Everyone talks about going to the gym and eating healthy etc etc. But these things just seem to require so much effort. While I do all of the above, in the last year or so, because of my crazy schedule I've been thinking of ways that I can supplement what I do. Enter - health tech!! So what do I mean by 'health tech'. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong but I mean anything created - either straight tech or clothing designed to facilitate weight loss/health(ier) living.
A couple of years ago I discovered Zaggora Hot Flare leggings. They are amazing. They're ridiculously expensive (more so than Sweaty Betty in most cases!) but they have special cellulite technology embedded into neoprene leggings to smooth your skin and encourage more sweat, so you're able to battle cellulite and so on. They even have a 2 week challenge, so if you wore them for 2 weeks non-stop they guarantee you'll lose some inches. I haven't done it, mainly because my thighs are so big that the swooshy sound can get a bit irritating. BUT they do work. The skin on my thighs is lovely and smooth, and in combination with body brushing and cellulite oil (Weleda Birch Tree Oil), my cellulite isn't so horrific to look at.
Following this, I've also discovered ProSkins. Ok. these are luscious. Mainly because they look and feel like leggings but instead of being made out of neoprene like Zaggora they're made of lycra infused with some sort of silver technology to have the same cellulite busting effect. The only downside being that you have to wear them for 28 days for the whole day to see any visible effect. They come in a wider range though (coloured and patterned) and if you're me wearing them under a sweater and going out is so easy! And price wise they're cheaper and they're always doing deals.
The awesome thing about both these products is that they work without you doing anything. Sure if you exercise you get more out of them, but with these just an hours walking in town or even weeding the garden and housework will result in some sweat and lymph drainage. Well worth the investment. I haven't worn a a pair of cotton leggings for years!
My other love is my JAWBONE UP. It's so nifty. The market is full of these little beauties now though - Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, Withings, Angel and they all have apps to go along with them. I got my JAWBONE mainly to track my sleeping habits. I get up very very early so I was able to use the UP to figure when I should be going to sleep to hit at least 7 hours of sleep per day. It also works as a pedometer and I love it when it uses all the data from me and other users to create stats about where people do the most exercise and at what time.
I will admit that it is a bit creepy because I am in essence letting people know when I sleep etc etc but it's been the perfect addition to my routine and I always try and get as close as possible to my required 10,000 steps (I average about 8-9000 usually). They aren't cheap at £99 (for most brands) but they are becoming sturdier and if you get the bracelet versions (JAWBONE, Nike, Fitbit) you don't even know it's there - and the Fitbit has an even smaller version that you can clip onto your bra or belt buckle which is pretty covert.
Finally, my biggest expenditure and the best thing I've ever bought is my Lumie light. A lot of people pooh pooh the whole SAD thing but I know that as soon as we get into Winter I get really sad and mopey and it's hard to convince me to do anything. I miss the sun. This combined with the fact that I get up obscenely early (i.e. 6am is a lie in for me) meant that this was an issue that needed addressing.
Waking up with my phone alarm was jolting me out of sleep and leaving me disoriented for ages on waking. I did my research and got the Lumie light. The Lumie doesn't wake you up with sound but rather with pure light shining on your face. So you wake up naturally and without any disorienting noises in the dark. I got a refurbed version of the most advanced clock as it had the ability to have different alarm settings on different days and a radio etc. Best choice I ever made. I recently went on holiday and had to use my mobile to wake me up while I was out there and it was awful, my body had no idea what was going on. Coming home to my Lumie was heaven, waking up with the light shining on my face? Mmmm
In essence all the above bits have helped me to lead a healthier life just because they just make some things easier (waking up, tracking my steps) and don't impact my daily life. I don't see it as cheating, more like the York Notes to a healthy lifestyle :p I do still go to the gym and eat healthy but it's nice to know that I can see what I do and if I improve over a period of time.
It hasn't been cheap and I'm lucky that I care enough about this stuff that I want to spend money on it. Equally though - you can get cheaper versions of the Lumie on Amazon, and if you don't want to shell out for a fitness band, a pedometer does the trick just as well!
Health tech is most definitely here to stay!