The road to good health is straight and narrow but if most of us are honest, we acknowledge the steep drop-off on either side of that road. Tasty foods are hard to hate, while exercise is hard to love. We’re prone to overestimating how fit we are while we pointedly avoid thinking about yearly checkups or how to stay healthy as we grow old. In the quest for wellness the biggest stumbling block we face is probably ourselves.
But nothing is impossible. Studies are now finding that technology can reinforce healthy habits in a big way and support wellness at every age. Here are just a few of the latest fitness wearables, smart clothes, apps and life trackers that are helping whole families attain and retain health across generations.
The Owlet Baby Monitor
Unlike basic monitors that only let parents see and hear their babies, Owlet uses the same neonatal health technology deployed in NICUs to monitor a baby’s heart rate and O2 levels. Sensors in a small cloth sock gather these stats in real time, day and night, so moms and dads are alerted immediately if anything is out of the ordinary.
Nabi Band Compete
This silicone fitness band is sold in pairs so kids and parents or siblings can train together to reach fitness goals like running a 5k. One feature that sets the Nabi Band Compete apart is that it doesn’t track steps in the traditional way but instead links activities to famous landmarks. Kids don’t see that they walked so many steps, they discover they walked the length of the Brooklyn Bridge!
Silicone bands and smartwatches aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is why Bellabeat created the fully functional Leaf that looks like jewelry and can be worn as a pendant, pin or bracelet.
These wireless, waterproof headphones may just be the smartest currently on the market. The KuaiWear headphones not only play your favorite workout tunes, but also track heart rate, speed, distance, cadence, laps, strokes and calories burned. Real time vocal feedback helps you improve performance during your workout, and there is a menu of professional training plans you can download.
These smart running shorts and capris have a built-in sensor that can monitor a runner’s cadence, stride length, ground contact time and even pelvic rotation. Synched with the app, Lumo Run can provide real time coaching that uses those metrics so every run is better than the last.
Home monitoring technology is not only making independent living safer for seniors, but there are also fitness trackers designed just for them. Among the best fitness trackers for seniors, you’ll find the Lively Wearable– a smartwatch style tracker that features an activity tracker; physical, mental and emotional fitness prompts; and urgent response and non-emergency call buttons. The device keeps seniors motivated while providing safety and support options.
Everyone can benefit from a little more peace of mind, and the Optimism app was created to promote emotional and mental wellness in teens, grownups and seniors. Depression rates may be going up, but apps that give people a window into their emotions may be able to help stave off minor episodes of non-clinical depression.
Even with innovations in technology like these, achieving wellness and then staying healthy might be a challenge. At the very least, gadgets and apps make the quest for health a little simpler. The gadgets highlighted above can actually make taking control of your and your family’s health more enjoyable and maybe even fun.