By Kathryn Magura
Despite my best efforts to remain sloth-like, 2013 has become the year of personal wellness for me. I did not set out with some overly ambitious goal to get “fit” or lose weight in 2013. What I did do is set some personal goals for how I wanted to live my life, and what I needed to do to feel healthy. Along the way, and through great advice from many of you, I found some applications that have helped me live a life more well:
- Couch-to-5K: I am not a runner. In fact, for most of my life, I would say I have been an anti-runner. “What if you’re being chased?” I would give up, obviously. “What if there is a zombie apocalypse?” Team zombie. These are a few of my standard responses to convey my disdain for running. Then why on earth would I start running? Basically, I wanted to see if I could do it. Could my stubborn determination outweigh my staunch dislike for running? I have seen many other friends who wanted to run try out the Couch-to-5K app in the past with great success. How does it work? Well, the program is 9 weeks long broken up into 3-30 minute routines each week. You start by alternating walking with a smidge of running, and by the end you are running with a smidge of walking. Basically, they trick you into becoming a runner. Works for me! I started the program early in the spring and saw almost immediate results. I got sidelined by bronchitis, but have since restarted the program. Would I describe myself as a runner? Not yet, but at least I’m trying!
- Lose it!: The year before I turned 30 I noticed I was starting to gain weight at a rate with which I was not comfortable. I decided I would lose 30 lbs by the time I turned 30 and joined Weight Watchers online. I ended up losing over 35 lbs in just over 3 months, and it seemed annoyingly easy to do. I didn’t really work out much, just started eating better and drinking more water. I have kept that weight off for a few years, but then about 6 months ago I noticed I was starting to add the pounds again. I heard some friends talking about the Lose it! app, and how it helped them shed weight. I decided to download the free version and give it a shot. I appreciate how easy it is to add your foods and exercise, and how that all combines to healthy calorie intake goals. This program has helped me lose some of those extra pounds, and keep track of what I eat and how that impacts my daily routine.
- Sleep Cycle: I am a terrible sleeper. Awful, in fact. I have tried various techniques to try and improve my sleep, with little success. I have toyed with going to a doctor to assess my sleep patterns to see if there is a problem that could be isolated and therefore worked on to improve my sleeping. This past winter, I was introduced to the Sleep Cycle application, and thought it would be a great way to have a pre-assessment of my sleeping to see if there was a discernible pattern to my terrible sleeping. The way Sleep Cycle works is it measures your sleeping patterns over a duration of nights, and provides you an assessment of the best and worst times for sleep during the night. Tracking when you are at your deepest and lightest sleeping hours could help determine if something simple, like going to bed an hour earlier or later, could help you have better sleep. You can also track things like foods eaten or other things to see if there is a specific cause of a bad night’s sleep.
These are 3 applications I have had success with over the last few months. Which ones would you recommend to facilitate personal wellness?