Sometimes technology is blamed for our lack of fitness with it being said people spend too long in front of screens and therefore don’t get enough exercise. However, there are many ways that technology is helping us to improve our health, let’s look at just three.
We all know smoking is bad news, and with over 5 million global deaths from smoking every year and a further 600,000 from passive smoking, the statistics speak for themselves. Tobacco cigarettes have over 4,000 chemicals in them, at least 60 of which have been shown to be carcinogenic. Unsurprisingly, therefore, smoking has been shown to increase the risk of 14 different cancers, heart disease, stroke and COPD.
While many people want to quit smoking the addiction to nicotine makes it difficult. The introduction of vaping has removed this barrier to quitting as it comes with many advantages: it allows you to cut your nicotine levels down slowly; it fills the psychological gap that those quitting smoking first experience; and it involves none of the negatives of smoking tobacco, a definite win from technology on this one. It also provides you with an array of eliquids to choose from to suit your taste.
Getting fit can be confusing. Are we getting enough exercise, consuming enough protein, cutting back our calories by enough? Add to that the fact that every individual is different, and for example burns calories at a different rate, and you can see why sometimes people give up before they have even started.
Fitness trackers have therefore proved a huge technological leap forward. There are many brands and all have different capabilities, however, most will tell you the basics of how much exercise you are getting, how many calories you are burning, what your heart rate is and a wealth of other information, some even tracking your sleep cycle. It’s not only that these trackers tell you how you are doing which makes them so effective, it’s also the fact they can motivate you to push yourself further, particularly if you are publishing your results somewhere public, like social media.
One of the biggest concerns about growing older is the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and with the recent news that dementia is now the leading cause of death this fear has only intensified.
One of the ways to help stave off dementia is to keep your brain as active as possible and this includes learning new skills. Some people turn to sudoku puzzles or cryptic crosswords while others take up a challenge such as learning to speak a second language. The latter particularly has been shown to be helpful in delaying dementia.
If we turn to technology there is also a new wave of brain-training games, the aim of which is to keep our minds active; stretch us mentally in new ways, and potentially even add an IQ point or two. These games are available on handheld consoles and online and they have seen a huge surge in popularity since they were launched. The appeal seems to be that while helping to keep your mind active they also allow you to have fun, a great combination which keeps people playing.