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Get a gadget that’ll keep you healthy

December 7th, 2007 · 1 Comment


With the holiday season upon us, this month’s High-Tech Health column will expand on October Topic  of diet and exercise. There is no more difficult time of the year than now to maintain healthy exercise and dietary habits.

Remember that habit is something that usually takes 10-12 weeks of practice before it really becomes ingrained in our behavior. When it comes to diet and exercise, people have a tendency to swing back and forth to extreme. Proper eating and exercise habits should transcend the seasons and help carry you through holiday excess.

Read on as we explore some tools that may help you achieve your goals.

As the medical director for the Executive Health Evaluation Program at the Levinson Heart Hospital, I have the privilege of counting many of Richmond’s top business executives as my patients. Many of these super achievers are extremely tuned in to their own wellness; however, we all need help from time to time. The hardest part of my job in keeping these individuals accountable for their own personal lifestyle habits is developing a way to both motivate and measure their dietary and exercise habits.

The practice of medicine is slowly acquiescing to the high-tech modes of communication that business has embraced for years. The ability to turn on the computer, pull up a list of patients and be able to impact their health status, change their diet or modify their exercise routine is here now.

There are some great tools that allow you to plan your diet and exercise and track the results over time in a very convenient fashion. You can share your data with your doctor, information that may be more important in the long run than your cholesterol level or blood pressure. is a free Web site that allows you to plan and track your diet and fitness routine and share the data with your doctor. This simple-to-use tool can empower you to take control of your life in a positive way. Millions are spent on fad diets every year, but, in reality, solid fundamental habits of controlling your food intake and committing to an active lifestyle are really important. Any tool that helps people be accountable to their doctor – and more importantly themselves – should be promoted by the medical community.

How about an idea for a holiday gift? A great health nag, computer-linked pedometers like the Omeron HJ-7021TC are a great way to kick start a fitness revolution. Visit this site to see how this high-tech tool can be linked to your computer, giving you the ability to again track, motivate and measure your fitness progress. Anything that increases your chance of success to plan and execute a fitness plan and manage your wellness portfolio is again worth promoting.

The Journal of the American Medical Association did a review on pedometer research and found that using a pedometer is proven to promote weight loss, lower blood pressure and achieve a more active lifestyle.

A slightly newer turbo-charged pedometer is the Nike+Ipod Sport Kit. Though this author was unable to find proven research on the effectiveness of this tool on wellness promotion, I can personally vouch for its motivation appeal for dedicated runners looking to turn it up a notch on their workout. Again, the ability to set goals, receive running pacing and positive feedback all combine to push your fitness plan to a higher level.

Use whatever tool is right for the job. If we look for coronary artery disease, the Executive Health Evaluation uses the GE LightSpeed CT scanner; if you are trying to find a new way to stay healthy, find the tool that’s right for you. Health is an asset that needs to be protected and elevated to a top priority in your life.

The doctors and staff of the Executive Health Evaluation Program wish you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season.

Tags: High Tech Health · Health Tips

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