The simple yet effective antidote to dealing with stress.

How many deep and conscious belly breaths do you take every day?

My bet is you take very few, if any. You are not alone. By failing to pause and take a deep breath, you are doing your body, mind and spirit a disservice and may even be contributing to poor health.

deep-breathingIn the Western world, we live a mostly sedentary, plugged-in life punctuated by an incessant stream of stimuli demanding our attention at every turn – social media, email, text messages, television, traffic and hyper-competitiveness at work, to name a few. As a result, our mind and body are constantly and unconsciously pushed into “fight or flight” mode, an automatic body response regulated by our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that is associated with a shallow, chest-level, high-frequency breathing pattern.

While our “fight or flight” response is a great latent gift we possess, problems arise when we spend most of our waking (and sometimes even sleeping) time in this mode.

By consistently staying in a heightened state of “fight or flight,” we create a biological imbalance and literally burnout our life force, or Prana, as we say in yoga. Have you ever felt so stressed, anxious and tired that you felt paralyzed? That’s your body response to a continuous injection of stress hormones including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstream at a great expense to our health, resulting in stress, anxiety and illnesses.

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Digital Health Coaching

Digital Health Coaching is what people need to make the most (and make sense) out of their wearable devices.

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DHC is the scalable layer of service with a human face/voice I have hinted to in my previous article titled: “Wearable devices, Health apps, what’s next?” .

Even if we are only at the beginning of this revolution and the category is very much growing, the trend is signaling that fitness wearables per se are not nearly enough to make people replace their old habits with new, healthier ones.

A study conducted by Endeavour Partners shows that, as of June 2014, about a third of owners of smart wearables still abandon these devices after six months.

If we want to become healthier, experience more wellness, balance and ultimately more happiness, we have to get on a path of behavioral change.

Technology (wearables and apps) can provide a powerful platform for qualified health, fitness and wellness practitioners of all stripes to help people make sustainable, long term changes via a data driven approach with a human touch.

What is your personal experience of the impact of wearable technologies on fitness & wellness?

What opportunities and/or threats do you foresee?

Wearable devices, Health apps, what’s next?

Natural Sculpture

Wearable devices such as FitBit, Nike’s Fuel Band, Jawbone Up, Body Media Fit and the upcoming Amiigo (just to mention few among the very many), are being hailed as revolutionary tools to put people in charge of their health and fitness. These devices capture and provide insightful data like heart rate, calories burned, stress level, sleep, exercise and even eating patterns. Together with smart phones and GPS devices they also feed another layer of cool apps like Strava, Runtastic, Mapmyfitness and many more (over 10,000 Health and Fitness apps exist on Apple store alone) that add a social-network motivational component to the user experience. Other apps like Myfitnesspal help users track the food they eat and their calorie intake. Gympact, Everymove and such offer external incentives to reward personal healthy choices. Continue reading