By Celia Learmonth
It is both a blessing and a curse that we live in a society with this universal culture of “Instant Gratification”. We have INSTANT messenger, able to contact anyone and everyone in any timezone via BBM, Whatsapp, Viber, FaceTime, Skype, Direct Messenger, Facebook Messenger – You name it one can always get in contact and get in contact now! We have dinner brought to our doorstep, or Dejeuner to our Desk at the tap of a screen on Deliveroo, no one has to wait for printed press anymore because we can download e-guides, kindle formatted books and magazines, ibook compatible versions of newspapers – no one has to walk down to the local offie or Waterstones for a paper or a book ever again! Same with DVDs. No more HMV, just get on itunes and stream that latest Hunger Games in just no time. We have NEXT DAY delivery on every single website going, we even have the option to pay a little extra to make sure our package gets to us before lunch time on that next day – as if it wasn’t quick enough to have a 24 hour turn around. But, despite our impatience and this overwhelming culture of “instant”-ness being used for somewhat ‘selfish’ or ‘self-indulgent’ needs, we can also use apps and these various tools to help us stay on track 24/7. When we’re by ourselves, we’re always equipped with our phones, so we’re never really alone and can quite literally call upon our devices to give us a little bit of reassurance or guidance to keep us on the straight and narrow when it feels like we may perhaps stray from our righteous, healthy and balanced path.
If you haven’t met me before, I’m Celia from London Fitness Guide and it was social media that encouraged me to begin my journey in the pursuit of balance with regards to my outlook on health and fitness. After blogging for just over a year, having tried and tested many an app and guide, what apps have I found along the way that help me keep on track in the direction of my goals? Here’s my blog post for SixtyNinety about Apps to keep you on track this 2016 with various aspects of your health, fitness and wellness.
INSTAGRAM: Needless to say, I wouldn’t be where I am today without this particular app. You don’t need to be a ‘blogger’, you can find inspiration or motivation by typing in a word that inspires you. You want an ab workout? 99,990 posts at your fingertips ready to be found. Need healthy dinner/meal prep inspo? 400,000 posts there waiting for you to salivate over. Perhaps you feel a bit demotivated or even a bit upset or downtrodden, if you need a quote or an affirmation or a mantra to channel through your day, you can find hundreds of thousands of those, screen shot it and save it as your background so when you need those empowering words to resonate throughout your body and mind, they’re there at the click of a button to fuel you with that positivity you need to get you through that day. Since they introduced the location section too, if I’m stuck for lunch or dinner when I’m out, you can search by restaurant name in the location section and have a look quite literally through their menu by the amount of client photos and see what takes your fancy. I have met some of my best friends over Instagram too. When you’re passionate enough to dedicate a page to fitness and wellbeing and find someone else equally as crazy as you, you have a mutual bond and it’s only a matter of time before one of you makes the move to DM them, organise a fitness or foodie play date and before you know it, fast forward ten years to your maid of honour speech laughing on how you met and bonded over glute activation and a protein shake. I have found quite a London tribe and I love them hard, which I never thought would ever be possible. But like I say, you have this mutual passion and its just inevitable that you’re going to get on like a house on fire.
HEALTHY SELFIE: This app has just celebrated its first birthday and it’s an app close to my heart. Set up by husband and wife Charlotte and Joe Li, Healthy Selfie has been encouraging people throughout 2015 banish the scales from the fitness ritual, and instead replace it with a cheeky shameless selfie. Progress can only be measured in numbers so far. We all know muscle weighs more than fat, and looking at that number on the scales, craving approval that ‘we’ve stuck to it’ this week, and being confronted by a number we don’t want to see can be demotivating and cause a lot of relapses, and then giving up altogether until the next New Year rolls around. I was a total slave to the scales and admit I have slipped up and returned to old habits on and off, but the best I’ve ever felt is when I’ve used Healthy Selfie, because you can FEEL the progress and feel the muscle tone and definition, and line your selfies up over time and SEE the progress in photos, so you can tell the scales to go shove it, because the mirror doesn’t lie!! With Healthy Selfie, you can upload selfies, you can keep a food diary in tandem so you can track what you eat, similar to how I started off with my Instagram account, but unlike Instagram, you can add recipes and links to blogs with recipes, so if you see a dish you like the look of, you can recreate it yourself.
MY MACROS: Like the scales, “My Fitness Pal” is absolute demoralising death to any aspiring fit individual or healthy Human. MFP’s main focus is on calorific value, which as we all know by looking at the ‘nourish not punish’ movement that’s swept the scene last year, all calories are not created equal. You can’t out train a bad diet. It’s about nutrient-dense foods, and lots of them!! And that applies whether you’re looking to simply slim down a wee bit, or go for a body-builder esque “cutting phase”, or equally looking to gain muscle mass – it’s not the CALORIES you put in, but the TYPES of MACRONUTRIENTS. Your Macronutrients are your Carbs, Proteins and Fats and this new app MY MACROS helps you to track your macronutrients based on your personal goals. You type in your information and your goals and through short sharp equations it spits out the nutrient values you, as an individual, based on your lifestyle, need each day to carry you to that goal. My Macros calculates what you need, and then you can take that information and apply it to you’re my Fitness Pal by going into the advanced settings and tweaking the Macros to what MY MACROS suggests for you. Then you can track your food diary with MFP and your progress with MM.
NIKE RUN: If you’re like me and training for 5ks, 10ks, half/ full marathons and even a Quadrathalon, you need NIKE RUN to help rack up your mileage in the lead up to your event. With the different settings you can set Pace and mile goals, after each mile or kilometre (depends how you prefer to work) you are told your pace and how long you’ve been going for. You can link to your Spotify and play your motivating running playlist (or if you’re like me and have no taste in music, you follow someone else’s and steal it!). At the end of your run, you can see your map, with colour indications of how fast you were going in each section so you can see where you’re strongest/ weakest and work on ironing out those creases and getting balance across your run. If you have a fuel band you can sync it up to get your Nike Fuel Points. You can then take your signature Post run selfie and upload it with the map/ distance/ average pace to your social media and get a pat on the back from your friends and family which will encourage you for that next run. It’s also a great way to promote that you’re training for a run, and you can get sponsorship if you’re racing for charities like “Race for Life” or running a race for a personal charity of choice. When you upload your selfies regularly, people will see you’re serious and too be encouraged by your determination and progress and will support you all the way to the finish line.