How can new technology help improve your health and well-being?

Technology is improving every day, we are starting to see so many fitness tracking devices, even ones that track your sleep too. And many of these can actually be really great tools to help you realize how much activity you are doing each day, as well to understand the quality of your sleep.

They can be very helpful in speeding up progress that you want to make. Maybe you would like to start to exercise, or maybe you’re already active and you want to improve your performance. How about losing a few pounds? How about getting better sleep? Yes, for all of the purposes there’s a tracker that can help you.

I use some of these trackers myself, I find that they give me much greater insights and the opportunity to really understand how my body is reacting to certain things so that I can make the necessary change. Some of them can be quite costly so I will explain a little bit about each so that you can decide whether or not they would be useful for you to try out and help you give more attention to certain areas to improve. I should note that I have no connection and no financial interest whatsoever with any of these companies, I’m simply passing on my personal experience!

You may well already be familiar with some of these tracking devices, for example maybe you even use a watch that can count your steps, calories and how much activity you did during the day. There are some very affordable ones, for example Garmin has watches in a wide price range and you really don’t need to buy a very expensive one unless you are a professional athlete.

You may ask how accurate they really are, and that is certainly a fair question. I think that there is a little range of inaccuracy with all of them, but the numbers are still pretty close and they’ll certainly give you a good record to monitor your own progress and see how your numbers compare over time.

Some watches will track your sleep, and I tried this too, however I found that it’s not so comfortable to sleep wearing a watch. How about a ring instead? Yes, there are now rings that will help you track your sleep, activity levels, HRV (heart rate variability) and even calories and steps. They’re a little more expensive but if you’re struggling with any sort of sleep issues then it could be very helpful to understand which area you need to improve. For example, you can see how much deep sleep and how much REM (rapid eye movement) sleep you are getting, how much you’re moving around in the bed, and the exact times that you’re failing asleep and waking in the morning or during the night. You might like to try altering little things such as eating earlier in the day or changing some food sources and you’ll see how much affect it can have on your sleep. Maybe you are getting too much screen time just before your sleep too. I personally use a brand called Oura.

One of the best technologies that I have used is CGM (continuous glucose monitoring). I have done several experiments with CGM, you can get a two weeks trail for quite a reasonable price too. CGM lets you see your blood glucose (sugar) levels in real time, 24 hours a day. This can be very beneficial, especially for people with type 2 diabetes and people who want to lose weight. Actually, I really think that it can be useful for everyone. I hope that one day doctors will be able to prescribe these to their patients too. Personally I use a brand called Nutrisense. It’s amazing to see how fast your blood sugar levels change when you eat certain foods and I learned a lot from my personal tests, sometimes confirmations of what I thought I already knew but also some things that really surprised me too. For example, the timing of when you eat your meals, the combination of eating various food sources at the same time, your stress levels, your exercise and your sleep quality can all have a huge influence on blood sugar levels. Once you see how you’re reacting to certain things you can make small adjustments to your lifestyle. You’ll understand which foods affect your blood sugar levels in which way, and also you can directly relate this with your energy levels as well. I hope that more companies are coming in the market so that these devices will become more and more affordable for everyone.

I hope that some of this information might help you and maybe motivate you to try out some experiments of your own.

References:

Garmin https://www.garmin.com/en-US/

Oura ring https://ouraring.com/

NutriSense https://www.nutrisense.io/

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