The best way for you to monitor your health is always to go for a regular visit to your doctor. It’s your doctor that does your general check-up, after all. This way, you’ll be given insights on where to focus on your health and on what blood tests should be done. But, if you’re serious about being more responsible for your health, it’s worth noting that it shouldn’t stop there. In between visits to your doctor, you should also do your part in monitoring your health.
You live in your body every single day. You’re the one most aware of any changes that may be happening in your body. But, because you aren’t a doctor, you may not be aware of the clues that you have to look for. This is where the benefits of smart devices come in.
Before the advent of ‘smart’ tech, it was so much harder for people to monitor their health. Because technology wasn’t yet that advanced, they were constrained as to their resources for better health monitoring. Today, people live at an advantage. If you take the time to look around certain stores, both physical and online, you’ll most likely find gadgets that are created for better health monitoring.
Self-monitoring your health is one of the best ways for you to ensure that you’re living your best and healthiest life. Now that smart devices are present to help you along this line, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this for your health. Here’s how to use smart devices to monitor your health:
As you strive to have better and perfect days ahead of you, remember that acronym in PERF-ect.
P, meaning have fresh PRODUCE daily
E, have adequate EXERCISE at least for half an hour each day
R, ensure that you REST well
F, fill your diet up with FIBER
The acronym above really sounds so easy to comply with. But, with everyone’s busy lives, this is often easier said than done. Especially when it comes to the part of controlling your diet, it can be straightforward to simply put your daily food intake in the hands of fast food. For many, cooking healthy meals simply isn’t an option.
However, think about this for a moment. Can you exhaust all the effort that you should in ensuring that your calorie count is within the right limit? How much produce is considered healthy? How much fiber do you need daily?
Thankfully, technology is here to help you manage those questions. Technology is meant to help people live better lives. When it comes to tracking your food options, there are smart devices that you can use, too. Some of these devices are the following:
Automatic Ingestion Monitor (AIM). This device fits around the ears of the user. Then, it measures the vibrations of the jaw whenever they chew. This device is also well made such that it’s able to distinguish motions with the jaw such as chewing, from talking or yawning. That way, it only records the chewing movements.
The AIM device is also fitted with a tiny camera that’s able to capture images of your food as you put it inside your mouth. Its system then identifies the food and provides information related to calorie content, energy, mass, and the other nutrients of the meal that you’ve just had. That way, the user has accurate diet data for every meal.
Fooducate. This is an app that you can download on your smartphone. Of all the many features that it has relating to your sleep, mood, and hunger levels, one of the most useful tools it brings has to do with grocery shopping. As you shop, use this app. It can scan the barcode of each product. That way, it can help you determine how healthy (or unhealthy) the item you’re buying is.
If you already have a smartwatch with you, then use it to your advantage. This device can also be used to monitor your heart rate, or your heart rate variability. If you haven’t already, then you’re way behind this health trend, as watching your heart rate through these wearable devices has already become the norm.
Monitoring your heart rate is very important for the following reasons:
If you’re working out, you’ll want to make sure that your heart rate is still within the normal and acceptable range. Else, you might be burning it out too much.
If you’ve got underlying heart conditions, it also pays to monitor your heart rate daily. That way, during the next time that you visit your doctor, you can provide more accurate reports about the rate patterns of your heart.
It gives you the information in the long run about what daily activities may be harmful to you, as it spikes your heart rate too much. Accordingly, it also makes you more responsible as regards taking good care of your cardiovascular health.
It gives you more accurate feedback on other aspects of your health, including oxygen levels, stress levels, and even calorie levels.
That said, here’s how you can monitor your heart health using a smartwatch:
Use Fitbit or Fitness trackers. Apart from limiting yourself only to a smartwatch, there are other more lightweight and cheaper alternatives, too, such as a Fitbit or other fitness trackers. These devices have features that can tell you whether or not your workout is still within a cardio exercise, or if it’s already in a fat-burning zone.
Enable advanced heart rate features. On the Apple Watch, for instance, there are features that you can disable, which gives you an early warning of a symptom of a dangerous heart condition. This also can create electrocardiogram readings directly from your wrist, through an electrical heart-rate sensor. This measures the electrical signals in your heart to check for risk factors of diseases such as stroke.
Use the optical heart rate sensor. This measures your heart rate as you go through your entire day. Then, it also automatically gives you calculations of your various heart metrics, such as average heart rate when you’re walking, breathing, and your heart rate during a workout.
Get real-time notifications. Your smartwatch is also able to give you real-time notifications or alerts whenever your heart rate goes above or below the normal levels.
Measure your blood pressure. Omron has also come up with a wearable device, in the form of a smartwatch, that enables the user to measure their blood measure at any time of the day. This is especially beneficial for those patients who are already taking maintenance medicines for high blood pressure, for instance. The Omron device can measure your blood pressure, sleep, steps, and distance covered when you’re walking.
In this regard, however, it’s also imperative for you to remember the basic fact of your smart devices not being prone to error. Generally, these are going to work for your advantage. But, for you to ensure that they’re working as well as they should, you must also be using them accurately. Here are some ways for you to do so:
Don’t take measurements or rely on measurements when you’ve just smoked or been drinking alcohol. Naturally, the measurements are going to be different.
Make sure that your smartwatch is fitted snuggly on your arm. The sensor should be directly above your wrist bone.
If you feel cold, make yourself warm first before taking note of a reading.
Keep the smartwatch tracker clean by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Apart from exercise and diet, one of the fundamentals of good health is sleep. Doctors and health experts still go by the recommendation of having seven to eight hours of sleep daily. Sleeping well and adequately isn’t just about having enough energy to go through your day tomorrow. It’s also about giving your body the time to refresh and replenish after a long hard day of work.
Remember that you’re a human being. Naturally, your body has its limitations. You’re not meant to function 24/7 as a robot does. When you continue giving your body too little of the sleep levels that it needs, you’re putting yourself at the risk of certain diseases in the long run.
Here are some examples of health issues that arise due to inadequate sleep:
Psychological risks, such as suicidal thoughts, depression, paranoia and anxiety
Memory issues, both short and long-term
Increased risk of accidents and injuries
Poor concentration and problem-solving skills
That said, here are smart devices that can aid in tracking your sleep:
The Dream Headband. This is a headband powered by artificial intelligence, made out of foam, which is to be worn by the user as they sleep. This headband is equipped with ECG sensors that can measure brain activity, heart rate, movement, and breathing during the various sleep stages. That way, the user will have daily reports on their sleeping habits. This information, when presented to your doctor, can help in improving sleep quality by understanding sleep patterns to create a better sleep program, and also in adding means to better remind patients of their health concerns.
Use your cellphone. If you already have a smartphone equipped with either Android or iOS, then you can make use of this, too. There are many sleep apps you can download to detect how much you’ve slept, and how much you’ve moved when sleeping. These apps use your phone’s accelerometer and sonar waves. With this information, you’ll also be able to determine whether or not you’re getting enough restorative sleep.
Smart Pajamas. Yes, you heard that right, technology has gone so advanced that it has come up with smart pajamas, too. These have built-in sensors that are useful in measuring heart rate, breathing, and posture during sleep. In general, the smart pajamas are created to help the wearer determine how well they sleep through the night. That way, they can share this information with their doctors, so they can make changes and recommendations on how to improve their sleep quality. The smart pajamas are for use best by the elderly, and those suffering from sleep disorders.
Fitness trackers. These devices can help track your sleep, too. It can help determine how well you’ve been sleeping, or how long you stay in the REM cycle of sleep. It also detects whether or not you move around too much when you sleep.
The Oura Ring. This ring is often called the “world’s most advanced wearable.” This is one of the most accurate sleep trackers today. It has automatic, constant monitoring, that doesn’t stop as it continues to go on 24/7. With this ring, it’s powered to have a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) monitor, which works to measure the body’s temperature during sleep. Hence, the different sleep stages and sleep patterns are also more accurately determined.
If you’ve long been used to merely combing, from time to time, you may also want to brush your hair with a hairbrush. You can go anywhere from a simple hairbrush to today’s most advanced and smart brushes. The whole point here is to check how much hair you’re losing every time that you brush.
When you notice that you’re losing more hair than usual, you might want to give your doctor a visit. In some cases, this can only be due to stress. So, you shouldn’t be that worried. But, in severe cases, too much hair loss can be a sign of low iron levels. Hence, you may need to check your blood ferritin levels. Especially for women, too, it could be an early sign also of thyroid disease.
All thanks to technology, tracking your health is now made even easier than better. From your phone to a smartwatch, and many more other devices, there are ways for you to be more accurate about the information that you need to monitor. Generally, people only see their doctors at least once or twice a year. In some cases, this isn’t going to be enough. In between these checks, you also have to do your part in monitoring your health. That way, you know for sure that you’re okay.
With today’s technology, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to monitor your health. Use technology’s gifts to your advantage by helping yourself become the master of your health.