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How to use technology to change your habits, for the better

With the abundance of studies that show how establishing a healthy lifestyle can result in a better quality of life and a longer lifespan. It is quite logical to deduce that doing sport and eating well whilst not smoking or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol are among the suggested measures to ensure a better life.
So far, no surprises. The problem is that it is difficult to really establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle regime. And that's where technology can make a difference. Here are four ways technology can enhance your wellbeing and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Monitoring to improve habits: mobile apps and wearable tech

All good intentions start with awareness of the current state in which we find ourselves. We all have a smartphone that accompanies us for most of the day, most likely we also have a type of wearable technology - such as Apple Watch, Fitbit and the likes - that allows us to collect a significant amount of personal data. In technical terms, we speak of quantifying self, literally the quantification of oneself, which indicates a set of parameters that can be monitored. Some measures are automatically tracked by the mobile device or wearable tech such as the number of steps taken, blood pressure or heart rate - others can also be entered manually, such as body weight and weight sessions.

In any case, the result will be a complete and detailed picture of our physical state of health over time. And not only that, many of the apps connected to wearable devices or available on mobile are also as standalone apps that allow you to monitor the cycles of sleep and wakefulness, with the aim of establishing better routines.

Learning to eat well

Well-being and eating well come hand in hand. And rightly so, given that a well-balanced lifestyle certainly depends on what we eat: it would not make sense to think of doing sport and then gorging oneself with unhealthy food. The problem is: how do you understand and evaluate what and how much you eat? All you need is a smartphone and one of the many apps that allow you to track the number of calories and nutritional value consumed meal by meal.

The data - in most cases - will then flow into one of the apps designed to collect data on our lifestyle, but above all will become a perfect testimony of our habits. This also means that they will form the basis for improving them. Not only that, many of the apps designed to monitor our eating habits have extensive communities behind them with which to share goals, results and even recipes, with the obvious consequence of motivating each other and encouraging those who use them not to give up.

Doing more sports thanks to Apps

The next step is to participate in sports. In this case, too, the digital world is an extraordinary ally: from sharing running sessions, finding friends to swim with or participating in digital challenges of endurance. The variety of apps available appeal to an assortment of users, those that are new to sport, those looking for training advice, even those committed to the sport but instead seeking more from the sporting community. The ability to create groups for sharing training sessions simply by using social networks or post the results achieved only with a small circle of friends and family.
The ability to create groups for sharing training sessions simply by using social networks or post the results achieved only with a small circle of friends and family. Not only that, but there are also several cases where the apps integrate with the activities of the gyms and with the equipment used, such as mywellness (which hosts the personalized training sessions of your gym) or Unity (which turns a treadmill into a connected training console). For those looking to become more physically active but prefer to work out at home, a variety of apps offer the opportunity to train at home with a specifically designed program for exercise suitable for the home environment.

Abandoning bad habits

One of the most common practices for eradicating bad habits is to identify them. There is a wide choice of mobile apps that allow you to create real checklists of good habits and that remind us what to do and when. For example, you can aim to consume at least two litres of water a day and set the app to remind you to drink every few hours. Another is bedtime reminders to make sure that you begin to unwind and get ready for your much need allocated hours of rest. Usually, such apps also use gamification, with a system of challenges and rankings that has the effect of motivating users the result is a process of observation, recording and improvement of their habits that leverage the potential of digital content.
So, as difficult as it may seem, being able to change daily habits - with a few mobile apps, possibly some connected devices but above all a sports routine - can improve our well-being. If technology has often been considered synonymous with sedentariness, the boom of digital sporting societies, digital training programs and tracking performance is now a guarantee to influence a change in lifestyle. If you have a smartphone, you can train without excuses.

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