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Merging Technology with Health

I know I don't do enough, because I'm 50 years old, and I sit at a desk most of my day. I'm watching my weight more closely, and also my blood pressure - which has been higher than normal lately.  My doctor says it's "hypertension"...which means I'm working too much, not sleeping enough, getting stressed out, and not blowing off that extra steam by exercising and eating well.  GUILTY!

But I want to live to be 100, so I'm starting to do some things to change and I've found that when things are easy to track, it's easier to "stay on the plan".  What that plan is, really doesn't matter because, like politics, religion, and motors, everyone's methods are the "best".  LOL.

So as some of you know, I'm an Android user, and I just discovered a really great app that is shipped with Samsung Galaxy phones: S-Health.  In a nutshell, it tracks your calorie intake (has a great database of restaurant dishes, too), and tracks your calories that you burn through exercise.

My buddy wears that new bracelet that tracks his movements as well as sleep, but since I've given up watches and bracelets (because I always have my phone with me), the S-Health program works great (for me) to track my movement. I'm not worried about tracking my sleep, because I can't do anything about the fact that I wake up several times during the night anyway.  So my phone now watches me and calculates calories based on me walking, and it's asking me to walk at least 10,000 steps a day!

Have you ever actually counted steps?  Do you really know how much you burn just by walking?  Do you know how many calories you're taking in with each meal and snack?  I definitely did not!

The two things that I've learned using my mobile phone technology is that I walk more than I thought and that I had absolutely no clue as to the relationship between exercise and calories.  I burn 1 calorie every time I walk across my office and back to my desk.  Who knew???  I also know that my oatmeal for breakfast is 160 calories.

The simple formula to losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in.  DUH!  We all know that, right?  Well, I'm here to say that my smartphone is HELPING!  Sure, I can write it all down, I can wear a pedometer to track my walking...but I don't.  And THAT is where technology becomes helpful.

I'd love to hear more about how you use your technology to improve other aspects of your life besides feeding your brain with knowledge, and more importantly, I'd love to hear of your idea for an app for your phone that will help you live better.  

Mark Turkel is the CEO and Senior Software Architect for Palm Beach Software Design, Inc.

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