Health

How you can use your smartwatch to be healthier

Track what’s important

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Fitness trackers and smartwatches have gotten a lot of useful features and have improved a lot over the years. But when it comes to trying to be more fit and healthier, knowing how many steps you’ve taken doesn’t mean anything if you don’t make incremental changes to your daily habits.

There’s more to health than the number on the weighing scale or the calories you’ve burned. Here are some things you can track instead to help you become healthier.

Heart rate

Your resting heart rate says a lot about your overall well-being and current state of fitness. If you live a sedentary lifestyle (i.e. you sit all day in front of your computer) chances are your average resting heart rate is high.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, for most healthy adult women and men, resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a 2010 report from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) indicates that a resting heart rate at the low end of that spectrum may offer some protection against heart attacks.

If your smartwatch tells you that your resting heart rate is consistently at 80 beats per minute though, you’re going to need to start moving more.

SEE ALSO: 5 best workout apps to try at home

Endurance

It might be counterintuitive to exercise when you’re feeling low on energy, but moving little by little daily will actually help increase your energy over time.

If you don’t have a workout routine, start small. Working out for the first time will always seem daunting, but your body will thank yourself later once it becomes a habit.

Want to workout without equipment? Stuck indoors because of quarantine? With fitness trackers and apps, there are a lot of workout options that you can try until you find one that matches your needs.

If you want to try running, tracking your VO2 Max will provide a good snapshot of your fitness. Monitor this number, not the one on the weighing scale.

SEE ALSO: 5 home workouts to crush your fitness goals

Strength

Fitness tracking, if done right, can help you become more mindful of your progress.

If you do strength training for example, a smartwatch can track the number of reps that you do. After a while, you’ll notice that you’re actually getting stronger. The same number of reps you do for a particular workout will no longer as challenging as it used to be.

When that happens, it’s time to change things up. You can either increase your reps or weight, depending on your goals.

READ: How the realme Watch S Pro helped me stay active and fit

Sleep

It cannot be emphasized enough: getting a good night’s sleep is important.

Tracking your sleep can give you an overview of your sleeping patterns so you can make adjustments where necessary. Going to sleep one hour earlier or later can sometimes make you feel more well-rested.

Sleep tracking will also make sleep a priority if it isn’t. When making changes towards a healthier lifestyle, it’s important that sleep is prioritized along with exercise and eating better. Good sleep can make or break your day.

Menstrual Health

There hasn’t been a lot of research done on menstrual health so it can sometimes be difficult assess whether the symptoms we’re feeling are associated with our menstrual cycle or something else.

Tracking not just your cycle, but also your symptoms and sexual activity can go a long way when it comes to understanding your own body. The clearer the patterns, the easier you can manage your cycle and your life.

SEE ALSO: Apple, Harvard release preliminary data to help destigmatize menstrual symptoms

Health

Facebook will convert its California HQ into a vaccination site

Helping end the pandemic

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Vaccination
Image by Hakan Nural

Facebook said it’s converting a part of its Menlo Park headquarters into a vaccination site, joining the government effort to speed up the US’s vaccination drive. The technology company is going out of its way to ensure citizens are jabbed as soon as possible, in turn, putting an end to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll partner with the Ravenswood Family Health Center to turn part of its headquarters into a vaccination clinic for underserved communities. The company also said it’s partnering with California Governor Gavin Newsom and nonprofits to support pop-up clinics.

Facebook plans to arrange vaccine rides to and from Facebook’s campus. However, Facebook employees will be ineligible for the vaccination program. The new vaccination site is being made for under-served communities.

Recently, the social networking giant launched a tool that shows the nearest vaccination facilities to a user. Facebook is partnering with Boston Children’s Hospital, which runs the VaccineFinder.org website, to offer the tool that identifies places nearby to get the vaccine.

The adoption of vaccines is a point of contention for many due to a host of reasons — misinformation, lack of trust, poor supply chains, and more. Amid the pandemic, health regulators worldwide are urging citizens to get jabbed as soon as possible. Facebook has also launched a profile picture frame that says, “I got my COVID vaccine.”

“Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, we’re working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated as well,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, said in a blog post.

As part of the efforts, the Coronavirus Information Center will expand to Instagram, and the company soon expects to roll out a WhatsApp chatbot in association with local health authorities.

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Health

Elon Musk’s Neuralink wired up a monkey’s brain to play video games

The tech will help someone with paralysis to use a smartphone

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Elon Musk is trying to establish a human colony on Mars, believes that the future of currency is Bitcoin, and is churning out more electric vehicles than ever. But that’s still not enough. The billionaire has also wired up a monkey’s brain to control a video game via his startup Neuralink.

Neuralink put two computer chips into a monkey’s skull and used microwires to connect it to its brain. It sends brain signals from the monkey through a 1,024 electrode transmission device called the N1 Link. This neural activity is then decoded and calibrated to predict the monkey’s intentions.

Basically, if the nine-year-old monkey can mentally operate a video game and there’s no need for external pointing mechanisms like a mouse, trackpad, joystick, or even a touchscreen. After just six weeks of practice, the monkey had learned to play the 1970’s video game classic Pong in return for a banana smoothie reward.

Neuralink’s primary target is to make the computer-brain interface directly possible. According to Musk, people are already “cyborgs” because they have a tertiary “digital layer” thanks to phones, computers, and applications.

Musk claimed in a tweet that the first product from the startup would allow “someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs.” His goal is to help people with brain or spinal injuries since they can’t directly communicate.

The video ends with a recruitment callout, imploring anyone who’s “good at solving hard problems” to contact Neuralink, even if they’re not in the neurological field.

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Health

Rapper Will.i.am launches a futuristic mask with earbuds called Xupermask

Now this is masking up with style!

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It’s been a little more than a year since the Coronavirus pandemic forced us to embrace lockdowns, masks, and social distancing. Rapper Will.i.am has shown off a new mask called Xupermask, and it looks futuristic, fashionable, and directly out of a sci-fi movie.

The mask is developed by Will.i.am in partnership with veteran personal protective equipment maker Honeywell. The Xupermask has LED lights and noise-canceling Bluetooth earbuds that magnetically dock on the mask when not in use. The mask combines protection, design, and usability into one product, according to Will.i.am.

Thanks to Honeywell’s HEPA filter technology, the mask is also said to be easy to breathe through. The mask’s creator is confident that Xupermask has a bright future because it’s supposed to be worn for longer periods. It’s also got 3-speed fans to ensure maximum comfort. The earbuds can provide up to seven hours of playback on a single charge.

And, the product isn’t just for the pandemic. Will.i.am explained in an interview with CNBC that southeast Asian countries have always been open about masking up, and there’s immense demand for something different and convenient.

The Xupermask comes with a carry case, three months of HEPA filters, different-sized ear tips and a charging cable. The mask has not yet been FDA approved but has received authorization by the FDA for emergency use. The face mask goes on sale from April 8 in North America and Europe via a dedicated website for US$ 299. Color options include black and white.

Will.i.am has always been a technology enthusiast and has previously invested in multiple small and large projects. He’s the director of innovation at Apple, an investor in Tesla and Beats, and the founder of i.am+.

Read Also: Razer is developing face mask vending machines

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