Whether you’re interested in health apps and technology to get fit, to enhance your performance or you just want to keep tabs on your general wellbeing, there is something out there for everyone. For most people, a simple fitness tracker will do the job but there are many more health aspects you can track with the various technology and apps that are being developed.
You can use gadgetry to assist jet lag recovery by monitoring sleep performance, to keep an eye on your blood sugar so you can adapt your diet or simply to remind you to take a moment to breath properly on a long flight. Below are some of the best options out now.
1. The Oura Ring
What is it? It’s a ring that you wear all the time that tracks your sleep, body temperature and heart rate. It syncs to an app on your phone to give you a better understanding of your health data and you can also set health goals. It reads your body temperature every minute and detects any activity and inactivity during the day.
Pros: It’s one of the biggest health tech innovations out at the moment and does an incredible amount of work for such a little piece of jewellery. The tracking is very precise and gives accurate sleep stage tracking as well as telling you if you should be training or not. It also alerts you if you’re being a little too lazy so might prompt you to go for a walk after a long-haul flight.
Cons: The price point isn’t easy on the wallet and you have to wait four weeks to receive your ring. You will also need to get your ring size before ordering, which can be a chore. You may not like wearing rings or it may clash with other jewellery.
Price: Between £270 to £905
Where to buy: ouraring.com
2. Freestyle Libre
What is it? Essentially it’s a tool to track your blood sugar. It’s designed for people with diabetes so that they can monitor their blood sugar levels by measuring the glucose concentration in interstitial fluid. You wear the patch on the back of your arm for 14 days straight. You can use it also to track your blood glucose response to certain foods.
Pros: It’s the first “wearable” tool that can track blood sugar. You can also use it to see what individual responses you get from specific foods. It’s waterproof so there’s no problem wearing it while enjoying a dip in the pool.
Cons: It can draw unwanted attention as you have to wear it on the back of your arm. The device is also often sold out.
Price: £57.95 for a patch lasting 14 days.
Where to buy: www.freestylelibre.co.uk
3. Nima Sensor
What is it? A pocket “food detective” to see if your food contains either gluten or peanuts. You place a small sample of the food you want to test in a disposable capsule, then insert the capsule into the Nima sensor to run the test. In a few minutes it will indicate whether or not the presence of the ingredient you’re trying to avoid was detected.
Pros: It’s perfect for those worried about food contamination or if you’re travelling and don’t trust the food in a restaurant. In the light of recent food allergy scares, it’s a must for those travelling with a nut or gluten allergy.
Cons: It’s expensive to get the kit and keep testing your food as you have to keep buying packs of capsules. Stock in the U.K. is also sparse.
Price: £178 for the sensor and £23 for a pack of six test capsules.
Where to buy: nimasensor.com
4. Heart Math
What is it? A gadget for the stressed out individual who can’t seem to just meditate by closing their eyes. You attach a clip to your ear and use an app on your phone to “turn your stress into resilience, to achieve higher levels of performance”.
Pros: It works as a mini game to help you destress. You practice each day and it mimics meditation which has huge benefits on the mind and body. You can even take it with you on the plane and play when you need mind rest. It takes just five minutes three times per day to have an effect.
Cons: It’s an expensive meditation tool and you may get the same effects by breathing in for five seconds and out slowly for five seconds.
Price: £159 for the sensor which connects to an app on your phone
Where to buy: www.heartmath.co.uk
5. Apple Watch Series 5
What is it? A smartwatch that links to your phone and also tracks your health. It also helps you keep track of your heart rate, menstrual cycle and taps you if noise levels rise to a point that could impact your hearing.
Pros: It can keep track of your heart health whilst travelling as there is an ECG (electrocardiography) app that measures your heart rate. It also tracks noise so can tell you if the nonstop crying baby in 10A poses a risk to your hearing. There are apps to remind you to drink water, take a breath and even track food.
Cons: An expensive gadget and a newer model will be probably released in a year’s time.
Price: From £399
Where to buy: www.apple.com
With all the developments emerging in health technology, now is the time to invest in a nifty gadget that can keep track of your well-being while travelling. There are options for all budgets, too.
Featured image by Getty Images/Stevica Mrdja/EyeEm
Daniel O’Shaughnessy is The Point’s Guy Nutrition writer. He is an award-winning Nutritionist based in London.