Technology, Health & Happiness For 2022
January 5, 2022
Hands up who made their New Year’s resolution to take better care of themselves. Now put your hand down. Now back up again. Exercise! You’re welcome. For those of us who have decided to make 2022 the year we put our health first, but perhaps need a little motivation to keep moving; thankfully technology to both pester and reward us toward our goals is readily available and eager to assist. We aren’t quite living in a future where our cars can prevent us from caving in and visiting the drive-through, but we’re pretty close…
So what’s available beyond the fitness tracking we all know our smartwatches can offer? Well this in itself has actually come a long way in recent years. The offerings from Samsung and Apple track motion, your heart rate and your position should you chose to take them cycling, running or boating. They also both now operate independently from their respective smartphones, so you’re able to leave your phone at home or in the car while you go off and enjoy the outdoors, at the same time still earning kudos for calories burned.
This functionality can be extended with the use of apps which use your health data to either compete against others (who doesn’t love that?), or to further your progress in a game. Apps such as Zombies, Run! and Fitocracy convert your workouts into fun, light hearted challenges to either level-up your virtual character or, as the name suggests, escape from an undead horde. The more stoic amongst us are able to use more data-driven apps to not only track calories burned, but also help our awareness of what we’re putting into our bodies. The smartphone’s wide adoption has resulted in there really being an app for almost anything we’d like to achieve fitness-wise.
What about when we outgrow what our existing devices can offer? Well luckily nowadays there’s likely a smart fitness solution which works with your lifestyle. For turning any room into an instructor led fitness studio, there are smart mirrors by companies like Tonal and (confusingly) Mirror. These while not in use provide stylish, full-length reflective surfaces which when powered up reveal screens with insights into your workout and interactive instructional video. Some even offer smart, tailored advice based on your body composition as seen by the devices cameras. Prefer a more traditional machine? Peloton, NordicTrack and Hydrow all offer stationary bikes, treadmills, rowers and a whole host of other intelligent solutions to receive the support you need while working up a sweat.
Good choices in the kitchen can also be aided along by the use of intelligent devices. While a subscription to a meal service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh can make getting balanced nutrition a breeze, you can now go one step further and go with a complete cooking system from someone like Tovala or Suvie. These offer a smart, multi-cooking-method oven which, when paired with meals delivered from its respective vendor, is able to scan and perfectly cook your food in an automated fashion. The idea being that if something is convenient, you’re more likely to stick with it. I certainly couldn’t argue with the convenience of simply having to scan a package in exchange for a hot, well balanced meal.
The important thing to bear in mind with these or indeed any technology purchase is how you’ll meaningfully put it to use solving a problem. All of these machines, smart trackers and apps have the potential to keep you on track and reach your goals, but if those goals aren’t well defined or pursued with discipline, smart features won’t prevent your new machine becoming an incredibly expensive coat rack. Most important of all? That we all have a happy, healthy 2022.
Richard Noble is the founder of Want For Tech, an IT company based in Glasgow.