Use Technology to Take Control of Your Health


When you have one million and one things to do, keeping up with your health can be a chore. Technology is becoming a huge asset to people who have busy schedules, live in a remote area, or are watching their budget. Using apps, online classes, and the latest DVDs can round out your healthy goal management.

Tracking your calories and fitness is as easy as finding the “app for that”. Health and Fitness Magazine lists the top apps of 2017 including old favorites like MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. These are great apps for tracking your calories and exercise. For a few extra endorphins, log time exercising with the Charity Miles app, and partner sponsors will donate to the charity of your choice. They have more than 30 to choose from, including The Wounded Warrior Project, American Diabetes Association, and the ASPCA. It’s pretty amazing to rack up money for a charity you believe in just by walking the dog.

Another app that allows you to get a workout while spending time with animals is offered by Rover. While not a traditional fitness app, Rover’s app allows you to connect with folks who need pet sitters or dog walkers. It’s an easy way to build a dog walking business, but it also offers a great way to stay in shape while putting a little extra money in your bank account.

Apps are more than just a calculator and tabulator. In addition to reporting basic fitness and nutrition stats, advanced apps allow you to track your pulse, blood sugar, and even screen your worrisome moles. However, apps should never take the place of regular check-ups with your physician. The Technology Review’s overview of health tech summarized that while there is definitely encouraging data pointing to overall effectiveness of health apps – the jury is still out the degree which apps can help. If you’d rather go a little old school, fitness at home DVDs have come a long way since Jane Fonda's debut in the early 80’s. Most fitness trends have a corresponding video you can try at home for a fraction of the price of a month of HIIT workouts.

Whether you’re into ballet inspired Barre, cardio burn, or my personal favorite circle-of-workout-hell, P90X – Fitness Magazine has a fantastic list of this year’s top tested workouts. For most videos, all you need is a clear floor and a TV. Be sure to check the cover for additional equipment requirements, such as resistance bands or weights. It’s also important to check out the time commitment required to find a workout that suits your schedule. Some DVDs ask you to devote a full hour, while others break workouts into sections that require as little as ten minutes of your time. You’ll also find that many have complementary nutrition tips and recipes on their website (though beware, some require subscription fees). Amazon or Target are great places to find a wide variety of quality workout tools and videos. Reading user reviews can help you narrow down the right program for you. Somewhere between high-tech apps and low-tech DVDs is the world of online fitness and nutrition.

There are some amazing resources online for everything from meditation to eating well. For example, YouTube is not just a place for funny cat videos and bizarre makeup artist conspiracy theories. There are many high quality health channels you can subscribe to for free. Tasty is a channel featuring colorful stop motion videos that show mouth watering, quick and easy meals. For workouts that take it up a notch, try the BeFit channel, featuring trainers like Denise Austin and Jillian Michaels, from the hit show; The Biggest Loser. If “abs, abs, abs” aren’t your thing, DoYogaWithMe has a huge library of free yoga and meditation videos.

A subscription is available for some services, but the free base level is plenty for the average user. It features tons of on-demand videos for beginner to advanced levels. If you know your downward dog from your dancer's’ pose, but can’t make sense of a whisk, try free or subscription cooking classes. Craftsy is a reasonably priced and informative site where you can pick up some fun tips (just don’t get sidelined by the crochet class). If you want something a little more traditional, try for a virtual treasure trove of easy to follow healthy food content.

From low-tech to high tech, pick a place to start that works for your budget and schedule. With so many options, you have hundreds of fantastic excuses to take control of your health this year.