By Jim Mittler, PhD, Medical Director, Palio
According to the Mayo Clinic, men have few health threats – heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury (be careful with those power saws!), which is a good thing because research shows men are less likely than women to see a physician. However, with rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and impact-related injuries, men cannot afford to take a casual approach to maintaining good health.
June is Men’s Health Month and it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness of health issues affecting men. While there’s no substitution for regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury, technology is putting better health in the palm of men’s hands through apps and online services.
With ZocDoc, men who aren’t afraid to see the doctor can search for physicians or dentists in many major U.S. markets by specialty or insurance coverage. Accessible on Android, BlackBerry or iPhone devices, users can read reviews or book an appointment.
For men hesitant to visit their physician, myHealthMate, offers a symptom checker where users can tap a body graphic to navigate symptoms relating to more than 20 areas of the male body and receive health tips relevant to their symptoms.
For guys who like to crunch numbers, Cake Health makes tracking all insurance and health care expenses a piece of cake. With everything consolidated into a single place, men can track just how much they’re paying for health care and understand the investment they’re making in their well-being.
Making a commitment to exercise is also good for men seeking to eliminate visceral fat and improve their health. For two bucks, Men’s Health Workouts provides a personal trainer in your pocket, offering exercises and workouts logs – perfect for anyone striving to improve strength and conditioning. For men wanting the motivation of professional sports trainers, FitPlay app provides on-demand video workouts on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Whether passionate about yoga, cycling, kettlebell training, tennis, golf, or strengthening the core, access to the same workouts used by professional athletes is just a click away.
However, exercise alone isn’t enough to reach health goals. Diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. That’s why Weight watchers mobile makes it easy to track points, monitor intake and ensure healthy food is incorporated in the daily diet. Think Weight Watchers is just for women? Don’t tell that to the round mound of rebound Charles Barkley, encouraging men in and out of the locker room to man up and lose like a man.
If health tracking and exercise apps aren’t enough to keep guys motivated to manage their weight, Retrofit offers the benefit of weekly Skype sessions with a registered dietician, a psychologist, and a “mind-set coach.” Retrofit monitors a subscriber’s weight via a wireless scale so that a coach can reach out if the number starts to rise. The company’s motto is “We want you to keep weight off.”
Maintaining good health is more than watching what you eat and increasing exercise. Sleep also plays a factor in good health. Getting appropriate shut eye is beneficial for curbing hunger, reducing inflammation and better immune system response. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock analyzes sleep patterns and ensures men wake up rested and ready to greet the day.
Software developers have gone a long way towards helping men (and women) better engage with their health, diet, and fitness in a more personal and individualized way. Men’s Health Month may only be 30 days long, but the benefits of these innovative applications can have long-lasting effects.
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