From the moment our alarm goes off in the morning until the moment we go back to bed, we have hundreds of interactions with technology every day. Here are a few ways you can make the most of those and use technology to improve health.
How many steps are you taking?
According to Mayo Clinic, around 70 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity. Jessie Carf, exercise physiologist at Kettering Health Network Sports Medicine, explains that using a fitness tracker to measure step count and activity minutes and to track progress over time can motivate you to move more.
“For some people in active professions, they may regularly get 20,000 steps per day; oothers in desk jobs may not move for hours,” says Jessie.
Use an activity tracker to find your baseline of average steps per day and set small goals for improvement, such as adding 2,000 steps per day and increasing those over time. “That 10,000-step count goal might not be perfect for every individual,” says Jessie, “but fitness trackers can at least help you find a baseline and set a target.”
Can mind games keep you young?
As our bodies age, so can our minds. “It’s natural for an aging brain to lose some cognitive ability, but it’s important to recognize that cognitive reserve can be preserved by a healthy lifestyle,” says Kenneth Pugar, DO, neurologist with Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders. “Challenging your brain with new tasks, like playing an instrument or learning a new language, can be beneficial.”
A number of apps and online games may also be helpful in retaining cognitive strength. “There is no app that has been proven to be better than another, but we do know that using the brain and keeping it stimulated helps keep up your cognitive strength,” Dr. Pugar says.
Level up! Try some of the highest-rated brain games:
Health data at your fingertips
You can view your Kettering Health Network medical record at any time using MyChart. You can also use the online tool to view test results, message with your provider, pay bills, schedule appointments, and request prescription refills. For minor issues, you can even participate in an e-visit with your primary care provider or save your spot in line at an urgent care center.
“MyChart allows patients to be active participants in their health care,” says Charles Watson, DO, chief medical information officer at Kettering Health Network. “It gives much more real-time access to health data.”
Download the MyChart app in your app or Google play store, and talk to your physician about ways to use MyChart as a tool in your overall wellness. You can also visit MyChart online by clicking here.
Continuous Monitoring Options
Continuous glucose monitoring technology allows diabetes patients to significantly reduce to need for finger pricks.
New continuous blood glucose monitors involve wearing a sensor on your upper arm or abdomen for seven to 10 days at a time. Patients may use a reader to scan the sensor periodically throughout the day. Other sensors communicate with a smartphone or a receiver to monitor blood sugar every five minutes.
Some devices have alarms to alert you of high or low blood sugars. “These new options can provide a lot of protection, comfort, and ease of mind for those who may have unpredictable low blood sugar,” says Dawn Lyon, RN, diabetes educator with Kettering Health Network Diabetes & Nutrition Center.