With smartphones being the norm (even my 60+ year old mom and dad use them now and are big Whatsapp fans), its time to take a look at a few of the apps that I do encourage Genesis Gym clients to download, and yes, even pay for. As usual I don't recommend things that I haven't personally used with success.
#1 - My Fitness Pal
There are many diet trackers out there and for those who have been reading my articles they know that counting calories is not the way that I believe nutrition should be taught. I believe in teaching people to make good food choices first. However, there are times when people are WAY off from what they should be eating. A good diet tracker will give information as to what they need to correct.
I like Myfitnesspal because is has the widest variety of foods that I have seen in a food tracking app. It is community based like Wikipedia so choose foods that have been "approved" by many people. I also like it because it has many Asian foods which many other apps do not have, and finally I like it because it is cloud-based and can be accessed from your iOS or Android phone, your tablet or your computer.
Note - don't use the exercise tracking part of the software, it doesn't properly track resistance training.
#2 - Sleep tracking apps
As most people intuitively know, good sleep is critical to happiness and health. In fact bad sleep quality increases hormones that encourage overeating, and decreases hormones that encourage fat burning and muscle building. Ideally we all sleep early, rest deeply and wake up refreshed. But that is unlikely in our stressed up country. In fact less than 5% of the people we do health consultations with (yes we keep statistics to track trends) have deep, restful sleep.
While there are many factors involved in good sleep ranging from stress hormones, to nutrition to brain function and more... There are apps which can help you. They use the accelerometer in your phone to track when, what time and for how long you were in the restful deep sleep state. They also act as good alarm clocks! The best app that I have used in this category is "Absalt EasyWakeup Pro". Give it a try.
#3 - Trigger Point software
Good therapists that I have learned from around the world agree that probably 75% or more of pain is due to dysfunction in the musculo-skeletal system. And may people have some kind of discomfort somewhere!
While there are many things that can go wrong with our wonderfully complex bodies. One of the most common symptoms that you can do something about, is called trigger points. They are over-active parts of muscles that are constantly in tension, causing decreased blood flow, over sensitive nerves (i.e. pain), and restricted muscle flexibility and strength. These can be effectively dealt with on your own without invasive surgery, or many sessions of therapy.
As expected, there is an app for this too, in fact there are many. As a health professional I have hundreds of dollars in anatomy and health related apps on my tablet and phone, but the free app that I recommend to clients is "Muscle Trigger Points - Visually Interactive". Its free and shows the trigger points related to common areas of pain. Simply massaging the points with very slow deep pressure using your fingers, thumbs or a tennis ball/baseball will give relief for many conditions.
What are therapists for then? Well trigger points are often symptoms of underlying problems with things like posture, muscle/nerve function and overall tissue quality. These are the things that an experienced therapist can help you with.
Alright then! Go download some apps and feel better today.
For the best fitness boot camp program, ExpressFIT program in the CBD, and personal training in Singapore visit www.genesisgym.com.sg or the Genesis Gym facebook page. Or visit Coach Jonathan's homepage and blog at www.coachjon.com