Resources to Support Your Wellness
BMC’s 2014 Passport to Wellness features wellness challenges, help from a personal health coach, an online wellness program, and more.
Free Fitness and Nutrition Apps:
Perfect for frequent travelers, this app recommends healthy food options based on your location, which is tracked by GPS. It targets popular casual dining restaurants, fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores nearby. Tap one of the suggestions and a lengthy list of healthy menu items appears, complete with calorie, fat and carb totals. Once you decide on a place, simply let the built-in map guide you to gastro-satisfaction.
Did you know that cut melon must be thrown out after two hours? Or that the leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts? Or that oysters contain protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron? This colorful app has fun factoids like these and more than 500 others to help you have a safe and healthy diet. Each tip is written on a sleek Post-it look-alike. Swipe the page or shake your device for a new tidbit.
Learn the ABCs of weight lifting with your new gym buddy. Like its for-cost brother ($4.99), this app has 280 exercises with animations and written instructions, 52 workout routines (adjustable for four levels of expertise) and the ability for you to add your own images. While you can’t log your daily workout routine, there are calculators for computing target heart rate, BMI, BMR and body fat percentage. Got flabby arms? Choose the body map menu, select the biceps option and you’ll be presented with more than 50 arm-toning moves.
Next time you go grocery shopping, get ready to use the Fooducate app for iPhone. Named the best Health & Wellness app of 2011 by the iTunes App Store, the Fooducate app uses your iPhone’s camera to scan the bar codes of food products and returns grades based on the product’s ingredients and nutritional components. For example, one brand of bread may be graded with a C- due to refined flour, while another type of bread may be graded at an A- for including whole wheat flour. You can also search for food products by name or category within the app, see product highlights (good and bad) or compare products so you can choose healthier alternatives.
The GAIN Fitness app creates a totally personalized workout plan for you based on the expertise of real, certified trainers. People who don’t have the money to hire actual personal trainers, work demanding jobs, travel a lot or have irregular schedules could really benefit from an app like this. The app comes with over 700 workout activities including strength training, plyometrics, calisthenics, yoga and custom tailored workouts. In addition,the app looks great on the iPhone and the user interface is relatively easy to use for almost anybody wanting to get started right away with it.
This app is ideal for those who like to log all their food and activities when working to achieve health goals. You can set your daily calorie target, which updates itself automatically as you log meals and snacks in the app. Log all of your food, water, workouts, and extra activities on the go, even if you’re offline. Choose from foods and activities stored in the database or add your own custom entries. If you already have an account of the Fibit website, all the information you enter on the app will automatically be synced up with your web account for your convenience.
Nike Training Club
The Nike Training Club app creates a personalized workout for you and teaches you different exercises using a combination of photos, videos and print instructions. The app requires you to choose your workout goals and then selects an appropriate workout regime for you. For example, you may want to focus on particular muscle groups in terms of strength and toning. The app will then select the best exercises that target those areas. As you persist through your workout regime with the help of the Nike Training Club app, you can earn points to gain access to additional workouts as well as recipes. You can also configure your workouts to run with your music library and create a log to track your progress.
If you need to sleep tonight, this app is for you. It provides an advanced set of high quality ambient sounds, premixed for perfect sleep enhancement. The sounds are specifically recorded and enhanced to relax and make you sleep. They isolate you, create a relaxed environment, and put you into a cyclical sleep pattern.
Daily Workouts provides great 5 to 30 minute daily workout routines for men and women that step you through some of the best exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home.These proven exercises, demonstrated by a certified personal trainer, target all major muscles. Spending just minutes a day can strengthen and tone your body.
One small action at a time. That’s all it takes. Every day, we’ll send you a simple challenge that can inspire you to live a healthier, happier life — all while earning points and connecting with others in the same pursuit. You can focus on Everyday Well-Being or join a specialized Track, which will enable you to choose the specific area of well-being that matters most to you.
Mindfulness & Stress Reduction Apps:
Breathe2Relax - a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress)
Relax Lite: Stress Relief – guided breathing and meditation exercises that use calming music to promote relaxation. It’s an ideal stress management tool, being simple and intuitive.
Mindfulness Meditation – The Mindfulness App helps you to reduce stress and increase wellbeing. Scientific research proves that regular practice for 20 minutes a day brings desired effects. Try it out for yourself!
Mindfulness & Stress Reduction Links/Podcasts:
Univ. Of Wisconsin, Mindfulness in Medicine – Provides various resources for clinicians, including guided meditations, book and website recommendations
Mindfulness Research Guide - Provides a list of agencies and centers that conduct mindfulness research (e.g. Harvard)
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center – meditation podcasts and body scans that you can practice on your own