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Just as the Chevrolet Malibu Stop/Start Technology can make your car more efficient, this new crop of innovative gadgets can help make your life healthier

By Kate Hanley

As a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu owner, you want the whole package: the attractive car with intuitive features that’s also a pleasure to drive. So it’s no surprise that in your personal life, you also want to take care of yourself—move more, age smarter and sleep better—but you don’t want to sacrifice your time for fun, family and work.

Luckily, there are many cutting-edge health technologies that can help you do all these things without adding more to your plate, just like the Malibu’s standard 2.5L engine with Stop/Start Technology enables you to run all the errands and explore all the vistas you want while saving gas and money. (The Stop/Start automatically cuts the engine during moments of idling—such as a stoplight—then seamlessly turns it back on when you step on the gas, contributing to its EPA-estimated MPG of 36 highway.*)

Here are a few favorites from the newest crop of innovative gadgets that help you live a healthier life.

Next generation pedometers

The popular Fitbit Zip clips to your clothes, tracks your steps, and syncs wirelessly to your computer or smartphone so you can monitor your progress and challenge friends. Other Fitbit models also track active minutes, stairs climbed and hours slept, so you can get an objective look on just how well you’re doing at two crucial components of health: moving and resting.

Smart scales

The total number of pounds you weigh is an incomplete measure of how fit you are—for example, it doesn’t provide any insight into how much muscle or bone mass you have, or how much of that number is due to water weight (which can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, particularly in women). Enter the latest crop of digital scales, such as the EatSmart Precision Get Fit Digital Body Fat Scale, which shows body fat percentage, muscle percentage, water weight percentage and total bone mass in addition to total weight. These different stats give you more detailed insight into your total health, and are excellent tools for tracking your progress over time.

Grounding pads and sheets

One of the reasons walking barefoot on grass or at the beach feels so good is that it connects you directly to the Earth’s energy. For those times of year when it’s not so easy to slip off your shoes and go outside, there are grounding pads and grounding sheets that connect you to the never-ending supply of electricity available in the ground (you plug them in to the grounded port of an electrical socket and they conduct electrons from the ground outside and deliver them to you inside). Use the Earthing Universal Mat at your desk while you work or Earthing Fitted Sheets while you sleep for that same restorative feeling that being outside provides.

Portable and powerful white noise machines

Ample quality sleep is essential to health. Enter the LectroFan Sleep Machine—a tiny sound machine that plays 10 different fan noises and 10 different white noises. The wide range of sounds lets you find the perfect pitch to drown out the noise that might otherwise keep you awake, whether those are coming from inside (a snoring spouse) or outside (loud street noises) your bedroom. About as a big as a short stack of pancakes, the LectroFan Sleep and Sound Privacy Machine is also easily packed for good sleep on the road, too.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

Kate Hanley is a writer specializing in wellness whose work has appeared in Real Simple, Yoga Journal, and Delta Sky. She is also the co-author of The 28 Days Lighter Diet. Visit her at msmindbody.com.

*EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: 2.5L 25/36; 2.4L 25/36; 2.0L turbo 21/30 city/highway: 2.5L 25/36; 2.4L 25/36; 2.0L turbo 21/30

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