Health Tracker: Your Single Most Important GadgetHealth Tracker: Your Single Most Important Gadget http://bodywhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Step-Counter-02.jpg 640 427 BodyWHealth http://bodywhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Step-Counter-02.jpg
I admit it. I’m a health geek and a tech geek. I am thrilled by the host of exciting gadgets in development and at our disposal today that will help us to monitor our health and fitness, or BodyWHealth. I call this equipment WHealthTech. It’s both exciting and confusing.
You see, we’re en route to a place in the distant horizon where only WHealthTech visionaries can see. When we get there, we’ll all have simple dashboards that will show the status of our health at any one moment. This destination is referred to as the “quantified self” by WHealthTech geeks. The dashboard will also chronicle our health history, and will have very cool alerts that trigger actions to avoid disaster. Ideally, the ultimate gizmo will have a self-reinforcing incentive system that keeps us motivated to get healthy and stay heathy. But that’s all for one day in the future. What about today?
The plethora of early products in this space can be confusing. I’m frequently asked, “What is the single most important health metric I should track?” I have a consistent answer. Monitor your daily activity using a step counter! That’s the first step (pun intended) towards BodyWHealth. If it’s the only thing you do, you’re off to a great start!!
The reason for this is very simple. Our bodies have been honed over the millennia to be active. You will see in my other writing that I believe this to be the inescapable foundation of BodyWHealth. Over time, I will explain how exercise rewards our bodies at the chemical (even genetic) level. The reward is health. So, if that’s what you want, get nature working for you and start stepping. Your goal will be 10,000 steps a day at least 4 times per week. But start slowly and start now!
I don’t care which device you use to track this good work. The fancy name that we scientists use for this device is pedometer. The cheapest one I found was for $1.03, so everybody can afford one. You can clip it to your belt, your bra, your shoelace or your wrist. Mine is built into my smart phone. You can record your steps, beam them by satellite, compete with friends and get really fancy. Or you can simply look at the dial at the end of the day, pat yourself on the back and then enjoy a good night’s sleep knowing you’re doing a fantastic job. If you have one, use it. If you don’t, get one! And stay tuned as we work together to help your towards optimal BodyWHealth!