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Staying fit and healthy with the help of technology

As we are all aware, staying fit and healthy in old age is very important. The healthier you are, the more chance you have of avoiding certain medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. We also know that technology has come in leaps and bounds over the past two decades meaning that there are a multitude of devices or programmes that can help us reach our goals of being fit and healthy and continue to live independently.

Fitness Trackers

The increasing mainstream availability of fitness trackers mean that people are generally becoming more conscious about their health. These devices are able to give us insights about what is happening in our bodies which means that more people are looking for ways to improve their health.

As well as monitoring your activity throughout the day, most fitness trackers can track the following:

  • Number of steps.
  • Calories burnt.
  • Heart rate.
  • Sleeping patterns.

Some devices come with GPS capabilities that connect to a smartphone. Some devices are also waterproof so that you can use them while in the water.

With many of these devices there are ‘step-up’ type challenge options, where you can ‘connect’ with friends and family to see who can reach a certain target first. This can be a great motivator to get out and about.

Interactive games

Video games don’t usually conjure up pictures of activity (most of us would picture a teenager sitting in a dark room that is only lit up by the screen in front of them).  However, there are a number of devices that require you to move your body or your arms to play a game. These games often use motion sensor technology to either track your movements or the movements of a controller that you hold. These games are great for spacial awareness, as well as those who for whatever reason, find it difficult to get out and about. Many games can even be played from a seated position.

Apps

There seems to be applications (apps) for everything now-days. If you have a smart phone, you are able to download a number of apps that can assist you in living a healthier life. There are apps to help you track your activity, track your food intake, give you inspiration for physical activity and recipes, remind you to take medication and even apps that can help you monitor your blood pressure! Here are three examples of apps that you might find useful:

  • Pillboxie helps track your medication
  • FoodSwitch suggests healthier food options
  • WebMD contains information for your health and well being

Health Monitoring

Health monitoring can also be vital in when keeping older people healthy. For example, people who have suffered from heart problems can have a heart rate and/or blood pressure monitor in their home. There are lots of now portable devices that have been made for personal use to help live independently and manage health conditions. It would be worth speaking to your GP or an equipment provider to see what is available and what might benefit you.
It is a good idea before you make any drastic changes to your exercise regime or diet, speak to your GP first.

About Eve Williams

Eve Williams
Eve Williams is the Production and Social Media Administrator for Eldernet. She is currently studying towards her Masters at the University of Canterbury. She has a passion for learning new things.

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