Fitness apps are an easy and efficient way to get strong and achieve your fitness goals faster. Before you pay a visit to the app store, you'll want to read our article that will make choosing the perfect app feel effortless: Achieve Your Health Goals Faster Using Apps.
5 Fitness Apps You Need to Try
- C25K or Couch to 5K -- Want to be a runner? This app offers training plans for new runners who want to ease into running. After following the training plan for 9 weeks, users should be able to comfortably run a 5K. The benefit of this app is that it'll tell you exactly how far you have to walk and run each training session, so there is no guess work involved. It is the kind of running program that sets reasonable expectations for beginners, and if you need to repeat a week because life got in the way, then no problem. You can also share progress updates with family and friends and connect with the running community on social media.
- Daily Yoga -- Looking to attain a higher level of consciousness? Then you will want to consider this yoga app that offers users a library of over 500 yoga poses, and more than 50 yoga classes focused on flexibility, core, and strength. Classes are suited to all skills levels, from beginner to advanced, and all ages. A great feature of this app is that it will show you the correct posture and alignment, as well as describe the benefits of each pose. Whether you want to complete an entire class or practice a few poses, this app enables you to fit yoga into your busy schedule.
- Freeletics -- Are you a fan of high-intensity workouts? This app offers high-intensity routines and ideas that use body weight only, which means no equipment needed. The routines can be done anywhere, which again makes these routines very convenient to complete, and they range in length, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. You can choose from routines that focus on strength, running or cardio. For an additional fee, you can enlist the help of a training coach who will create an individualized training program based on the results of your fitness test (think a series of timed burpees, situps, pressups) and your personal fitness goals.
- Spotify Running -- Do you run with music? Imagine music that is set to match your tempo. Experts suggest that listening to music when you work out can be very motivating and with the right tempo, you can push your body harder and longer. The app will record your speed and then create a playlist of songs that matches your tempo. A benefit of this app is that you have the flexibility to increase your tempo, so the app will push your limits if you want it to. Also, if the playlist is not to your liking, you can choose from existing playlists at your preferred tempo.
- Heavyset -- Do you like to lift heavy? This app is designed to help you track your strength and weight training sessions, as well as create and store lifting routines. It allows you to record your weights and reps, so you can track your progress real time. The app is designed to be simple, so you can log your sets and focus on your workout, not the app. You can even share your brag-worthy sets with friends on social media.
With all of these fantastic fitness apps, you will no doubt achieve your fitness goals this year!
We want to hear from you - what's your fave app?
We all could use some support in achieving our healthy living goals. Whether you are aspiring to meditate, eat healthier, try new raw food recipes, exercise regularly, or sleep better, then do not fret as technology has got your back.
Apps That Support Your Healthy Living Goals
Whatever your goals may be, there are plenty of apps to help you be successful in creating and sustaining your healthy habits. If you haven't yet explored the app store on your smart device, here are few examples of categories of healthy living apps to choose from:
- Calorie and nutrition calculators - if you're looking to lose weight, increase your protein intake, or build muscle, then calorie and nutrition calculators are your new best friend. These apps help keep your nutrition on point and focused on your goals.
- Meditation, mindfulness and relaxation - if you want to begin meditating, practicing daily gratitude, breathing more deeply, or sleeping better, then let an app guide you through this process.
- Diet-specific recipes and meal planning - if you aren't sure what to prepare for meals and snacks now that you're eating raw, paleo, keto or gluten-free, then a recipe app will spare you from the trouble of having to create a meal plan. Achieving your dietary goals is much more sustainable when you are told what you can eat and when.
- Workouts based on your goals - from weight loss to muscle gains to strength and flexibility - apps that provide you with workout routines allows you to have a plan and keep your eye on the fitness prize.
- Running routes - when your running schedule says 6 kms and you want a new route, this type of app helps you map out your distance and gives you all of your precious running data, such as speed, time, elevation gain, calories burned, and will even compare your running data to other runners.
- Shopping list and personal budgeting - want to eat delicious and healthy meals and snacks, but not spend a fortune, then shopping and personal budgeting tools will help you keep your spending and nutrition under control.
- Habit trackers - if you want to create healthy habits, such as getting up at 6 a.m. three times a week or drinking 10 cups of water every day, then this tool will not only track your progress, but send you reminders too.
What to Look for in an App
When determining whether an app will help not hinder your healthy lifestyle, consider these factors:
- Will the app help me achieve my goals? There is an incredible number of apps to choose from, so don't settle for one that doesn't meet all of your needs. Do your research and find out what others with similar goals recommend. Also, if you begin using an app and find that it's not what you thought it was or you come across a better one, then don't be afraid to switch.
- Is the app easy and simple to use? An app that meets your needs will be straightforward and easy to navigate. If it is difficult to use, has a few glitches or is just not user-friendly, then you will most likely avoid using it at all cost. Don't let a bad app stand in the way of you achieving your goals.
- Does the app reward you for successes? Humans love to be recognized for good behaviour and an app that offers positive reinforcement for achieving goals will help keep you motivated. Encouragement goes a long way in reminding you of how well you are doing.
- Will the app send you reminders? We need a visual cue to remind us of our tasks. Having a virtual monkey on your back will ensure that you don't give yourself permission to slack off.
- Does the app track your behaviours? Seeing your progress laid out in front of you creates a very powerful emotional response. Progress towards our goals makes us happy and happiness encourages goal-oriented behaviours.
- Do essential features come at an added cost? If you're not willing to make in-app purchases and it's not useful otherwise, then it may be better to find another app.
- Can you share updates on social media? If it wasn't posted on social media, did it really happen? Show your friends, family and followers your progress. Get them to cheer you on or better yet, create some healthy competition by bringing them on board.
Comment below on what healthy living apps you would recommend!
Don't miss our next post on fitness apps!
Freeze drying and dehydrating are often mistakenly used interchangeably when in fact they are two very different methods of preserving food and both with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Food deteriorates when exposed to heat, oxygen and water
Three factors that cause food to deteriorate are heat, oxygen and water. Freeze drying is currently the best method of protecting food from these elements, which makes it a superior method of preserving food compared to dehydrating.
While freeze drying may be a better method of preserving food over dehydrating, both have their advantages and disadvantages that make one better than the other depending on the circumstances and your individual needs.
Key differences between freeze drying and dehydrating food
Below you'll find a list that covers these key differences, such as a nutrition, taste, cost, convenience, so you can easily decide for yourself which option better suits your needs.
This form of preservation does not use any heat, so the loss of nutrition is minimal (mostly vitamins C, A and E); free of chemicals and preservatives
|This form of preservation uses heat, so it's inevitable nutrients and vitamins are compromised, but there is no change in fiber and iron content; free of chemicals and preservatives (some commercial dehydrators use sulphur dioxcide as a food preservative)|
|Taste||Retains flavour||Change to flavour due to oxidization|
|Texture||Hard and crisp (as is) and returns to original texture after reconstituting||Tough, stretchy, chewy (as is) and depending on the food;can be chewy or softer after reconstituting|
|Aroma||Unchanged||Depends on the food (i.e., herbs become more fragrant whereas other food loses its fragrance)|
|Appearance||Retains shape and colour||Shriveled, darkens and loses colour (some commercially dehydrated foods contain sulphur dioxcide so the food retains its colour and looks more palatable)|
|Convenience||Lighter in weight than dehydrated food, but takes up more space; reconstitutes quickly (10 minutes or less) using hot or cold water; most items can be eaten freeze-dried||Light-weight and compact; most food needs to be reconstituted before eating; reconstitutes fairly quickly (20 minutes or longer) using boiling water|
|Preparation||Food does not need to be treated in advance; food can be freeze dried whole, either raw or cooked||Some foods need to be blanched before dehydrating; cut to 1/4" in thickness; exercise caution when mixing foods as some foods will overpower others|
An at-home freeze dryer is expensive and ranges anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000+
Price varies greatly, starts at around $60 for a small dehydrator, all the way up to $2,000 for a commercial-grade at-home dehydrator
|Processing time||Process takes anywhere from 24-36 hours; can freeze dry from fresh, frozen or cooked||Varies depending on the equipment and food, process takes anywhere from 2-30 hours; can dehydrate from fresh or cooked (some foods need to be blanched before dehydrating)|
|Storage & Shelf Life||No refrigeration required; store food in air-tight containers or bags; up to 25 years||No refrigeration required; store food in air-tight containers or bags; depends on the food, but anywhere from 2-5 years|
|Foods||Fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, full dishes||Fruits, vegetables, some meats|
Freeze drying or dehydrating - which is better?
Undoubtedly, there are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of preserving food, so determining which method better suits your needs depends greatly on how you intend to use the food, as well as how much time and money you want to invest. Freeze drying is the clear winner in terms of nutrition, taste, preparation and shelf life, but dehydrating is definitely more accessible with its low-cost equipment and quicker processing times.
Comment below if you have any experience freeze drying or dehydrating. We want to know which is your preferred method of preserving food.
You may have seen the term "activated charcoal" popping up everywhere lately, from health drinks to beauty products to cleaners and it is gaining popularity.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) is a material that is produced from different carbon sources, such as wood, bamboo, or coconut shells. When these carbon sources are treated with extremely hot temperatures, a chemical reaction occurs whereby the charcoal’s surface becomes very porous and it is given a negative electric charge. It is this negative charge that attracts positively charged poisons, toxins, chemicals and gas.
Why is activated charcoal healthy?
Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals, although it doesn't absorb them; instead, toxins bond to its surface, so it has the power to flush out these harmful toxins and chemicals that cause damage to your body. Because activated charcoal is not absorbed, it is flushed away and you reap the benefit of a well-functioning digestive system.
Simple ways to incorporate this powerful black powder into your regimen
Drink it: for the ultimate detox, try a charcoal lemonade. Charcoal doesn't add any flavour to your foods, but it can certainly add a lot of cleansing power. In addition to flushing away toxins and chemicals, a recent study suggests that activate charcoal has the ability to lower levels of bad cholesterol.
Breakfast: in your next morning smoothie, consider adding activated charcoal to help wash away toxins caused by environmental pollution, processed foods and pesticides. Activated charcoal also has the added benefit of soothing an upset stomach, treating acid reflux and reducing stomach bloat.
Add colour: make a statement in your culinary creations by taking advantage of activated charcoal's deep onyx hue and colour your foods naturally, without the use of harsh dyes.
Apply it: scrub away dirt and remove toxins from your skin using a facial cleanser or mask made out of activated charcoal or apply it topically to treat body odor, blemishes, insect bites and rashes.
Brush with it: brighten your smile and whiten your teeth without the use of harsh chemicals. Brush with powdered activated charcoal 2-3 times per week to receive the benefits.
Inflammation is your body's natural response to protect itself against harm and heal itself, so when you cut your finger or bang your toe, visible signs that your body is repairing itself include redness, swelling, and bruising.
Acute inflammation as it's known is the process whereby your body releases chemicals from your white blood cells into the bloodstream and send them to the areas that need healing.
What is Chronic InflammationChronic inflammation is your body’s response to long-term inflammation, which is often triggered by your environment and lifestyle. This type of inflammation is dangerous because it prevents your body from functioning properly and has been linked to many diseases and serious health conditions, including cancer, obesity, heart disease and arthritis.
Signs you're suffering from chronic inflammation
- Carrying extra weight about your mid-section
- Feeling tired or low energy all of the time
- Digestive problems or ‘leaky gut’
- Feeling anxious and depressed mood
- Joint pain and stiffness
Top 3 most powerful spices to prevent chronic inflammationYou can easily reduce and prevent chronic inflammation naturally by eating a plant-based, raw food diet, which is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Spices are rich with antioxidants and known to reduce, treat and prevent chronic inflammation.
Turmeric, ginger and garlic are among the top 3 most powerful
- Turmeric has long been used to treat wounds, infections and digestive issues. Its primary anti-inflammatory agent is curcumin, which is effective in reducing pain and inflammation, protecting the liver by acting as an antioxidant and protecting cells from free radical damage.
- Ginger is often used to treat stomach upset, headaches, and infections. It contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, paradols, shogaols and zingerone, which reduce pain.
- Fresh garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease, help fight off cancer and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Discover delicious ways to add more spice to your raw food diet
- Raw juice
- Nut milks
What may have once been viewed as a fad diet is now becoming widely accepted as a way of life -- the raw food diet. Eating raw has amazing health benefits. It has the power to:
- give us more energy and improved sleep
- lower our body weight
- reduce inflammation
- improve our digestion
- give us clearer skin
|Did you know? A raw foods diet is made up of fresh, whole, unrefined, living, plant-based foods: staples include fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which are consumed in their natural state. Foods are not heated above 48°C.|
Five Keys To Raw Food Success
Here are five straightforward tips on how to incorporate more raw foods into your daily life and make the transition feel effortless.
#1 Ease into your raw food diet
Begin slowly, take the experience day-by-day and gradually incorporate raw foods versus taking an all or nothing approach. Try choosing one day a week to go 100% raw or setting a goal to reach a diet that's half cooked, half raw. By taking your time, the likelihood of success increases dramatically.
#2 Educate yourself about raw nutrition
Inform yourself, immerse yourself in the local raw food community, do your research and educate yourself on eating raw and nutrition. Consult discussion boards, find out what works for others, and learn about what industry experts are writing. Empower yourself with the knowledge to support and sustain your new healthy lifestyle.
#3 Juicing for success
Juicing is an efficient and easily digestible way to boost your daily dose of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It has never been easier to create delicious raw juice recipes at home that will cleanse and restore your body and boost your immunity.
#4 Create a space that supports your raw lifestyle
Collect out of your fridge and pantry all of those foods you no longer want and replace them with the foods you do. Keep a food diary, take stock of the kitchen tools you need to prepare your meals, allow time for meal prep and arm yourself with recipes, a lot of them.
#5 Purchase organic fruits and vegetables
By purchasing organic foods, you reduce your exposure to dangerous pesticides, which have been linked to neurological problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies, and asthma. Don't worry though, with some careful planning, eating organic doesn't have to break the bank. Set a weekly food budget and stick to it, use in-store and online coupons, buy local produce that's in season, shop online, and meal plan to reduce waste. Also, buy organic when it counts. To learn which produce contains the highest loads of pesticide residue, consult the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen of Raw Foods. These easy to follow solutions translate into real savings and a stronger, healthier you.
With these five simple suggestions, you will begin reaping the rewards of your raw food experience.
Are you currently exploring the idea of a raw lifestyle? If you've already transitioned, can you share a few tips?