Looking on the Internet to diagnose health issues can seem overwhelming. No one wants to fall into a WebMD rabbit hole and worry that a hangnail is a harbinger of serious problems. But, the Internet can help you take control of your health and support personal resolutions to improve your mind and body.
Connect With Your Care Providers
We’re all getting used to virtual appointments with our doctors, which can be super helpful if you can’t make it in-person to an appointment due to weather or bad health. Any time saved by not sitting in a waiting room is great!
Beyond the appointment itself, it is very helpful to familiarize yourself with your healthcare provider’s patient portal. You can see and schedule upcoming appointments, look at past test results, see a list of your current medications, so you don’t have to try to remember all your meds and dosages. There are also helpful videos to watch before a procedure to know what to expect. You can also message questions to your doctor directly in the patient portal. That way, they can answer them when they are available, and you don’t have to spend your day calling into the office waiting on hold.
With your doctor’s permission, you can use the voice memo app on your phone to record your appointment. It can be difficult to remember all of the details. Having a voice memo allows you to have info without taking notes.
Pro tip: the Apple Health app on your iPhone integrates with many electronic medical record (EMR) platforms. Check with your healthcare provider to see if your medical records are available on your iPhone.
Get a Handle on Your Health
Bluetooth has opened up a new world of tracking and management for your health and disease indicators. Many medical and health tracking devices can connect to an app on your phone to track and analyze data, which can be helpful to have when meeting with your doctors. Some common examples are Bluetooth-connected scales, blood pressure monitors, and glucose meters.
Using the glucose meters as an example. You can connect the glucose meter with diabetic apps to track your blood sugar levels and see how your meals or certain foods caused highs or lows. These apps will give you weekly averages and graph out your blood sugar levels over a period of time to help you understand your health conditions.
Medisafe is a great app for keeping track of your prescriptions. After entering your medications, you can set up reminders on when to take them every day. You can even add another caretaker to your app, so they also get an alert if you missed a critical medication. It will also warn you about any potential drug interactions and when you’re running low and need to refill.
Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track the nutritional value of the foods you eat, so you are monitoring the calories you burn and the calories you consume. MyFitnessPal integrates with the Apple Health app. If you use an iOS system, you can start to build a comprehensive picture of your overall health with MyFitnessPal and Apple Health app.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
Just as we’ve learned how helpful virtual doctor’s appointments can be, the last few years have also taught us that you don’t have to go to the gym to get a great workout.
Apple Fitness+ is powered by your Apple Watch and has 11 different types of workouts with over 1,000 classes. You can set your goals and collect data such as heart rate and time spent exercising to see your progress toward your goals through your Apple Watch.
There are also specific apps for any exercise you may be interested in, from beginner to expert levels. Using running as an example, here are a few apps for everyone from a speed walker to a marathoner:
- Couch to 5K helps folks that haven’t run since gym class to get comfortable lacing up their sneakers again.
- Already a seasoned runner? The Nike Run Club tracks your pace and time, but also allows you to set personal goals and challenge your friends.
- Need some motivation to get going? Zombies Run makes a game out of your daily jog with missions, supplies to collect, and an award-winning story to keep you moving! Charity Miles puts your steps to good use. You pick a charity and corporate sponsors will donate based on every mile you run, walk, or bike.
Slow Your Heart Rate Down
Turning to the Internet to relax and rest may seem counterintuitive, but it provides fantastic ways to calm your brain and bring your heart rate down.
Studies show that even a few minutes of meditation can help your mental health and improve your mood. 10% Happier is a meditation for those new to meditation or who don’t have a lot of time. This app has hundreds of guided meditations that are helpfully categorized so you can quickly find what you need. You can also choose how much time you have, from a quick five minutes to a more in-depth twenty minutes. With meditations like “For a Grumpy Mood,” “Off Your Game,” and “When We Fight with People We Love,” you don’t have to come to the meditation already at peace and enlightenment.
Studies are showing that sleep is one of the main indicators of health. It helps you lose or maintain weight, support a healthy immune system, and reduce inflammation. Apps like SleepScore track how well you sleep, either through your phone or a wearable device. They track how deep you sleep, when you wake up during the night, and even when you snore.
We hope some of these ideas will help you with your health and wellness throughout 2022.
- I Tried Every Type of Workout on Apple Fitness Plus—Here’s My Review | Real Simple
- 10 best free running apps for iOS & Android 2022 | Asurion
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