Internet of Things

New year, new you: Count on tech for a healthy start to 2017

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is all the sweets. For a month straight, there are cookies, candy, pies, and cakes as far as the eye can see. I, like most people, take advantage of this time to unabashedly indulge in the vices I normally wave off the other 11 months of the year.

But when January rolls around, it’s time to get back into gear.

I live in New York, where the average temperature in January is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  In most cases, 32 degrees constitutes enough of a reason to stay home and skip the gym. But luckily, the newest wave of technology has helped make working out and staying healthy convenient—and even somewhat addicting. I’ll talk about some of the ways to amp up your healthy lifestyle in 2017.

Technology could improve your performance

Runkeeper recently launched a new Apple Watch app with a bunch of really cool new features—one of which is full GPS support. So now when you go for your run, swim, or bike ride, you can leave your phone at home and track your route and workout stats right from your wrist.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has blazed trails in the wearable devices space. But that’s just the beginning of how technology is helping people stay healthy and excel at their athletic craft. Analyzing performance data and uncovering real-time, actionable insights are a few ways IBM Watson IoT is taking it a step further. By pulling data not only from the athletes themselves but also from their equipment, venues, and environment, athletes and coaches alike can develop customized workout plans and more.  This infographic provides color around how analytics are a major factor in improving the health and vitality of not only professional athletes, but also casual athletes like myself.

Technology can make you feel better

One of the coolest packages available on the market is the Under Armor HealthBox. Under Armor describes this product as “the world’s first Connected Fitness system created specifically to measure, monitor, and manage the factors that determine how you feel.” A component of the HealthBox is the UA Record application, powered by IBM Watson. The app collects data on your sleep patterns, activity, and nutrition while providing insights and recommendations customized for you.  The HealthBox and the insights surrounding it are revolutionary in helping people improve the way they feel and their abilities to train smarter and more effectively.

It’s important not to forget the mental aspect of it all, too. One of my favorite tricks to stay zen or pump myself up is to create a music playlist that matches my mood to my workout. PC Magazine provided a great lineup of apps that can help you do just that—but with a twist. Take, for example, Spotify. For its premium members, Spotify finds your preferred running tempo and matches songs to that beat.

Technology will motivate you to move

Too cold to go outside and hit the gym? Unfortunately, these days, there are no excuses. As anyone with a smartphone knows, there are endless health-focused apps—with endless activities you can do in the comfort of your own home. FitnessBuilder, for example, has a simple concept—it markets itself as a “ portable personal trainer” by providing over 1,000 workouts with images and videos so you can exercise anywhere, at any time. And of course, you can log your activity and track your progress.

Time is also of the essence for most. For those who have packed schedules already, Johnson & Johnson created an app with workouts lasting only seven minutes.

Keeping yourself healthy is not only important for your well being, but also for your wallet. The healthier you are, the less you will need to spend on healthcare, medicine, and treatment. IBM Cloud is working with healthcare organizations to make a healthy lifestyle something every person in this world can achieve and maintain.

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