Apps to keep track of your fitness and wellness goals

How is everybody? Six weeks have passed since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), and the shock of staying at home is shifting to acceptance that this is our “new normal.” One of the outdoor activities I miss most is walking under the shaded trees in the park. Our village prohibits anyone from jogging or loitering in the park because of two confirmed cases. Both cases turned negative now, but the prohibition remains.

Just like everyone else in the world, the coronavirus pandemic means many of us are staying at home and sitting down more than we usually do. The advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that people of all ages need to be as active as possible. WHO’s Be Active campaign intends to help you do just that and have fun at the same time. The hashtags #BeActive and stay #HealthyAtHome on Twitter suggest exercise classes online, dance to music, play active video games, try skipping rope, and perform some muscle strength and balance training.

Staying fit, lean and strong is our best defense against any disease. In the times of ECQ, I get creative in reaching my wellness goals. My Fitbit wearable fitness tracker have helped my journey to a healthier lifestyle. Pacing around the house back and forth like a crazy hamster instead of outdoor walks is an alternative to track those steps and increase my heart rate. Cycling on my stationary bike while watching the news or listening in to a Zoom forum is a fun, cardiac activity. Following the Heart Healthy -1-mile Walk video at the “Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone” Youtube channel keeps me going.

Aside from being active, WHO suggest eating a well-balanced diet to be healthier and build stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. Eating a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants your body needs is recommended.“Drink enough water. Avoid sugar, fat and salt to significantly lower your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer,” WHO adds.

So, what are you doing to keep yourself fit and healthy?  My best friend who introduced me to Fitbit says, “I still managed to log 20,000 steps a day. How do I do it? Clean the house, putter in the garden, dance aerobics and cooking.” In one corner of her garden is a walk path, around 20 meters long, where she walks back and forth like I do.  I asked friends and family to chime in on their fitness tracker or favorite wellness app. While I have more friends in my Fitbit community, others use Garmin Connect, Huawei Health and Apple Watch to monitor their exercise goal, sleep goal, calories and heart rate. Another friend used MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, Strava, MapMyRun, Fitbit, Apple Health and Jefit, which are all synchronized with each other. Good news await fitness fans as the Nike Training Club Premium is giving free access until further notice. Big Workouts for Small Spaces is something to look forward to because you only need an area the size of a yoga mat for most of these workouts.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations in the time of a pandemic, but some friends found wellness apps to be useful. Inscape is great to unwind and destress on the fly and when you need to go to sleep. There is a short meditation, then chimes and bells. The Calm meditation and sleep app include stretching mediation, master classes and music to induce the ultimate state of zen. My sister suggests the Tapping Solution, but you need to wash your hands as you will be touching your face. A collection of 12 coronavirus stress and anxiety meditations are available for free. Check out the apps Stop Panic Attack, Releasing Shock, Tap and Breathe, Instant Boost Healing, Sleep Support, Feeling Safe and Secure, and Anxiety Relief. The free versions of these apps give limited choices, but at least you could have a seven-day trial period depending on the app.

Many more helpful apps combined with balanced diet and activity are out there to support you to achieve your fitness and wellness goals. Share your favorite app by dropping me an email at [email protected]

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. Consult your doctor before undertaking any fitness and wellness plan.