Resources and Gadgets to Improve Your Health When You are Chronically Ill
Posted Jan 17 2012 10:00am
By Lisa Copen
It is the time of year when many people are setting fresh goals regarding their health. For one who is chronically ill, however, it can be discouraging and you can feel a bit helpless at the lack of options you have available. Well, due to technology, there may just be some new possibilities for you! Here are a few we have found below.
Many people do not want or cannot afford an ipad or an iphone to be able to use the apps in many new technological health advances. If these are something you are interested in, you may want to invest in an iTouch for less than $200. It has the ability to do everything an iphone does but make calls, and there is no monthly fee. You can only connect to wi-fi in a “hot spot” (like your home, McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc.). It is a great way to “get connected” to some useful tools without any monthly fees. Most health apps are free, others are $4.99 or less.
This app is an exercise tracker but you can also use it to log what you are eating and track your sugar, fat, carbs, etc. This app will tell you how much exercise it will take to burn off those french fries you just ate.Free, as far as we can tell
Withings Body Scale or Blood Pressure Cuff
This is the first wi-fi-connected body scale. It records your daily weigh-ins and body fat percentages to a web site so you can track it, and the company also has a blood pressure and heart rate monitor added to their product line. You just plug the blood pressure cuff into your ipad or itouch and it uploads all the numbers.$159 for the scale, about $100 for blood pressure cuff.
UP This is a “bracelet” by Jawbone® that you wear 24/7. It is the combination of a wristband and iPhone app that tracks your activity and sleep and inspires you to move more, sleep better and eat smarter. You snap a photo of your food and then a few hours later it asks you how you are feeling. It tracks how well you sleep, when you wake up, and will even wake you up when it thinks you have slept enough (is there such a thing? Enough sleep?) About $100
This is a pain management service operating on a web-based platform. It allows you to visually have a pain assessment and track it, showing your condition and pain level in real-time. It is like a pain diary and it organized your entries into reports that can be printed or emailed to your doctor. It also creates a history of your condition presented in charts and graphs that are easy to understand. Free
This is a great web site to hook in with if you have a chronic illnesses; CureTogether will assist you in tracking your symptoms, sharing your information, and finding what works to help you feel better. Free
The Wii Fit is a great way to start an exercise program at home and just do what you can a little at a time. You can buy the Wii, including the Wii board and the Wii fit games for less than $150 on ebay. One woman has done a couple of videos that show how someone who cannot even stand can use the Wii Fit and the Wii Fit board to gain additional muscles and burn some calories, called A Guide to Wii Fit For Disabled People Less than $200 (Note: I purchased one a few months ago. So far I can do a few of the games for a few minutes, so am going to try to improve my balance and some muscle strength.)
This app lets you track anything so you can set your own goals (and be reasonable) and then it will help you see your results visually. So if you just want to track if you take the dog for a walk or make your family dinner, you can see how consistent you are. Free
This is a new free interactive website that provides answers to visitors health-related questions This free website was created by Jeff Arnold, the founder of WebMD, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, a famous heart surgeon who hosts The Dr. Oz Show, who will personally answer some of your questions. It is quite extensive and a great first stop in looking for quality and trustworthy health information. Free
This is similar to Daytum. It will ask you whatever you want it to each day via text. For example, you can have it ask you, “How many minutes did you spend in prayer?” “How long did you read with your child?” If you are trying to start a new habit, knowing you will report in each day and can see your graphed results may just keep you motivated. Free
Ever wonder what those different vitamins and minerals do for you? This app explains why you need them and where you can find them. It makes a nice addition of tools to one who is trying to eat healthier. Free
Feeling moody? Wondering what has gotten you down or if there is a pattern? This app will help you measure, track, and–if you want–share, your moods. You can see what causes those ups and downs by adding notes to your levels of moods. The site has a video that explains it well. Free
S2H Bracelet or Pedometer
I bought one of these for my son last summer and he loves it (as do it teachers and karate instructor) Last fall sales for the company’s new pedometer skyrocketed after being endorsed by Dr. Oz in . They are basically activity trackers. For every 60 minutes of activity (or 10,000 steps) you earn 60 points. Then you upload your point code to the web site and you can earn prizes or coupons (like $5 off $50 at Sears, etc.). The idea is fabulous, but they need better companies to join in and offer incentives for the points. They come in children’s sizes as well as adults. About $20
What are your favorite gadgets, tools, resources to help you get in the best shape possible, despite your illness and pain? Please share them with us in the comments below. For additional health and fitness apps see Health2Apps
About the Author
Lisa Copen is an author, speaker, and the founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill. She lives in San Diego with her husband and 8-year-old son. She is currently writing a book for Christian moms who live with chronic illness. If you are interested in sharing your stories, feedback and confessions for the book, visit her Facebook page at http://MomWithIllness.com .