How have you been doing towards your goals this year? Are you right on track or could you use a little boost? I know I fall into the latter category. Sometimes all you need is a new tool to help solve some of the obstacles in your way. If you’ve got a health goal this year, check out some of these health tools to help you reach your resolution goals.
These wristbands have become more and more popular over the past year, and they are great at providing data on how you move during the day. This data shows you how well you’re meeting your activity and calorie burning targets, and is a great way to challenge yourself to make incremental improvements (it’s easier to try to hit 10,000 steps a day when you know how much further you need to go). My favorite is the Basis Peak, a smart watch that excels in continuously monitoring your heart rate (I have a heart condition so that’s a priority for me). Other great options are the Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and Misfit. This article provides a great list to help you choose the one that best meets your activity and budget needs.
I do not like water. Yes, I’m well aware that it’s a necessity, but I do not like the taste. Especially in California (sorry, I’ve been spoiled by New York water). So the first thing I did when I moved here was to get my husband a Brita filter for the fridge. However, that didn’t help me when I was at my desk at work. Then I found out that Brita has 20-24oz water bottles with built-in filters, and I was sold. They solve my complaint about the taste of Cali water and I know that I can get clean, refreshing water anywhere I go. I rotate between two at any given time (one in the fridge, one in use). They come in several types, including the hard-sided model (my pick) and a soft sport bottle. And, if you’ve been buying water all this time, the refill ability makes it much better for the environment (and your wallet).
My Fitness Pal
This is my favorite health app, even though at times the accountability factor makes me hate it. This free app tracks your daily food journal, exercise, and weight loss progress. It also has a community function that lets you share your victories with friends. Food journals are frequently advised by nutritionists to help you determine where you can make changes in your diet. Entering meals is easy based on its catalog of thousands of food items, a bar code reader, and the ability to enter in your own recipes. The latter is great for checking the nutrition information for recipes you find on the web or for ones you make yourself (or for seeing where you can swap ingredients for healthier options). You can access the app from the web or any device.
I know, scales are everyone’s best friend, right? Yet they do help us stay on track. If you know where you are, you know how much further you have to go. So why not use a scale that gives you more information than just your weight? I use the Smart Weigh Digital Precision Scale that shows weight, BMI, body fat, body water, muscle and bone mass. There are other similar models that can connect to your smart phone and automatically log your weigh-ins too (although it takes 30 seconds to manually log into My Fitness Pal). Prices vary from $25-$150, so balance your requirements against the features that are most important to you and your family. The extra data gives you a better picture of your overall health than just your weight alone.
Whether you’re a fan of NFP (Natural Family Planning), trying to get pregnant, or you’re just interested in projecting “that time of the month”, Kindara is a great free app for keeping track of what your body is doing. It’s set up to record your basal body temperature and other data, and it projects the date of your next period. In terms of resolutions, scheduling workouts around your period can help you create better contingency plans for times you’ll make the most excuses. You can also use it as a fertility tool as it will project your most fertile days in the cycle. If you’re interested in learning more about NFP, check out this site from the American Pregnancy Association.
I have a bad knee, plus 50 excuses not to get to the gym at the end of the day. So my husband found a resistance band gym that can attach to any door in our house. These gyms are easy on joints and the workouts can be modified to nearly any intensity level desired. Plus they take up minimal space. If you don’t have an available door, there are plenty of great resistance band kits that can be used without an attach point. In fact, purchase a set of these anyway to bring when you travel (see? no more excuses).
If you’re an Apple user, this app comes in handy when you want to view a variety of your health information in one place. It can integrate data from My Fitness Pal and tons of other apps, plus you can manually enter data directly into iHealth. When you open it you’ll see pretty graphs for your weight, steps taken, calories, etc all in one view. However, one of my favorite features of iHealth is the Medical ID that lets you input your emergency medical information and contacts in the app. It can be viewed from the lock screen in case of emergency.
If you fill your prescriptions at CVS, this app really comes in handy. It can keep track of your medications and dosages, remind you when you need a refill, and text you when your refills are ready. You can actually refill eligible prescriptions directly from the app (no calling required). It also stores your CVS card and discounts. On top of all this it has the features of your standard store app, so you can look for sales and make purchases.
Yes, it’s another great use for Pinterest. I’ve collected boards for all different workouts, exercise challenges, food swaps, health and wellness ideas, and more. To keep myself from getting overwhelmed, I keep one board specifically for my current workouts and another for my favorite recipes. So log in and start creating some new boards. Here are some specific ideas: motivational quotes, running programs, healthy lunch ideas, better sleep habits, and morning yoga stretches.
It’s no secret that support systems are crucial to accomplishing your goals. I’m not alone in my health goals this year, and my two best friends are only a group message away. Facebook Messenger is a great tool for keeping a running group message for your support system where you can share successes and trials. It’s also great to share favorite quotes, playlists, workouts, and new recipes. So use your favorite messenger app, join in your friends and family, and get moving.
I hope these tools can help you reach your health goals this year. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to tackle your resolutions, check out my post on why 12 resolutions are better than 1! Or learn more about health resources available to you with this list of 30 nutrition sites. Good luck!