Digital trends and tools to help meet your wellness goals.
While not everyone has access to a walking desk or treadmill at work, there are ways to tap into technology to keep our bodies moving throughout the day.
Everybody’s got one (except that one person we all know who is still holding on tight to their flip phone), and our phones can usually be found in our pockets. If that’s the case, let your phone’s built in step counter keep you on track and motivated to reach your daily steps goal.
I use my iPhone’s Health app to track steps, but often, my phone gets left on my desk, and if my steps aren’t counted, did they really happen? That’s why I’ve started doing some consumer research into wearable fitness trackers.
These wearable trackers come in a variety of brands, styles and price points. There also is a wide selection of features to choose from depending on what activity you’re looking track: walking, running, biking, etc. Some have built-in heart monitors and will even give feedback on your sleeping habits when worn to bed. I have several friends who love their Apple watches, and I’ve heard good things about FitBit and Garmin. I’m still on the fence about which tracker to purchase, but I hope to get one soon, so my steps will have meaning.
In addition to being more active, I’m also focusing on incorporating better nutrition into my routine. According to research conducted at Duke University, when trying to lose weight, people who track their daily food consumption lose more than those who don’t (sciencedaily.com). There are many apps, free and paid, that can help make food tracking and calorie counting an effective habit. Popular free apps include: Fitness Pal, Lose It!, iTrackBites, etc. Many free apps also offer upgraded features for an additional fee. I’m currently using the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) app to track food. It assigns a point value to foods to help me make nutritional decisions, and even has a handy built-in bar scanning feature, which helps when I’m grocery shopping.
While social media sometimes gets a bad rap for its negative impact on society, I’ve found encouragement and help through it on my personal wellness journey. You can find a support group on Facebook for just about anything under the sun. I’m a member of several groups, where we swap recipes, encourage each other, give advice or just a comment saying, “Yeah, I understand what you’re going through.” These types of communities can help when we get discouraged or simply need a word or two of motivation. Trying searching for a group that fits your health needs and find your tribe for the journey.
Watch and Listen
I don’t know about you, but I tend to get bored the minute I step on the treadmill or try to complete a workout routine in silence. That’s where my Spotify, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix accounts come to the rescue. Lately, I’ve been catching up on classic TV shows like “The Brady Bunch.” (Don’t judge!) At 25 minutes long, they are the perfect length for a quick midday walk on the treadmill during my lunch hour. Also, a quick search on Spotify comes up with a curated playlist of music to get my heart pumping.
I’ve shared about some of the tools of technology I’m using on my health journey; now I want to hear from you. Send me your favorite fitness trackers, apps, Netflix shows, workout songs, etc. Let’s support and encourage each other every step of the way!
– Jackie, the managing editor at Aroundabout Local Media