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    Technology for a Healthier You

    Woman using a smart mirror to workout

    Wellness has gone high-tech. Here are 11 products to keep you healthy.

    High-tech digital devices—like wearable fitness trackers and smart water bottles—can help you get fit, sleep better, lower blood pressure, burn more calories, reduce stress and more for better health.

    Getting and staying healthy is getting easier and more convenient thanks to technology. You don’t have to leave your home to see your doctor. Your vitals can be measured virtually with wearable technology. And the most popular workouts and instructors can be beamed into your home for gym-style workouts without the commute.

    “Digital devices have removed the four physical walls of a doctor’s office or a gym and have empowered people to be a part of their own health care solution,” says Ted Vickey, Ph.D., founder and CEO of FitWell, a fitness technology consulting company in San Diego. Here are 11 high-tech products that can motivate you, enhance your performance and improve your health.

    If you need to drink more water, try a smart water bottle. Smart water bottles connect via Bluetooth to an app that tracks your activity level, your body and your environment to determine your personal hydration needs. Then the bottle tracks your sips and lights up to remind you when it’s time to drink to ensure that you get enough fluids every day. The bottles come in
    stainless steel and BPA-free plastic, are available in different sizes and cost $70 to $90. For more motivation to drink up, try the 7-Day Hydration Challenge.

    If you rush to brush your teeth, try a Y-shaped toothbrush. Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes for best results, but most people brush for less than half that time and remove less plaque. If you don’t have the time or patience to brush for two minutes, the Y-brush can help. With thousands of bristles, the y-shaped toothbrush scrubs all of your teeth at once, so you’re done in 10 seconds, and you don’t miss any spots. Y-brushes start at $55 and are available for kids, too.

    If you like working out at home, try a fitness mirror. You can see your reflection to check your form as you follow along to live or on-demand workouts. These devices take home workouts a step further by using cameras or motion-capture technology to assess your movements and offer feedback. It’s like having an instructor right there with you, helping you to get the most out of your workout. Some devices even allow you to schedule one-on-one sessions with instructors. There are many options to choose from, such as Nordic Track’s Vault and Tonal with built-in digital resistance equipment that assesses your strength and then adjusts to maximize your workouts. Some mirrors come with equipment such as weights and heart-rate monitors. All of them require additional subscriptions to access classes. While the $1,000 to $4,000 price tag may seem high, it’s comparable to a good quality treadmill and offers more variety. With a home gym, you’ll be ready to take our 4 Weeks to a Firmer You Challenge.

    If your back hurts from poor posture, try a posture trainer. Slouching can cause neck and back pain and may contribute to headaches. Even if you’re trying to improve your posture, it’s easy to slip back into bad posture habits, until now. The Upright Go2 Posture Trainer alerts you when you start to slouch. The device is worn on your back, using an adhesive strip or a special necklace, and vibrates when you’re not sitting or standing up straight. You’ll get feedback and can track your progress through a mobile app. The Upright Go2 Posture Trainer starts at $80. The necklace is sold separately for $20 or can be purchased with the trainer at a reduced rate.

    If you need motivation to get moving, try smart jewelry. You don’t have to announce to the world that you’re tracking your activity with these stylish options. Bellabeat offers a beautiful leaf designed tracker ($99) that can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or broach. It tracks activity, calorie burn, sleep and menstrual cycle. For an even more discreet option, there’s the Oura ring (starts at $299) which provides a detailed sleep analysis, including tracking body temperature. Both products have companion apps.

    If you have trouble sleeping, try a smart mattress cover. Never wake up sweating or freezing again with the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover. This mattress cover lets you adjust the temperature of your side of the bed. It also tracks your sleep. With a subscription, the mattress will automatically adjust the temperature throughout the night to ensure that you sleep better. Starts at $1,795 for full size, and the monthly membership to enable all features starts at $15. For more ways to improve your sleep, check out 8 Tips for the Best Sleep Ever.

    If you’re trying to get pregnant, try a fertility tracker. No more tracking your cycles on calendars or taking your temperature daily. The Oova Kit, designed by a female doctor who struggled with fertility issues, is a urine test that measures levels of luteinizing hormone and progesterone. The app then tracks these levels over time and gives you personalized recommendations to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. The kit costs $130 and comes with 15 test strips. Or you can sign up for a monthly $99 subscription plan to get monthly refills. A similar kit is Mira Max, which also measures estrogen levels and comes with 10 test wands, priced at $229. Refills with 20 wands cost $89.

    If you’re stressed out, try a smart headband. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and improve health, but meditating can challenging. You may find your mind wandering instead of focusing while meditating. That’s where the Muse smart headband comes in. Its sensors measure your brain activity, heart rate, breathing and body movements. Then it gives you audio

    feedback to help your stay focused or regain focus when needed. You can also use it to help you fall asleep. A mobile app allows you to track your progress. The Muse costs $400. For more ways to beat stress, see 5 Techniques to Help You Relax.

    If you’re a runner or golfer looking to improve your performance, try smart insoles. These insoles are embedded with sensors that track your movements and pressure. You get feedback on how to make adjustments or complement your training to improve performance and reduce risk of injury. Look for NURVV ($300) if you’re a runner or Salted ($230) if you’re a golfer.

    If you want to track your progress, try a FitBit device. Whether you’re looking to sit less, work out more often, get more sleep or reduce your stress levels, FitBit has a smart watch or activity tracker that can help. Tracking data can help to keep you motivated because you can see how your efforts are paying off. Some models can even detect serious sleep problems and heart-rate abnormalities. There’s also a model for kids. Devices range from $80 to $400. 

    If you have high blood pressure, try a guided breathing device. Resperate is an FDA-approved device that has been proven to reduce blood pressure in just 15 minutes a day. As you breathe in sync with the device, you’ll slow your breathing and increase your exhalations, which relaxes blood vessels to lower your blood pressure in three to four weeks. Resperate costs $350, but it is FSA and HSA eligible.

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