Most of us don’t associate technology with health. In fact, many of us associate technology with laziness. Someone staying up all night playing video games. Looking at your phone instead of working out. While there are legitimate criticisms to be made, we should celebrate the many ways that technology can help someone stay healthy. Here are a few of them.
List of Ways Tech is Changing our Health & Lifestyle
1. It Helps Us Count Calories Much Easier
There used to be a time when you didn’t know how many calories were in your food. You would go to a restaurant and order a burger, fries, and maybe a milkshake. You would think that there would be 500 calories in your meal when in reality, it was well over a thousand.
Thanks to apps like MyFitnessPal, it’s easier than ever for you to see what’s in your food, keep a log of what you’ve eaten today, and determine how much you need to gain, lose, or maintain your weight. This can help you reach your weight goals faster, as it’s much easier than guessing, calculating by hand, or doing some deep research.
Also read: Best Health Apps for Android
2. Sounds for Calming
Many of us associate technology with keeping us awake, and there is truth to that. Using your phone too close to bedtime can keep you awake, especially if you don’t have your blue light filter on. However, technology can help you unwind and even fall asleep too. How so? Well, you can open up a YouTube app or another app that plays white noise. White noises include fan sounds, rain, binaural beats, or someone reading a boring story to you. It can help you unwind and fall asleep. If you can’t sleep, play some sounds and you may be able to go to bed much faster.
3. You Can Access Different Workout Techniques Much Easier
Before we had the tech we’ve had now, it was much more difficult to learn ways to work out. You always want to mix it up a little and make sure that you go beyond the plateau. However, your best bet back in the day was ordering an expensive workout tape, learning from your friends, or going to a personal trainer.
Thanks to technology, you can look at a tutorial on YouTube or another site that makes it a whole lot easier for you to get your workout done. Plus, many of these tutorials come with detailed instructions that make it a whole lot easier.
4. Apps for Accountability
Being held accountable is a good way to stay healthy. When starting a diet or an exercise regimen, the first few weeks are the most challenging, and many people will quit early or barely start at all. It’s hard to be held accountable for these actions, as most of us are grown adults.
However, technology can make it easier to hold you accountable or remind you to work out. The calendar feature smartphones have allows you to set reminders to work out, so “I forgot” is never an excuse. There are apps that will remind you to work out, and even reward you for working out as well. Calorie counting apps can remind you that you’re going over your limit, too. There are many ways to hold yourself accountable, and by doing so, you can get past that initial hurdle of working out.
5. Smartwatches Monitor Your Vitals
Smartwatches can do a whole lot for your health. Besides looking sleek and stylish, many of them come with apps to monitor your health, or ways for you to to look at your vitals. Some smartwatches can monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, or other vitals.
6. Monitoring Your Sleep
Besides apps that can help you find asleep, there are apps that can help you record and monitor your sleep. Sleep diaries can help you figure out how much sleep you’re getting every night, and let you decide whether or not you should sleep in on the weekend.
Sleep is so important to us, and yet many of us don’t get the right amount of sleep. Many of us may develop health problems or mental health woes due to the lack of sleep. Get the right amount of sleep, and you’ll be thanked later.
As mental health awareness continues, many of us want to seek help through counseling or therapy. A therapist can help you when you’re having a depressive or anxious episode, can assist you whenever you need help with a relationship, or just give you life advice. However, therapy is inaccessible for many. Some people cannot afford it, or live in an area where therapy is unavailable. They may have jobs where they work odd hours, making it difficult to reach a therapist during their hours. Or a person may have a disability that makes it much harder to leave the house or speak to someone.
However, online therapy has made it much easier for people to get therapy. Online therapy apps can match you to a therapist who is the best fit for you and who works on your schedule. You can speak to them through text, phone, or through video chat, giving you plenty of communication options. Best of all, online therapy may be cheaper due to the fact that online therapists, who are licensed, tend to work from home.
8. Screens Aren’t As Hard on The Eyes
One reason some people have a hard time unwinding is because of too much screen time. The blue light that comes out of screens can kill melatonin, a chemical needed to fall asleep. If you want to get some good rest, reducing your screen time before bed is a start.
However, many people love to unwind with a good show, and that’s okay. Screen technology is now less harsh on the eyes than it used to be. For one thing, blue light filters can reduce the blue light coming out of screens. Many TVs, computers, and other devices have a night mode, which makes the colors warm and promotes relaxation. Many sites have night modes that make everything dark, making it much less harsh on the eyes. If you have to use tech before bed, use these.
9. Technology Spreads Awareness
Another way technology can help people stay healthy is through spreading awareness. Social media has made it easier for people suffering from mental or physical health problems to share their stories and make them more well known. You can find information on many disorders and this information may help you determine whether or not you have it as well. You can put your symptoms into a search engine and you may get an idea on what you may have. With that said, always make sure you are being diagnosed by a professional, as some websites can definitely give you odd results. We all know the person who entered some harmless symptoms in Google and was told they had brain cancer.
10. Apps to Reduce Your Stress
Stress is a killer. While some levels of stress are important for day-to-day functioning, too much stress can lead to some serious health consequences. Stress was once how we survived, and in modern times, our brains cannot separate modern problems from life-or-death situations. It’s important you reduce your stress levels.
There are many apps to help you do so. Meditative apps can help you achieve a mindful state where your worries are no more. Other apps can calm you down when you feel like you’re at your break point. If you want to eliminate the causes of your stress, there are apps where you can make a battle plan and make it easier for you to tackle your problems with less of a hassle. Or you can play games that can relax you and allow you to unwind, such as puzzle games and whatnot.
11. Apps to Avoid Distractions
One downside to technology is that it can be so distracting. You’re trying to write your paper or do your work, and suddenly you’re arguing with someone on Facebook or binge watching a show. Distractions can turn something you could finish in less than an hour into a 3+ hour slog.
However, there are apps out there that can help you avoid distractions by blocking you from websites that are distracting and don’t contribute to your productiveness. They can keep you focused, and combined with a little bit of white noise, you can be able to stay focused.
This isn’t counting advancements in medical technology as well, but the tech we have at home. Today’s technology has its share of health concerns, but in contrast, there are many potential benefits as well. It’s much easier for you to monitor your health or be held accountable thanks to the many apps out there.
So embrace technology, and you can use some apps to reduce the amount of damage they can do to you, like downloading apps to keep you focused. As technology improves, we can make ourselves happier, healthier, and ready for anything life throws at us.