As much as I love and treasure the simplest things in life, such as: reading, journaling, walks, reflection, or admiring the sunshine when I wake in the morning, I appreciate many of the advances of technology. Technology has allowed for ease, accessibility and convenience for us to do daily tasks, as well as to be a resource for business, creativity, and much more. With that said, something as simple as a phone has become one of my greatest tools for accomplishing goals, maintaining daily tasks and checklists, and pushing me to go to greater lengths.
I recognize that there are various friends, family, colleagues, followers of mine that are not entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, etc., however, many of you have goals, things you want to accomplish, and more. Some of you may not have figured out how you can achieve them, or need some ideas to get you started, or tools to help you to keep things moving. Many of us utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more, however, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite phone apps and the creative ways I utilize them which have allowed me to push myself while having fun and staying on track. I’ve applied them to my health and wellness goals, as well as my goals for taking my triathlons to a new level. This may spark some ideas for how you can use technology for the things you want to accomplish.
Below are a few of the apps that I use consistently, however, feel free to search and utilize those that are specific to you:
S Health: This app comes on most Samsung phones and is specific to Android phones. S Health allows for you to track various things from the foods you eat, stress levels, water intake, heart rate, exercises, exercise programs, and much more. One of the simplest things you can do, for those of you who may not be athletic but want to start at least moving more, is to track your steps and set daily goals. Though I spent most of these last few years working with youth and could be pretty active moving around with them and facilitating programs, many of my days began with hours in meetings or at a desk working on a computer. Good portions of my day(s) could be quite sedentary and often my days were so long that I didn’t get into a gym very often. One of the things that I started off doing was a 40-day goal of walking 10000 steps. However, after completing the 40 days, even since then I seek to walk or run 10000 steps daily. There may be some days that are rest (or weight training) days for me while training, however, starting this created a habit that I incorporate to keep me active on those days.
MyFitnessPal: This app and website is one that allows you to track your food, nutrition and exercises. I will say this…in the last 3 months I’ve lost 15 pounds by incorporating the use of this website. Over the last few years I’ve watched quite a few documentaries including Food, Inc, Food Matters, and a few others that promoted me to make more changes in my eating lifestyle. I began using MyFitnessPal to track exactly what I was eating and I was blown away by seeing some of the calorie, sugar, fat intake of certain foods. I saw how the typical American diet could easily add up to 3000-5000 calories per day based on what we eat, particularly the foods we eat out and processed foods. By entering these foods in the app, the knowledge alone made me want to make changes. At times, putting in a food item and seeing it’s nutritional values promoting me to make different decisions on whether I really wanted to eat that or not based on my goals. I highly recommend for those that are interested in shedding a few pounds. It allows you to create a profile based on your current weight, your lifestyle activity, and goals. Each day as you enter foods and exercises you get to see if you are going over the calories, sugar, carbs, fat, etc and start to make changes.
Nike+ Running: This is a cool app for anyone who likes to run or even wants to get started running. I like this app for keeping track of my runs, seeing how fast I run, being able to add friends and see their progress and share with them mine. One of the coolest features is also the challenges that you can create or that others create that you can join. Recently, I began using the Coach feature, which allows you to follow a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon 8-week plan to get you ready for any races you have coming up. I do wish you could customize it to different number of week plans, however, you can also amend it to your timeline. The Nike+ website also has other varying training plans and workouts that you can utilize.
SwimPro: If you’re in need of some training plans for swimming, this app provides a variety of training workouts as well as allows you to create your own. This year I’m training with groups, clubs, and utilizing coaches, however, the expenses can add up. When you’re not able to have one-on-one coaching or training sessions, this app has been useful in giving me guidance on drills and things I can do to improve my swim technique. It even includes video to demonstrate the drills as well as a breakdown of basic terms and workout structure for even those that are just starting to swim.
DietBet: This is a fun app that allows you to earn money for losing weight. Now I’ve never believed in diets and will be the first to say that diets do not work because they are mainly temporary and once you stop them you typically will gain the weight back. I didn’t utilize this app for a temporary weight loss, but rather for motivation and the comradery and encouragement it provided in going for my goals. This app allows you to sign up for a challenge with whatever the initial dollar amount is and everyone who participates puts the same amount in the pot. Over the course of time of the bet, participants are posting their accomplishments, meals, workouts and more. At the end of the designated timeframe, all those who achieved the weight loss goals get to split the pot. There is no specific diet that you follow, however, it encourages you to focus on healthy eating, working out, and your overall nutrition to lose the desired weight. I did it twice by signing up for $30 for Laila Ali’s Fitness challenges and it was fun. We got and shared food recipes, posted workouts, and really encouraged each other along the way. The challenge was to lose 4% of our weight (not too extreme) and both time I won $45+. Money is a great incentive. 🙂
There are other apps that I’ve heard were good through friends or I’m interested in looking into including FitBit, Daily Yoga, or Couch To 5K. I even look forward to checking out some apps for online video and promotion as well as, stores for my creative side and newest craft designs that will be coming soon. So, I really encourage you all to be creative and resourceful as I know many of you have some awesome ideas and goals for the year. With technology at your fingertips, I want to see you achieve some amazing feats!