Tuesday, April 29, 2014

App Love: Health & Fitness

I swear, lately I've gotten more attached to my phone than ever. It's kind of out of control. But I have discovered some really great health and fitness apps, which I use at home and also throughout the day wherever I am. Living a more healthy lifestyle was one of my New Year's Resolutions (see my recent check-in here), so I thought I'd share some of the resources I've been using!

Via

Breeze- I've tried a few of these pedometer-type apps, most recently Argus and Human, and Breeze is the one I've liked the best out of the three. I like that it's easy to see a snapshot of your week, you can see where your most activity took place geographically, and it gives you a smart step goal based on your activity from the last seven days, so the longer you use it, the better it gets. This is only available for the iPhone 5s (previous models don't have the necessary technology).

Runkeeper- The people who make Runkeeper are actually the same people who make Breeze, and I've discovered both recently. There are a bunch of apps that do similar things to this app, but this is the one I'm using to keep track of my runs in conjunction with the next app. This lets me know how long, far, and fast I ran, an estimation of how many calories I burned, the route I took, and allows me to record some notes.

Get running- I started using this app ages ago and never got through the whole program for various reasons, but I recently started back up again. This is a great app for beginner runners--the running schedule is super manageable, the voice is encouraging and gives you time benchmarks, you can listen to your own music while you're using it, and the app records your runs and keeps track of your progress. This app does not include maps or pace data or anything like that; that's not what it's designed for. So I use this and Runkeeper at the same time so I can have this running the program and Runkeeper keeping track of all of my stats. That info isn't important to the couch to 5k program, but I'm thinking ahead to after I'm finished with it. Cannot recommend enough if you want to start running. 

7 minute workout- There are a bunch of these apps in the app store; I think I had two different ones at one point and chose this one between them. All you need to do the workout is some floor space, a little bit of blank wall, and a chair. In seven minutes you do a high intensity workout (it wears me out!), and then you get to move on with your day feeling good about yourself for having gotten a workout in. 

Calm- One of my birthday goals was to try meditation, and this app has been helping me do it. The 7 steps of calm series is such a great introduction to what meditation is, what it can do for you, and how to do it, and it only takes a few minutes a day. The app store has some not great reviews (apparently this app used to be cooler, maybe?), but I've been really enjoying it. Note though that you only get a couple of free meditations, and you have to upgrade to get the rest.

Happier- This may not really seem like a health app, but focusing and remembering the positive things in your life is so important for mental health and well-being. I've been using this app to track the things that make me smile throughout the day, and one of the things I like about this that I couldn't do in a paper journal is categorize my happy moments, so that when I go and look back I can see how many entries I have in each category (so what types of things make me smile the most), and also just re-visit moments in certain categories or look at my happy moment in reverse chronological order. Some of my categories are getting stuff done, watching tv, work, cooking, chilling out, eating healthy.

Youtube- Okay, so obviously this is not health-specific, but I've been doing Tara Stiles' morning and evening in bed yoga every day just to help me stretch out and feel good, and I've been doing the videos on my phone rather than my laptop because I do the morning one first thing and the evening one last thing. This is also a great resource if you want to do a mini workout while you're at work or in a hotel or just away from home for whatever reason. There are so many great health and fitness channels on Youtube (maybe I should share some favorites in a separate post?).

What are your favorite health and fitness apps? Please share!

Yours Truly, Jen

P.S. Check out my Healthy Living Inspiration board, my Fitness board, and my Health & Weight Loss board if you're interested.

2 comments :

  1. Great links! I use a lot of these already, mainly for running, but I had never heard of Calm! I've been meaning to get into meditation more, so this should be great. Thanks for the roundup!

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  2. You're welcome! Meditation can be a struggle, but I feel so much better when I take that five minutes for myself and just de-stress my mind and body.

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