Three Apps For Healthy Living
It almost feels like today is New Year’s Day all over again, doesn’t it? So let’s talk seasonal resolutions.
I have been working out fairly consistently this year, lots of menu planning and home cooking, etc but recently found a few little helpers that have let me hone in on my healthy living goals and see real changes:
First is My Fitness Pal, which I mentioned recently. I have been avoiding going back on Weight Watchers for months now, mainly blaming the monthly subscription fee that comes along with it. I used WW after I had Kai to lose 15 or so pounds and it worked great. I knew the formula was effective for me, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to sign back up and would decide to go bake cookies instead. Well My Fitness Pal is basically the exact same program, for free! You log on and record what you eat all day long and it adds up calories (versus points), gives you bonus calories for workouts, etc. I am only looking to lose another ten pounds or so and after two weeks have already dropped 3.5 just by being accountable for my choices. You want that glass of wine with dinner tonight? Then skip the fries at lunch. Choosing protein-filled smoked salmon at breakfast instead of calorie-filled pastries that leave you hungry hours later. It’s really so simple and once you start (download it onto your phone so it’s always at-hand), I promise you it is so easy to use and so rewarding to see how a little willpower and conscious eating can go a long way. I also love that it gives you your daily breakdown for vitamins, sugars, protein etc so you can see what your diet is lacking (ahem, hello vitamin C, clearly we need to get reacquainted). I have friends who have no weight to lose that use it religiously for the health benefits, it’s that good. The truth is, despite my regular workouts which left me feeling toned and energized, it wasn’t until I started paying more attention to my diet that I started to see real change. And it looks good.
Speaking of workouts, I use an app for them now, too. I am a The Dailey Method devotee (you can read posts about it here and here) and have been going fairly regularly all year, but downloading their app onto my phone made a big change in my dedication. I book my classes online in advance, add them to my calendar, and voila – they are non-negotiable (for the most part). It really helped me to see how often I was going, which days/times worked best for me, and made it much harder for me to skip a class without good reason. Another big boost for me was the 60-Day Summer Challenge my local studio kicked off this year. If you completed 30 classes in 60 days, you would knock $30 off your monthly fee — forever. They put up a chart with everyone’s name and you got a sticker after every class and the added challenge and competition was the perfect motivator for me. I conquered 30 classes in less than 60 days, often going 4-5 times per week instead of my usual three, and definitely saw faster results. I plan to continue into Fall with my own personal challenge (why wait for someone else to motivate you, right?) and the app will make it even easier to stay focused.
Finally, my most recent (and beloved) discovery: Calm.com. I have always been intrigued by meditation and tried it a handful of times by myself, got frustrated, and walked away. Then I read this piece on Huffington Post and felt compelled to try again, with a little help. I tried another app and couldn’t stand the woman’s voice so kept researching until I found Calm.com. It’s a guided meditation app that lets you pick different areas of focus – sleep, confidence, creativity, relaxation, etc. – and follow along for a pre-set amount of time (two, five or ten minutes). All you need is a quiet space, a comfortable chair, your iPhone and some earphones. I opted to pay $9.99 for a year of service to get access to all of the different programs, but you can do the basic calming meditation for free. It’s beautifully designed, easy to use, and injects a little much-needed calm into lives – and minds – that need help slowing down. Know anyone who applies? 😉
Check out my “Five Little Steps to Healthy” post from earlier this year, too.