It’s almost February; how are your resolutions? What are you putting on or giving up?
By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
The first month of the New Year is almost over. How are your resolutions going? Are you still dedicated or have your resolutions fallen by the wayside? Most Americans made at least a couple of resolutions to improve their health. Though the list of potential health resolutions is long, they really boil down to two things: we promised to exercise more and eat better this year.
Resolution One: Get More Exercise
Last year, I wrote about the rapid growth of wearables. What’s on the market today makes the first electronic pedometers look quaint. Today’s wearables are more advanced than ever. The estimated value of the wearable market is worth somewhere between 3 and 5 billion dollars. In addition, there are almost 50,000 health apps at your fingertips.
Investing in a wearable is an attractive idea. They’re trendy and they’re touted as “revolutionary.” Do they help us achieve our health goals or are they yet another gadget we hope will somehow do the work for us? Fewer than half of all people buying wearables use them every day. A third of users abandon their devices after a year.
Consumers are told that some wearables will create valuable data for their doctors. Wearables can create data – reams of it – chronicling steps, heart rate, and daily symptoms. Your doctor might not be able to use it. First, they’d have to analyze what you’d given them to make use of the data. Wearables are intended to promote general wellness. Anything more and they’d be subject to FDA regulation, opening the manufacturers up to massive costs and complex logistics.
So the utility of the wearable is ultimately in the hands of the wearer. If you thrive on data and a device that pings you when you don’t reach your target each day, buy the wearable. If you’re a gadget nut who moves on quickly, save yourself the money. And if you’re thinking of buying a wearable as a gift for a technophobic parent or friend? Best of luck.
Resolution Two: Eat Better
New year, new you. January is a popular time for fad diets that promise to “kick start” our metabolism or health. Here’s the hard truth: there is no miracle diet.
The nutrition knowledge of “the experts” is varied. If you read every headline, “what’s best” seems ever changing. Trends come and go quickly. Remember The Zone? Atkins? The Scarsdale Diet? All are fads of the past and their contemporaries are no better. Juicing and cleanse binges won’t remove toxins from your body, clearing your way to better health. Your liver and kidneys are already great at removing toxins on their own. So drink more water and skip the cleanse.
The only “silver bullet” diet is so simple it lacks a name. Let’s christen it The Reasonable Diet and see if that helps. Here are its principles: Don’t eat too much meat. Eat more servings of vegetables and fruits than other food groups. Have a little olive oil or butter. Stick with whole grains. Eat slowly and until you’re sated, then stop. Don’t save too much room for dessert.
The biggest diet challenge Americans face is our overconsumption of sugar. Americans consume, on average, 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Excessive sugar intake is killing us, resulting in a host of major health problems from insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes to liver failure.
Need a place to start? Ditch fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt and the processed, quick breakfast foods. Have oatmeal with naturally sweet berries instead.
Let’s make 2015 reasonable. And great.