Top 5 ways technology can help to improve your health

We live in a digital world. This comes with both pros and cons. Pros include access to endless amounts of entertainment and information at our fingertips. Cons are that many of us are getting out much less often to exercise and stay fit and healthy. 

But do health and technology have to be mutually exclusive? The answer is no. It is perfectly possible to use the latest digital technology, including apps and websites, to actually improve both your mental and physical well being. Here we look at five ways technology can help to improve your health.

1. Check your blood pressure with smart monitor

High blood pressure is a major contributing factor to strokes and heart attacks so it’s vitally important it’s checked on a regular basis, especially as you get older. Before the advent of home blood pressure monitors this would mean a visit to the doctor – an experience guaranteed to send your blood pressure soaring! Now you can buy home blood pressure and pulse monitors which will send data via Bluetooth to your smartphone so you can monitor/record your readings on a daily basis. You can even sync it with other apps and view in a graph if you want. We recently reviewed the Omron Evolv here on ShinyShiny which is a great device. Others are also available too. 

2. Reduce stress with meditation apps

Although technology may be one of the reasons for your daily stresses, there are some handy tools available on your smartphone to introduce you to meditation and help you to stay calm and collected. A good place to start is Headspace. Created by Andy Puddicombe – an official Buddhist monk – the app includes top tips on how to become more mindful of your breath. You should also definitely check out Andy’s brilliant TED talk about the importance of taking ten minutes out of each day to meditate. Another great meditation app is Buddhify 2. Just like Headspace, Buddhify 2 is focused on mindfulness. However, there are other helpful practices in there too, like gratitude and kindness towards others. It costs £1.49

3. Use an online pharmacy 

There are times when going to a doctor to get a prescription or heading down to the chemist is simply too much hassle. An often cheaper and more convenient option – especially if you know what you want – is to use an online pharmacy, such as The Independent Pharmacy. Regulated by a number of organisations in the UK including the MHRA, GPhC & CQC, it allows you to shop by treatment or condition for over 450 medicines. It also comes with a free online consultation.

4. Try a fitness app

If the gym is too expensive, time-consuming, or maybe just too public for you, you should definitely give a fitness app a go. There are hundreds to choose from, but one which is good for getting you to start running is From Couch to 5K. Developed by the NHS in association with the BBC’s Get Inspired, the app features a choice of celebrity trainers to take you through the programme. You can keep track of your progress over the 9 week schedule and get great tips and advice for new runners, as well real-life success stories.

5. Track what you eat and drink

When life is busy and stressful, it can be really difficult to remember to eat healthily. After all who has time to be mindful about their diet when you’ve only got a 5 minute break until your next meeting? That’s where apps can help. For example, Cron-O-Meter allows you to track what you’re eating, add more nutritious foods to your diet, and learn new, healthy recipes. Another popular calorie counting app is Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal. It tracks your weight and calculates a recommended daily calorie intake. It also contains a well-designed food diary and an exercise log. Furthermore, If you’re using a fitness tracking device, MyFitnessPal can sync with it to include its data in that log.

Tech’s influence on our health can be good or bad. It all depends on the way we use it. Use it positively and you can derive massive benefits to help you achieve your goals in life.