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Technology for a Healthier You

Wellness has gone high-tech. Here are 8 products to keep you healthy.

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 eight 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

a 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 $60 to $72.

If you like working out at home, try a fitness mirror.

You may have seen commercials for The Mirror from Lululemon, which came out a few years ago. There are now more options to choose from such as Nordic Track’s Vault and Echelon Reflect. These devices display a variety of live and on-demand workouts, and you can see your reflection as you follow along to check your form. But they 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. 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 $3,000 price tag may seem high, it’s comparable to a good quality treadmill and offers more variety.

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 $160 and comes with 15 test strips. Refills are $136, or you can sign up for a monthly subscription plan 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, and sleep. For an even more discreet option, there’s the Oura ring ($299) which provides a detailed sleep analysis, including tracking body temperature. Both products have companion apps.

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 $300. 

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 $330, but it is FSA and HSA eligible.

If you want a personalized, at-home strength training program, try a digital gym.

Tonal is the next level fitness mirror. Along with a mirror, Tonal includes built-in digital resistance equipment, which assesses your strength and then adjusts to maximize your workouts. Resistance can be adjusted by one-pound increments up to 200 pounds. Sensors also track your form, making suggestions for a more effective workout and less risk of injury. You can give it a test drive at 40 Nordstrom locations nationwide. Tonal costs $3,000.

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