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Lose Weight, Get Fit, and Live Longer

    • 780 posts
    November 6, 2022 8:52 PM +0330

    It seems there is an app for everything these days. Samsung have just released a new health app for their Galaxy S III. Samsung say "S Health collects health data to help maintain a healthier lifestyle." All you have to do is buy the appropriate sensors, (blood glucose meter, blood pressure sensor, and body composition scales), plug one end into the phone and take a reading. The app stores the details so you can track changes over time.

    "S Health collects health data and creates graphs or tables for the results to provide a full picture of health information in a digestible, easy-to-understand format."

    Sounds good doesn't it?

    Here's an easy way to keep track of your weight, your blood pressure, and other stuff. When you want to see how well you are doing it is all presented to you in attractive tables and graphs. With weight loss, trends are much more important than how much you lost this week. If the general trend is downward and you can see that displayed as a graph then you don't need to be despondent about your efforts for a particular week when you had a hiccup and your weight went up a couple of pounds. Seeing it in this way might make the difference between some comfort eating and realising that you are doing really well.

    Samsung's news interested me so I turned on my iPad and typed 'health' in the app search. It came up with 9818 results. So there's lots of stuff that gives advice on staying healthy, as well as apps that provide health monitoring - where you have to plug things in like blood pressure cuffs. Loads of free stuff, in fact if you downloaded all the free health apps, you'd very quickly become a health expert by the looks of things. There's even one that measures your pulse rate by listening for your heart beat with the iDevice's microphone. But most of these apps require you to take the measurement yourself and then manually enter the data in order to keep track of it.

    I used to use a Polar heart rate monitor when I was exercising. This device uses a detector strapped around your chest that sends a wireless signal to a wrist device that keeps your current heart rate on display. It also calculated how many calories I'd burned, beeped at me when I went out of the zone - area of maximum cardio-vascular benefit - and kept a log of all this. I found it very useful because it was helping me to monitor my effort in real time. I only stopped using it when the battery in the chest strap packed up and I discovered that meant throwing the chest strap away and buying a new one (direct from Polar) for nearly the same price as the whole original unit. Seemed to be a rip off to me so Polar was crossed off my shopping list - I mean how difficult is it to make batteries user replaceable in a £90 bit of kit?

    But I have a problem with tracking and logging and it's a problem of psychology. We all like a new toy, and we get excited about it and make use of it, but after a few weeks that excitement wanes and having to remember to take the measurements becomes a chore. If, say, the dieting is a real struggle and the weight loss graph is refusing to drop down, or the blood pressure is refusing to drop despite all our efforts, then the whole thing itself becomes a reminder of how useless we are and how nothing ever works for us. The disappointment can be a real de-motivator and trigger a giving up. This is where the powerful visual stimulus of the graph or chart has the opposite effect to that intended

    I remember a few weeks ago I started using Wii Fit. This was great fun. It monitors my weight loss, and gives me motivational bonuses. I especially love the jogging, where you get to exercise on the spot and I've found I can do it without my feet ever leaving the floor. But it tells me off if I miss a few days. That puts me off a little. But what the Wii Fit also does is give you a fitness age. The first time I measured this (before I had done any of the exercises) it came up as 39yrs. I measured it again after three days of exercising - it was 52yrs. After a week of Wii Fit guided exercises it measured my fitness age as 65yrs - which is older than I actually am. Talk about de-motivation. I haven't been back on it since then. I will return, because it is such a fun way to exercise (the steps thing is brilliant) - especially when it's raining.

    • 36 posts
    January 10, 2023 6:10 PM +0330

    I want to point out that many of us want to live longer and feel better, and we all employ various strategies to achieve these goals. I appreciate the information provided by because it helps me feel better about my physical appearance and maintain a healthy relationship with myself. I also want to mention that their consultation gave me a lot of information, and I now know what would be best for me to use right now. I was able to control my aging thanks to their program, which is wonderful.