In case some of you don't understand the reference, people that are carrying extra weight (namely fat) around their waist are said to be carrying around a spare tire.  It is a pretty accurate description for many people, actually, as it has a resemblance.

After battling my weight since my mid-20's, I decided to "practice what I preached" and began to incorporate M2M solutions into my efforts to not only lower my weight but more importantly to improve my overall health.  I wanted to lower my blood pressure, improve my resting heart rate and use this in combination with various fitness programs to better balance my calorie intake.

What am I using?

First, this is not an advertisement for any product.  I did some research and found that these were the best FOR ME.  I have no idea if they are the best for you.  Don't take my advice or follow my plan, please consult your doctor or nutritionist to determine the best way for you to optimize your health.

Keeping to a technology theme, I have incorporated the following things:

•   Smart scale / Body Analyzer by Withings

•   Concept 2 Rowing machine with Performance Monitor

•   Blood Pressure Monitor (that works with iPad app) from Withings

•   Pulse / Activity Monitor (**Just got this thing) from Withings

•   Cloud-based application (MyFitnessPal) to link up my diet with activities

From an application use standpoint, it does work very well together.  With the exception of the rowing machine, all of the information ends up in very easy to use cloud-based format.  It allows for easy to use charts, comes with the ability to easily receive warnings and alerts and even allows you to brag on Social media when certain goals are met.

A Day in the life of...

•   Before even taking my first steps out of bed, I use the blood pressure monitor to get a morning reading.  The information is sent to my iPad (via a cable) and then up to the cloud.  It is posted on my web page before I even get to my phone.

•   Before breakfast, I use the body analyzer for a morning reading.  It takes not only my weight, but also my body fat, my standing heart rate and even tells me what the temperature is in my bathroom!  Again, the scale uploads this to the cloud, using an embedded WiFi chip inside.

•   Starting today, I am using my "Pulse" to track not only my activity (it has a gyroscope and GPS inside), but also my heart rate and other variables.  These are sent via Bluetooth to my smartphone, and are then uploaded into the Cloud.

•   Throughout the course of the day, I log what I eat in MyFitnessPal.  While this is definitely not a new concept, the application allows for much easier lookup than ever before.  You can even take a photo of a barcode for a product you are eating and it will look it up for you.  Because the application is cloud-based, you can do this on different devices.

•   Right before bed, I take a second reading of my blood pressure and move my Pulse into Sleep mode.  By attaching it to a very comfy wrist strap, I am able to monitor my sleep patterns and have it uploaded to the same program.

Sounds like a lot of gadgets

Now, is it possible to improve your health without all of these things?  Absolutely, but that would make for a pretty boring M2M-based article.  Part of the reason I am doing it this way is to find out more about the consumer-based aspect of our industry....are there any benefits to incorporating these things into your daily life.

As well, I may not actually be the best candidate for some of these things.  Despite carrying too much "spare tire", I was not actually in bad shape.  I've run for most of my adult life, participating in 10Ks on many occasions.  I never had any BP issues and in fact had a resting heart rate of less than 55 when I started (not bad for a 42 yr old who sits at a desk).

So, how is it going so far?

I have been at my current run at better health for almost 3 months, of which I have used most of this technology for about 2 months.  I am down 22 lbs (as of this week), and have improved on an already decent BP reading (see picture for what an update looks like).  I have also managed to routinely see resting heart rates of sub-50, which is a good improvement.

**For those of you who have emailed me saying that my Systolic rate (the first number) is a bit too low to be healthy, I just want to say that this was an unusual reading. The number is usually around 115-122 or so…but thanks for your concern!**

I will be sure to update as I progress further, namely to update on how my new Pulse works and how the ease of use of this cool M2M-based solution is going!

April 21st Update - Many thanks for the kind words and encouragement that I have received (both in person and via email) with regards to my renewed focus on health. I am now closing in on 35lbs of weight loss and I've also seen significant improvements on many other aspects of my health.  Stay tuned for more updates!

As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.

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