By Jaimi Starr
It seems as if the jury is already out on whether or not new technology is behind the growing average Australian waistline. A recent study conducted by the Independent Research Organisation Milken Institute has confirmed there is a direct link between a country’s investment in technology and increasing obesity rates. In fact, spending 10% more on new or improved technology results in a 1.4 per cent increase in obesity rates per annum, according to the Milken Institute’s findings.
We currently find ourselves in the conundrum of the century: advancements in technology have increased productivity, improved living standards and enhanced economic growth, yet have resulted in less physical work, more ‘seated’ entertainment/socialisation and more processed foods. The technologies we have strived so hard to develop in search of economic prosperity have in turn caused greater economic strife than ever. Tools to improve quality of life are being abused to the point where obesity is now the world’s fifth biggest killer.
Given the statistics on hand, it is easy to point the finger at technology; however, as a lover of all things digital, I refuse claims that our obesity epidemic is the effect of technology – technology should be the solution.
Each and every one of us is responsible for our own health and wellbeing. New technology brings endless information and education at your fingertips whenever and wherever you are. Therefore, by properly utilising the incredible new wave of digital technologies, specifically phone Apps, a healthier, happier you is one download away, and most importantly, with you to make better choices everywhere you go. Many of us are yet to take full advantage of the App revolution and so, I bring you the best 10 Apps to further yourself along the path to wellbeing in 2014.
1: My Quit Coach: The top App for any smokers wanting to truly improve their health is Livestrong’s My Quit Coach App. This App gives you a personalised plan to quit or cutback smoking. The App can evaluate where you stand, set attainable goals for gradually quitting or even assist you in going cold turkey with inspirational messages and support. My Quit Coach also connects to your Facebook or Twitter accounts so you can draw on support from others. Available on iPhone for only $3.99.
2: Foodditive: whether it’s intolerance to gluten or you follow the strictest of diets, Foodditive is the shopping aid for you. This handy App allows you to check information on food additives so you are able to understand how it will affect you or conflict with your diet. It also features a glossary of the main food additives and an easy to use guide. Available on iPhone and iPad for $4.49.
3: Harvest: This inventive App is the definitive guide to selecting and storing produce. You can see what’s in season in your area, tips for selecting over 120 different produce, pesticide levels so you know what’s dangerous and when to buy organic, plus handy storage instructions to keep your produce fresher for longer. With no internet connection required, this is your go-to-tool for smart shopping. Available for iPhone for only $1.99.
4: MapMyRun: For those of you wanting to endeavour on a new fitness journey in 2014, MapMyRun is your perfect running pal. Utilising your phone’s GPS, the App will take you on a different running route to abate boredom, and record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route travelled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to MapMyRun where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history. Available on iPhone, Android & Blackberry for free.
5: Glooko: Paving the way in health innovation is Glooko, which has been created to assist diabetes patients monitor, understand and share glucose levels with their healthcare provider. Through
use of your regular glucose monitor and a specialised adapter
(sold separately), Glooko allows you to track your carb intake, insulin dosage plus add notes on lifestyle factors that may affect your insulin levels. Free for iPhone (cables/adapters sold separately).
6: Buddhify: Put relaxation and wellbeing at your fingertips with Buddhify mobile meditation and relaxation App. With guided meditation and mindfulness tools, Buddhify offers a range of options for relaxation breaks, including choices for the type and length of meditation you prefer. You can even choose location-specific meditations. $2.99 for iPhone or Android users.
7: Sleep Cycle: Getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial piece of every wellness and weight loss plan. Several monitor apps on the market can use your iPhone to discover what quality of rest you are really getting. Sleep Cycle, for example, not only measures the quality of sleep you are getting but can wake you gently (within a set 30-minute window) when the app determines that you are in your ideal light sleep cycle. You can also set the alarm to wake you up to the song of your choice from your iTunes library. For iPhone users only ($1.99).
8: Fitness Builder: Whether you’re starting 2014 with a new fitness regime or are a qualified personal trainer looking for new ideas, Fitness Builder is THE most comprehensive exercise App. Containing over 7000 exercise images and videos spanning over 900 disciplines plus access to a live personal trainer and fitness calculators, tracking, scheduling and progress graphing features, you’re guaranteed to learn and improve your health through the use of this App. Free one month trial for iPhone and Android users.
9: Alcohol Aware: It’s often difficult to get back on the wagon after an indulgent and alcohol fuelled Christmas season. Alcohol Aware is the perfect App to better keep track of your alcohol consumption, as well as tracking the effect those glasses of wine will have on your waistline. Only $1.99 for iPhone & iPad.
10: Calorie Counter Pro: If you could take one app to the supermarket with you this is it. It contains a built-in barcode scanner that delivers the nutritional content of some 416,000 foods in its database. You can then diarise the food you eat; set and track weight loss goals and plan exercise. Best yet, it works without an Internet connection too. $4.49 on iPhone & iPad.
About The Author
Jaimi Starr is the content manager/writer for Kadac. They specialise in organic, natural and health based foods, supplements, personal care & household items and currently distribute over 4000 products to health food stores, chains and pharmacy alike.