The main feature is a sleep tracking log. It asks you to input the time you spent awake and asleep. You can bookend this information by providing the app with the time it took you to fall asleep and wake up. All of this information can be assessed in the app, providing information on current sleep symptoms. The second feature provides tools to create new sleep habits, to prevent future insomnia, and to calm your mind. The third feature is highly informative articles on topics relating to sleep. A fourth feature is a reminder tool. The reminder tools can act as an alarm clock for bedtime or waking up. The feature also includes alarms for winding down, to help with cutting down on caffeine, or to update sleep prescriptions.

If you’re struggling with your health, these apps do their best to make it as easy as possible. Whether you want to lose weight or get better sleep, they will help provide information so that you can get healthier! If you’re confused about the process of actually downloading and utilizing these apps, GroovyTek is here to help. 

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