I took a brief blogging break to save up my willpower to finish out the school year. The end of junior year wasn’t even difficult. In fact, finals were a breeze. But getting through those last two or three weeks of school was like wading through mud. SO slow, SO unbearably long.
Now it’s finally summer, which is such a relief. Although, to be completely honest, it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet. I have a tendency to overschedule myself. So even though I’m not doing an internship or anything like that, somehow the first few days of summer have been packed - yikes! There’s just so much I want to do! I’m trying to work on that, though, and I’m trying to remind myself that summer should also be a time to relax and get refreshed before… senior year, dun dun dun.
Oh, also, this external hard drive fiasco last night didn’t help (basically, it became corrupted and basically, me being the occasionally careless optimist that I am, there was no backup for the files on there). I spent practically the whole day dealing with that, cried a few times, and just got super tired. On there was a video I was making for a local soccer club (nearly finished), my blog archives, as well as a room tour video I’d spent a lot of time filming and starting to edit.
As of writing this I am awaiting the news to hear if the Best Buy Geek Squad was able to do a data recovery! I’m hopeful, yet ready to face the news if it’s not what I want to hear. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep trucking along, writing blog posts with a (slightly nervous) smile on my face.
So after that long intro, TODAY I wanted to share with you the 5 apps that I use consistently to help me take care of my health, along with a few extras that I think are pretty dang useful. While last night’s events had me muttering “I hate technology” many times, I have to admit that technology is, in fact, pretty amazing. I’m a paper person overall, but phones just make some things SO EASY, especially in the health realm. There are apps that can help you with practically anything - from nutrition and fitness to mindfulness and women's health.
So let’s dive right in!
My top 5
First up is this app, because I basically credit it with getting me fit in the first place. About five years ago, I hardly exercised. I did decent on the fitness tests in gym class and I’d go on bike rides with my family, but I didn’t play sports, and willingly cueing up a workout on YouTube to do at home was simply out of the question.
I did my very first workout with this app on February 14th, 2015, because, come on, nothing sounds less intimidating than 7 minutes. I had to modify all of the pushups to kneeling push-ups at first, but slowly, slowly I got better. I started coming up onto my toes for the push-ups, building up to doing more cycles (14-minute workouts, then 21-minute workouts), and shortening my breaks. Now, 268 workouts later, I’m doing power squats, diamond push-ups, and mountain climbers like a boss.
So I highly recommend this app for anyone, at ANY fitness level. Because for the beginners, a one cycle workout with 15-second breaks and easier exercises will be just the right thing to get you started. For you crazy people out there that really wanna go hard, you can challenge yourself to three cycles with 5-second breaks and killer moves like “squat thrusts” *shudders*. Some people might think that you need an hour to get in a good workout, but I can vouch for the fact that 3 cycles with the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout App can be KILLER.
I used to track all of my habits in my planner. I’d make a gridded sheet on the computer, type everything out, print it, hole punch it, and stick it in my planner. Boy did it get annoying having to pull out my planner every time I did any little habit. After a few months I switched to using this app and I love it.
First of all, the ding sound it makes whenever you swipe right to mark a habit as done is SO satisfying. Second, creating new habits and scheduling them couldn’t be easier. For example, I do oil pulling every other day. I only see that habit on days that I have to do it, and it makes the long list of habits a lot less intimidating.
The app has a free version and a paid one. I believe when I got premium it was a $4.99 one-time purchase (if I remember correctly) but it appears that they have now switched to a subscription-based model. So try out the free version and see if it works for you. And remember, there are tons of habit tracking apps out there so if the price is an issue, shop around!
The Flo period tracker is my favorite period tracker out of all the ones I’ve used so far. It has TONS of features, but you really don’t need to use all of them if you don’t want to. I just track my period dates and that’s it. But if you really want to get down into the nitty gritty sciency side of it, you can track tons of things like your weight, sleep, water, sex drive, mood, symptoms, etc. to not only help the app make better predictions but to analyze how your cycle affects you.
The app always tells you how far away you are from ovulation, which I find interesting/useful, and there’s also an “Insights” tab that delivers interesting articles about women’s health that are sometimes even tailored to what you are personally experiencing with your period at the time.
The app is also free! Always a plus.
My local gym’s app
I’m not going to share what gym it is because I think they only operate two locations in my city and I don’t want to go quite that specific, hehe. But I just wanted to include this to encourage you to download your gym’s app, if they have one. It is SO useful to have the entire class schedule on my phone. It’s handy and I can also stay up to date on how holidays affect the schedule or any last-minute changes. I can also use the app to check in, because I scanned the barcode on my key tag and it is now saved onto the app!
An absolutely wonderful meditation app. I’ve already talked about it here on the blog (here, here, and here) but I’m just going to go ahead and list the things I love about it once again because it’s that awesome.
Firstly, there are tons and tons of guided meditations that you can find, and you can filter them by length, topic, teacher, etc. and save your favorites so you can easily access them.
If you prefer to do your own thang, there’s a simple timer feature where you can set up your own meditation. You can choose the duration, customize what interval bells you hear and when, add some ambient sounds (which sound amazing by the way), etc. And you can save your favorite settings as presets.
In your profile, you can keep track of your progress with detailed charts and statistics, as well as earn milestones that display as little stars next to your username. Also, in the home screen you can see how many people are meditating at that exact moment (and where they are) as well as how many meditations have been completed that day, which I think is SO COOL.
Great for designing your own circuit or HIIT workouts.
I love to use this whenever I go on a bike ride. It maps out your route, gives you statistics on speed, elevation, etc., and more. I also used it to track my runs, back when I ran regularly, haha...
This app has fun workouts that I do occasionally when I want to try something new.
That’s all! Just remember that while apps can certainly be helpful, it’s also important not to clutter up our phones with too many apps, or to get obsessed with tracking every aspect of our health because that’s just not, well… healthy! With the right balance though, they can be a powerful tool that can make our lives easier.
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions! What would you add to this list? What health app is your lifesaver?
Talk to you soon!