Improve Your Technology-Driven Lifestyle

We get it. Technology is here to stay. It’s now a part of our lives and we’re greeting new tech with a warm and fuzzy embrace (most of us). So open up your arms to five healthy ways to improve your technology-driven lifestyle:

1. Track your daily fitness activity

There are a number of devices out there that enable you to track your fitness and monitor caloric expenditures which helps you to get a better sense of your daily activity. The jury is still out, but some of the best include the Nike+ FuelBand ($149), the Fitbit ($99) and the UP by Jawbone ($99).

What you’ll love: Tracking your steps, setting activity goals, seeing how many calories you’ve burned and creating inactivity reminders.

How the devices differ: Results displays, device syncing, battery life, design style, unit size and bonus features.

Hitting the gym? Don’t forget about apps which can help you change your routine by learning new workouts, tracking your progress and comparing with friends. Try FitnessBuilder ($9.99), All-in Fitness ($0.99) or Gym Buddy ($2.99) to start.

2. Remind yourself that you have to move

If you’re into technology, chances are you spend at least a portion of your day behind a computer screen. There have been numerous articles published recently about the effects of sitting for extended periods of time. Most of them suggest that if you’re sitting for consecutive hours a day, you’ll begin to lose years off your life and are at risk for a variety of heart and other muscle-related issues.

Although these findings are relatively new, doctors seem to agree that daily activity combined with remembering to move hourly helps to counteract the effects. So if you find yourself sitting for too long, put a reminder in your calendar to get up and take a quick walk around the office to stretch out those legs. It might save your life!

3. Be friendlier and try the new social experiment

Part of the problem with technology is that we get so caught up in our virtual lives that we forget to check back into reality. To address that, there’s a fun new game going around that demonstrates how disconnected from reality we truly are. So here’s how the game works:

• Next time you’re out to eat, have everyone stack their phones up in the middle of the table.

• If at any point during the meal someone checks their phone, they front everyone’s bill.

• If nobody checks their phone, have everyone pay as they normally would.

It’s an interesting test of willpower which will be sure to have some tech addicts squirming, unwilling to be the first ones to fold.

4. Monitor and improve your diet

Eating healthier helps to avoid a variety of diseases and other medical issues. While physical activity is half the battle, proper nutrition is the other. Here are just a few of some of the interesting phone applications that can help you do just that:

• Grocery Gadget ($3.99) – Allows families to sync their shopping lists to keep their eating on track. Also allows you to take photos of food and upload recipe ingredient lists to make sure you’re picking up the right things.

• WaterWorks ($0.99) – Choose what size containers you drink from every day, and then track your progress as you work toward a daily water intake goal.

• GoodFoodNearYou (free) – Locates healthy food choices and nutritional information about restaurants near you, making that next meal a little more guilt-free.

5. Start waking up refreshed (without coffee)

If you’re in that constant battle of being able to spring out of bed some days, while fighting off your alarm clock the next, you might want to look into WakeMate ($59.99).

Using actigraphy (a measurement of subtle body movements during rest and activity), the WakeMate device maps sleep patterns and communicates with your phone to wake you during your period of lightest sleep, around your set wake-up time. WakeMate is also useful for seeing how much sleep you actually get and how certain lifestyle choices lead to more effective sleep.

Also note that the aforementioned fitness devices such as the Fitbit and the UP will also provide some light actigraphy functionality to aid in studying your sleep patterns.

Matt Glover is the head of marketing for NuWave Technology Partners, which services businesses of all sizes throughout the state with computer network, telecommunication and managed service needs. Glover is also a regular guest and producer for Technically Speaking, a technology-based radio show broadcast over the Michigan Business Network.








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