17 July 2011

Technology and Wellness

Some of my personal learning network friends are planning a challenge for August to be extra mindful of their health by focussing on some wellness goals.

The idea is to set 3 goals for the month and tweet each day about achievements and activities they/we have undertaken.

It made me start thinking about the apps I have used on my iPhone that contribute to my mindfulness about wellness.

  1. Runkeeper – Since I started using Runkeeper I have been able to maintain a far more regular exercise regime. I started using it just for walks, but now also track running (more like jogging) and cycling. I have tracked 330 activities to date in which I covered 1660km. I plan to keep using this indefinitely.
  2. Diet Tracker – Keep yourself honest by taking a picture of everything you eat. This app has a field to record the calories of each meal, but even if you don’t use that it gives you a visual reminder of the quality of the fuel you are consuming. One little complaint I have about this app is that when I have to manually add an entry and adjust the time backwards, the selection of date goes back to a date months ago. Will keep using this for the time being. Since I started using it about 2 months ago I’m finding a few old favourites in the wardrobe are wearable again.
  3. Couch to 5k podcast by Iestyn Lloyd – Although I was not couch-bound when I started using this, I was not doing any running – just plenty of walking. I was ready to bump up the intensity of my exercise and this was perfect. It is a 9 week course that uses audio cues to mix up walking with running intervals building up to a 30 minute run. The great thing about this program is that I never felt like I’d been pushed so hard that I couldn’t keep going with it.Photo 17-07-11 8 58 44 PM The first time I used this was immediately prior to a long overseas trip. The second was when I got back from the trip and had to get back up to my previous fitness level.
  4. BP+Pulse – This is a fairly simple app that can be used to record and track blood pressure and heart rates. I had to use this at one period to record daily checks, but now only once a month. Of course at such an infrequent rate it is easy to forget. Of course you will need a blood pressure monitor to actually do the test.
  5. MyMeditation Lite – This one I plan to start using regularly next month as part of my #augustwellness. I have used this in the past, but not for quite a while. It lets me choose the length of time and uses a bell sound to change modes between a mindful breathing pattern and then resting the mind as completely as possible.
  6. GPS Motion X – I used this in the past to track walks, but it is more complex to use than Runkeeper, and does not have the exercise focus that RK has.

Would love to hear what other apps you find useful in this area. Maybe I’ll try a new one for #augustwellness.