Here’s a secret: feeling healthy and good about your life is an inside job. Whether you want to feel fitter, healthier, have more energy or adopt a positive outlook on life, you first need to start with an internal decision to change your habits – and your motivation to keep going needs to come from within too.
If you want to make some lifestyle changes but feel overwhelmed about how to begin, there are some handy transformation tools out there to give you support. Taking a holistic view of health, we’ve rounded up four apps and tools that can kickstart your healthier lifestyle in several areas, ensuring you feel good from the inside out:
4 tech tools that will get you feeling good from the inside out:
These days, the benefits of meditation are well known: besides reducing negative emotions like anxiety, a regular meditation practice can also decrease stress, improve concentration and help with a good night’s sleep. But if you’ve never meditated before, it can be hard to get your mind to be still for even a few minutes, let alone do it every day. That’s where the Headspace meditation app comes in: perfect for beginners, it offers a huge library of guided meditations by a former Buddhist monk that are both general (for example, creating a calm space in the middle of your day) and solution-driven (for example increasing patience, helping with healing, or dealing with grief). Because it’s on your phone you can also access it at any time wherever you are – so there are no excuses.
Sleep is a crucial ingredient to health. Without it, our bodies don’t function properly and any efforts to eat properly, exercise or practice mindfulness won’t be nearly as effective. Although we rest in several sleep cycles per night that each consist of different sleep stages, these cycles differ widely between individuals. Sleep Cycle is an app that helps you track your sleep cycles by listening to the sounds you make as you sleep, and then analysing them using a set of algorithms. The app then presents the data to you, helping you understand the quality of sleep you’re getting and the adjustments you can make if you’re not sleeping well – whether it’s addressing snoring, the time you go to bed or the best time for you to wake up. Simply turn the app on before bedtime – either on your phone or smart watch – and it will record your sleep patterns through the night.
Healthy eating is a huge part of preventing illness, having energy and being positive overall, but it can be a hard task to stick to a regime once you’ve started it. The best way around this is to have a meal plan, where you plan in advance what you’re going to eat each day – so that you have healthy foods on hand rather than reaching for the sweets and biscuits when you feel hungry. Tony Ferguson is a South African healthy lifestyle brand that lets you create a customised meal plan based on things like your current weight, age, daily physical activity level and lifestyle goals. From there, you’ll get sent a downloadable two-week plan that includes all meals, snacks and even regular treats. The idea here is that once you’ve followed it for two weeks, healthier eating becomes increasingly easy over time.
Whether you’ve decided to take up running, are doing some at-home HIIT workouts or are heading back to the gym, being able to track your progress towards fitness is a huge motivator to keep going. These days, there are a flood of fitness watches on the market that do everything from measure your heart rate, to provide you with a GPS calculation of your distance or workout exertion, to sync with your favourite playlist. They come in varying price ranges too, with different feature levels. One of the most popular tracker ranges is the Fitbit, with its entry level model starting at around R2000. Track your steps, your heart rate, your cardio fitness level and more. It’s also swim proof, so you can use it in the pool too.
Being healthy involves a multi-faceted approach, because a healthy body depends on a healthy mind and emotions too. By tackling a range of areas, such as your eating, exercise and sleeping, you can increase your energy and boost your immune system – something we can all benefit from in 2022.