Wednesday, May 13, 2015

APP-er-tunities for Health Maintenance-- Part 1

I was so proud of myself for coming up with that title! Whew! Awesome, right? App-er-tunities.  HA!

Anyhoo, do you have a smart phone? If you do, are there, like, a bazillion different apps on it?  I'm one of the few people who doesn't have a whole bunch of apps. I feel like my phone's storage fills up really quickly because I take a lot of cat photos.  Also, when I first got my iPhone I decided that I didn't want to turn into a zombie who stares at my phone all day with my mouth open, tapping the screen with my finger.  So, as hard as it has been, I've resisted downloading games and tons of other entertainment apps.  And in an effort to cut down on my social media consumption, I don't even have the apps for Facebook or Instagram or Twitter on my phone.  That was a hard goal to stick to. On my phone, I have BORING apps like....the apps my iPhone came with.  BOR-ING.  And apps for USAA bank, Google Docs, and an app telling me when the bus is going to come.  I know...so lame right? But four out of the 23 apps that I have downloaded on my own are related to health.  

So here are my thoughts on a few of them: 





Calm



This is my meditation app.  I started meditating almost two years ago, and it really changed my life.  I think everyone has their own thoughts about what meditation is, probably because there seem to be several different schools of meditation.  But I think the best description that fits my needs comes from a quote I read:  "Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen."  I started meditating purely as a way to connect with God.  But even if you're not religious, meditation can be beneficial.  Oprah's favorite spiritual guru Deepak Chopra has built his career off of helping people practice meditation.  Still don't think it's cool?  Meditation is the top choice of relaxation for the rich and famous. Daily meditation can lower your blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and eradicate stress. Those are just some of the benefits




APP Pros:  If you're new to meditation, the app has a beginner's meditation guide instructing you on how to do it; a timer so you can meditate for as little as five minutes or as long as two hours; different music and nature sounds to choose as a background to your meditation practice.  

APP Cons:  Sometimes it shuts off unexpectedly or takes a long time to load. But I guess that's all Apps??



Daily Yoga



I don't have the extra money to purchase yoga classes. I prefer to reserve my workout dollars for the exercises I can't do at home, like spinning at SoulCycle or intense weight conditioning at SolidCore.  I've discovered that Daily Yoga is a great way to get different types of yoga practices done at home. 

APP Pros: Take it anywhere!  I have this app on my tablet and iPhone. So it's great for doing a guided yoga practice while on vacation or at work. There's a special workout for stretching at work!  There are even guided short sessions like Sun Salutation for five minutes, and eight minutes of morning yoga.  

APP Cons:  These workouts probably aren't meant for anyone who is at an advanced level in their yoga practice.  It's good for beginners and people like me who do yoga as a supplement to my other workouts, but probably not great for the person looking for an intense yoga burn several hours a week.  

Stay tuned for Part 2!