More than ever health isn’t just about what we eat and how often we get to the gym. The phrase ‘body and mind’ is now used to describe our overall health. From nutrition to sleep patterns, fitness to stress levels, we are now more aware of what could be affecting our overall wellbeing. Technology allows us to have up to the second information about our bodies, and as so many people now have a smart phone within arms-reach throughout the day, tracking wellness is often accessible and cheap.
Get moving with fitness trackers
There are plenty of cheap or even free apps for iOS and Android phones that will help you on your way to tracking your health. Simple pedometers that track your steps are easy to find, but how about apps that add a competitive element to really keep the momentum going?
Charity Miles allows users to earn money for their chosen charity for every mile they walk, run, or cycle – now that’s motivation! Similarly, Pact has users decide how much exercise they will undertake in the coming week. Users earn money from hitting their target, but lose cash for not successfully completing their goals.
Try improving sleep with an app
It’s often the least considered aspect of our overall wellness, but getting a good night’s sleep is essential to functioning well during the day. It’s difficult to be aware of any negative sleep patterns, because well, you’re asleep! Sleep tracking apps are now quite sophisticated, keeping a digital eye on your motion and if you’re making sounds, even waking you at the ideal time for your sleep cycle.
Keep the mind happy with meditation
With yoga studios popping up regularly, and more emphasis being put on calming the mind as a form of achieving wellness, it’s no surprise that meditation apps are becoming popular. These apps can integrate into your daily life, helping to make room for a little quite time in an otherwise crazy day.
Headspace is a nicely designed app that’s simple mantra is to help everyone have a “happier, healthier, more enjoyable life”. Their 10 minute-a-day program is designed to introduce everyone to a regular meditation practice; from videos on how to sit, to syncing with your calendar to set reminders. The best thing about headspace? It’s free to try!
Another meditation app to try is Buddify2, offering guided meditations and tips to stay mindful throughout the day. The app will set you back $2, but there are a few samples on their website so you can judge if it’s for you before committing to buy.
Manage stress on your phone
Meditation can work for everyone, but some of us need a little more help to relax and unlock the wellness warrior within. Apps that deal with stress can be useful throughout the day, from helping to segment any anxiety, to dealing with stressful situations.
Self-help for anxiety management (SAM) is a free app developed by the University of the West of England in the UK. This app aims to help the user understand the causes of their worries by monitoring thoughts and behaviour, and then provides useful tips and exercises to help.
Another app that can seal worries away for a short time is Worry Box, a free app that allows users to note what they are worrying about, locking it away to be dealt with at a better time.
Know what goes in
If you’re on the route to wellness, you may find it necessary to track your dietary intake to see where improvements can be made. The makers of MyFitnessPal claim medical studies prove the best way to lose weight is to track what you eat, so make calorie counting easier with their free app. With over 5 million foods in their database, users report that after a few days it becomes quick and easy to track all food intake throughout the day.
Another popular nutrition tracker is Lose It, who connects fellow wellness seekers together to shed the pounds whilst giving support to others. There are over 25 billion foods logged in their database, and more than 2 billion exercises – so tracking can become quite easy once you’re all set up.
A final word
Targeting body and mind wellness as a way to lead a complete and healthy life is becoming a more popular mantra. Your health insurance provider may even give rebates for joining a healthy eating program, or signing up to a local gym, all of which can be logged on your smart phone so you can see just how far you have come.