It’s almost February already, so how’s that New Year’s resolution coming along? If you’re human, you might’ve fallen off the bandwagon already – especially if your goal this year was to lose weight, get fit, be less stressed, or sleep more.
Why does bacon have to taste so good? Who wants to walk or run outside in this weather? Where are you going to find the time to meditate when there are credit card bills to pay down?
Fortunately, technology may help give you the kick in the pants you need.
The following are a few suggestions on how apps and devices could nudge you in the right direction.
A wearable activity tracker (or smartwatch) can help monitor and motivate. The Fitbit Alta HR ($149), for example, is a slim and stylish wristband that tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and heart rate, and gives friendly reminders to move. As extra incentive, this Fitbit also includes automatic exercise recognition, which gives you credit for being active, while optional smartphone notifications keep you connected throughout the day.
You can also tailor your look with interchangeable metal, leather, and classic bands (sold separately).
As for apps, MyFitnessPal and Lose It! (iOS and Android) are two of the more popular calorie-counting tools, which lets you log the food you eat throughout the day. While features vary a bit, you can select foods you’ve consumed from the app’s huge library of foods, scan barcodes to add packaged foods, and let you know how much more you can eat during the day based on your caloric intake (and yes, if you exercise, it frees up more to eat).
One of the newest self-improvement apps is MoveWith (iOS only; from $7.99/month after free trial), which takes a bit of a different spin on motivating you – using audio – to help your “body, mind, and soul,” says the company. From high-intensity cardio, strength, and running workouts, to mindful yoga and meditation, this app gives you all the benefits of a motivating and instructional coach in your ear, and with relevant music to get you in the zone. Simply choose what you want to work on, select your personal coach, and away you go. MoveWith says they add new audio workouts each week.
Be less stressed
Built for busy people, Simple Habit (iOS, Android) is an on-demand platform that offers simple 5-minute lessons, featuring more than 1,000 meditations guided by mindfulness teachers from around the world. You can also pick a lesson by series (Drift to Sleep, Sharpen Focus, Meditate in Nature), and by Teacher of your choice (check out Australia’s Kate James, with her soothing voice and helpful instruction).
According to Calmz, nearly 75 million dogs owned by American families suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives. The Calmz Anxiety Relief System ($99) for dogs is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that soothes common anxieties, such as loud noises (like thunder and fireworks), strangers in the home, travel, and more.
It’s a wearable vest, of sorts, that uses “NeuroSync” technology: your dog will hear and feel a therapeutic blend of classical music with a specific tone that results in a calming vibration. This combination of therapies stops the production of adrenaline and increases blood flow to the brain to help reduce anxiety in dogs.