Ah, the new year is here again and it has brought plenty of questions with it. "Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?" What should my goals be for the New Year's?" "Are there any apps out there to help me achieve a healthier me?" The answers to those questions are maybe, I don't know, and yes. We asked some of our employees what their health resolutions are and what apps they are using to accomplish those goals for 2015.
Jordan Neustrom, Internet Presence Specialist
FitBit is a health and wellness app that tracks your movement. It focuses on health and living a healthier life. The app ties into the FitBit charge band and comes with a sync dongle that plugs into your computer. To use FitBit, you wear the charge band and just walk. The band tracks all the walking you do and syncs it to the application.
You can also log your calories in the app and even track your sleep by just starting the app before you doze off. Your band tracks how many times you turn during the night and shows how restless you are. I chose FitBit because out of all the smart bands out there, I found this one to be the easiest to use. My goal is to lose 22 pounds this year by tracking my habits with FitBit.
Adam Culpepper, Software Developer
Nike+ Move is an exercise app that motivates you to move more by incorporating your friends into the mix. Since it's with friends, it makes getting more active into a bit of a game with the competition aspect of it's leaderboard. A few weeks ago, I found myself running at midnight to get back in the lead, because Jordan Neustrom, our Internet Presence Manager, was suddenly ahead of me on the weekly leaderboard. He tried to slip in a midnight run on Sunday at the last minute before the weekly points reset. Now I have a habit of checking the app a few times a day to check the leaderboard and how much I've moved throughout the day. Currently, Kati Jo, our Administrative Manager, is ahead on my leaderboard, so I'll need to walk or run later tonight to get back in the lead. If I catch a cold tonight, running in 40° weather, it's all her fault.
To get started with Nike+ Move, you'll need an iPhone 5s or better for the app to work properly. To track your movement, the app taps into the M7 coprocessor that's only found in iPhone 5S and above. However, the Nike+ Fuelband can be used in place of a fancy new iPhone. Using the Fuelband will also allow our Android friends to join the action.
One of my fitness goals for 2015 is to run at least one 5k a month. Currently, I can't run an entire 5k without walking a bit, but with the help of the Nike+ Move app, some good music and my active friends trying to top the leaderboards, it's shaping up to be a great year.
Lynsey Gwin, Interactive Designer and Developer
Headspace teaches you how to meditate. It's marketed as a "gym membership for your mind," which I think is clever. I take 10 minutes out of my day to sit in a nice, quiet place away from distraction to rest my mind and body. It's a mindful departure from the daily grind. Headspace's introductory program walks you through 10 days and gives you tips throughout your session on how to improve your meditation techniques.
Of course the designer in me is drawn to things that have a strong creative direction so I was drawn to the clever decisions made in the app. It has a great introduction process and the app is simple to use. My resolution for this year is to try to de-stress myself. My anxiety takes a toll on my body so I'm willing to try new things. Yoga and meditation have proven to help my state of mind; I just have to remember to take the time to do it every day.
Neil Smith, Software Developer
MyFitnessPal allows you to enter what you eat during the day. You can track food, nutritional info, and your workout routines. The app lets you set goals and it tells you the number of calories you need to intake each day to lose a certain number of pounds each week. This makes sure that you hit your goal on time.
The app also tracks all nutritional information for everything you eat, so if you enter something like "Chipotle Chicken Burrito," the app will pull up that information and log it into your daily tracker. It can be really helpful for those tracking the amount of protein they get each day. I couldn't imagine trying to keep track of my fitness without the app. For 2015, I'd like to just live a healthier, more active lifestyle than I am right now.