Using technology to stay healthy at home

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It’s important to take care of your body and to manage your weight, even when you can’t get to the gym or take part in group sports. Tracking your progress and finding the motivation can be difficult, when you’re not sure how you’re doing. That’s why apps and other fitness technology can play a big part in motivating you to start or continue on a fitness regime, especially if the current lockdown rules and restrictions affect you.

Before getting started

In most cases, diet and exercise will improve your health and wellbeing; however, if you have any health concerns, you should always seek medical advice before starting any form of exercise or fitness plan. If, like most people at the moment, you’re having trouble getting a doctor’s appointment, take a look at www.reliefseeker.com. The website contains lots of health information and also lets you see a doctor online (within just 30 minutes) if you’re worried about how your health problem will be affected by exercise. 

Apps to track your progress

Run Keeper is a great app for tracking your fitness. Whether you’re a runner or a walker, the app calculates the calories you burn, and uses GPS to track your distance and speed, while allowing you to create fitness plans and track your progress in achieving them. It can be a big source of motivation to know you’re reaching your goals, however small they might be.

There are several apps that work in a similar way. Some are more suited to different forms of exercises such as running, walking or cycling – for those of you who still have the option of some outdoor activity. If you own a smartphone, it’s easy to find the most suitable app for your needs. Some are free, but others may cost to download or have in-app purchases.

If you can’t get outdoors, there are apps you can download to guide you through indoor exercise routines and an abundance of videos and tutorials you can view on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Yoga Studio is one example of this. After paying a small price for the app, you can access HD videos aimed at all levels of fitness and yoga experience. Improving your health and fitness can also strengthen your immune system, so it’s important to keep active and follow a healthy lifestyle, even if you’re stuck at home. 

Sticking to a healthy diet

Some apps allow you to track your diet, such as Foodility, which acts as a journal. You input your food and water intake, as well as details of your exercise and weight. The app is simple, but free. For more advanced features, there are other apps available which you may have to pay for. These include Lifesum, which has in-app purchases and offers over 1000 healthy recipes for you to try. Or there’s Nourishly. This is also free and keeps track of several factors: from goals and meal planning to mental wellbeing and activity. This seems to provide a more holistic approach than some apps.

Other technology to help your fitness

If you don’t own a smartphone or prefer to use other technology to help you stay healthy, you can choose from several wearable options. Perhaps you prefer not to be distracted by your phone while exercising. 

GPS watches and activity trackers don’t always rely on the use of a smartphone. Some will just track your progress. Others can be uploaded to a smartphone or laptop later, if you want to keep track of or share your progress on social media. These trackers have a limited memory – so if want to keep a more permanent record of your progress, you will need to upload the information somewhere else. 

Depending on which device you choose, these can track calories burned, heart rate and distance/speed, among other things. Some of the best devices include the Fitbit Charge 4. This also tracks your sleep, because adequate rest at night is just as important as being active during the day. Amazfit GTS is another highly-rated tracker. Some of these devices are cheaper than others, depending on the details you want to keep track of. If you’re only walking a short distance a day (or most days) you won’t need anything too expensive or complex, compared to running for an hour a day, where you might want to track your distance, speed and heart rate.

The important thing is to find the best app or device that works for your needs.