Header widget area left
Viewing posts categorised under: Mindful

Health and fitness apps of 2016

Posted by admin in Food, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

24.08.16

Girl floating on beach mattress and eating watermelon in the blu   With the end of August in sight and perhaps diminishing motivation for the ultimate beach body, the desire to get fit and healthy should not just be limited to the summer and for sunny days for the beach (although we are praying for an Indian Summer come September and October!). Maintaining and increasing ones fitness should be an all year round goal; not just so that we physically feel our best but also mentally. Following a steady year round routine also means that one does not need to drastically change their lifestyle come pre summer months. how-to-workout-at-beach1 Now with increasing technology advancements and a flourishing base of health and fitness apps that are constantly updating, there is really no excuse to embrace them seeing as we are already superglued to our smartphones. In fact, there has been a rise in popularity of such apps as they primarily allow the option of exercise to ones weekly routine... flexibility! So whether you are a professional athlete, a regular gym goer, just new to the gym or a couch potato looking to begin your fitness regime, you can positively fuel and motivate themselves through your very own smart phone. Apple Starts iPhone 6 Sales In Germany Health and fitness apps can be incredibly beneficial...

  • For those who do not have enough time to go to the gym - there is huge flexibility to adapt your gym routine to do at home or wherever you are, even on holiday!
  • For those who do not want to spend masses on a gym membership, apps are also A LOT cheaper; some are even free!
  • For those who want to record and track their personal health and fitness goals - some apps are able to calculate and graphically report progress data
  • For those who have one sport they would like to specialise in i.e. running, cycling, yoga
  • For those who are at any fitness level, no one has an excuse to opt out and try something new!
There are hundreds of health and fitness apps available and with some charging a small cost, it is difficult to know which ones are worth buying. The hard work has been done for you as we compare reviews and ratings to find the best apps to download in 2016.  

For those new to running

Couch to 5k

c25k   If you’ve wanted to try running but never known where to start, Couch to 5K should be the next app you download. The free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week that get you ready for your local Turkey Trot or Fourth of July road race. FREE; iOS and Android

For a serial runner or cyclist

Strava Running and Cycling 

strava If you’re a serious runner or cyclist, you need one place to keep track of your most recent runs and rides, and no app comes close to the capabilities offered by Strava. The app can track distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, heart rate, power, and cadence. Then it synthesizes all of this data into easy-to-understand graphics. FREE; with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

For a work out at home

No equipment required, just yourself. 

sworkit_0

Sworkit 'Simply WORK IT'

Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session. The pro edition ($4.99/month) has a few notable features, including the ability to save custom workouts, access your complete workout history, and eliminate ads. This is also compatible with Apple Watch. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For a 10 minute work out

HIIT at its best 

FitStar Personal Trainer 

icon

Shows workouts you can do quickly and inexpensively. Training is broken down into four types of workout styles: "get lean" (cardio), "get strong" (balance of bodyweight strength training moves), 10-15 minute "daily dose" workouts; and "freestyle". At the core of the app is a patented algorithm that customises a user's workouts, so an athlete can move at their own pace and and advance as they get stronger. There is also a user's rating for each exercise which is used to adjust each routine. Difficulty ratings range from "too easy" to "way more brutal" than expected

FREE or Premium ($7.99/month or $39.99/year); Android and iOS

Or a 7 minute work out?

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout

JnJ-7-Minute-App

Crafted by Chris Jordan who is the mastermind behind the original 7-Minute Workout. This "Smart Workout" is designed to challenge your fitness level and help throttle the intensity according to your ability, while the uncomplicated interface is designed to help you get through the bodyweight routine as simply as possible.

FREE

 

For those who lift

StrongLifts 5x5

stronglifts-5x5

No need to carry around a paper and pencil while lifting at the gym anymore. This app keeps track of the exercise, number of reps, and rest time, so all you have to worry about is getting to the gym and getting huge stronger.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For outdoor lovers

Yonder 

yonder

Think of this like Yelp for the outdoor enthusiast. Enter your location and find dozens of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing with reviews and tips from fellow outdoorsmen and women.

FREE; Android and iOS

For gamers

Zombie's, Run! 

zombies-run Running becomes way more fun when each step gets you closer to carrying out your mission, collecting materials for your base camp, and keeping humans safe from the zombie apocalypse. There’s a reason this game became the highest-grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in just two weeks—even though it’s free to download, you’ll start shelling out money like you do for Candy Crush. Except this game helps you get your sweat on. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For yogis

Daily Yoga 

daily-yoga

Never be bored by yoga again: More than 50 classes shot in HD video are just a few taps away. Each sequence has a specific focus, from increasing flexibility to strengthening your core. Plus, there’s a library with detailed videos of more than 500 poses.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For pilates

My Pilates Guru

512x512bb iTunes most popular Pilates app created by Pilates instructor Anya Hayes. Offers step by step instructions with 90+ exercises with high res photography. Build your own sessions, focusing on one body area and monitor your own progress. £2.99

Food and nutrition

Because you need to eat well too! 

MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspal MyFitnessPal is the most popular health and fitness app in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The app’s database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to track your diet, no matter what you eat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put on muscle, the app helps determine the best things to eat to meet your goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Fooducate 

fooducate Makes grocery shopping surprisingly fun. Open the app, scan barcodes, and get a quick read on how healthy each item is. It also tracks sleep, mood, and hunger levels. Then Fooducate analyzes all of the information and provides feedback to help you meet your health and fitness goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Thrive Market 

thrive-market Buying healthy food has never been easier and cheaper. Thrive Market is basically the Costco for natural and organic products. Pay a yearly fee ($59.95) and have access to insane deals on everything from coconut oil to kale chips. The app makes it easy to shop for groceries whenever you’ve got the time, and then Thrive sends your order right to your door. FREE; iOS

Mind and Brain

Meditation Studio 

meditation-studio There are so many different types of guided meditation. Rather than try a general practice that focuses on relaxation, this app offers meditations catered to your needs, whether it’s anxiety, stress, happiness, or gratitude. And best of all, it’s a one-time fee for access to more than 160 meditations. ($2.99; iOS)

Sleep Cycle 

sleep_cycle_android_icon Say sayonara to feeling groggy in the morning. This app measures your sleep cycle, as its name suggests. Then it wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state. Sure, you might get up before your alarm goes off, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. FREE with in-app purchases on iOS, $0.99 on Android

Musical accompaniment

Motion Traxx

motion-traxx Listening to music can be the perfect way to add extra oomph to your workout, but crafting the perfect playlist is tricky. That’s where Motion Traxx comes in. The app combines coaching from world-class trainers with music designed to set the perfect intensity for every phase of your workout. FREE with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

Spotify Running 

spotify Part of the Spotify app (and let’s be honest, you probably already have that on your phone), Spotify Running measures your pace and picks a song with the beats per minute to match it. It’s about time your music matches your cadence instead of the other way around. FREE; iOS and Android

Destress and relax 

Relax Melodies 

i-relax-melody-app

The most popular and highly rated of the stress release apps on the market, Relax Melodies boasts at array of white noise inspired loops, which you can then mix with other loops or pair with songs on your device

FREE; iOS, Android and Windows Phone   Now without further ado, get downloading to renew and enhance your workout! It is important to note that an app should not replace ones motivation, they should be seen as a personal aid or guide to be made full use of!

Staying healthy in summer

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

11.08.16

1238742_10151587827986227_622587189_n So you've spent the upcoming months (or perhaps a couple weeks) worshipping green juices, chia puddings and quinoa salads and slaving away in the gym in hope for your ideal beach body. You have been on a role keeping the 80:20 lifestyle and way of eating; having kept drinking for the weekends only (Thursday's do count as the weekend..). However, it seems that all this hard work is then threatened by the minute that holiday feeling strikes on the onset of the odd British heat wave, or even more so when we are holidaying abroad. At home, festival food trucks, BBQ's and pimms infiltrate the social scene whilst multiple rounds of gelato and pina coladas are our vice when travelling abroad. The temptation to binge and regress on the slippery slope of sugar and salt saturation is imminent, especially once once glass of rose has been consumed and you proceed to feel the drunken munchies. pimms_04 Of course, a balance of treats is necessary especially when you are on holiday. However, the feeling of sluggishness and bloating is all too familiar post day drinking and feasting. It is surprisingly easy to slip into an unhealthy cycle of continuous indulgence which may leave you stranded back to square one, far off from the healthy vision your ever had. Therefore, whether you are enjoying the sun abroad or just at home, here are some ways to keep on track with your body (and mind) and tips to be mindful of in keeping a healthy lifestyle over the summer months.

Don't be lazy!

200259790-001 When the sun is out, the thought of working out in the gym may be highly unappealing. So why not maintain your fitness outdoors? Start off your day the right way by going for a run in the morning. This will stimulate your metabolism as well as giving you the 'running high' due to the happy hormones that are released. The benefits are reaped as you are mentally and physically better set up for the day; an excuse to eat as much as you want at the family BBQ! surfing-barry-pics-2-186-e1427739794161 Understandably, a strenuous workout will not be prioritised (unless you are Kayla Itsines) when holidaying in the Caribbean. However, before you idly lady on the lounger to sunbathe all day with a cocktail in hand, you should make time to keep active and take full advantage of the environment around you. This is a great way to balance out indulgent meals and reduce bloating from the sugary drinks you may be having. If you are on a city break, choose the most active option to walk sight seeing rather than public transport if possible. This may seem like common sense, but it can be easy to become lazy and lethargic when hot weather takes over.

Be mindful of empty calories

Mason-Jar-Mojitos-finished4 It's 3pm and before you know it, you've sipped through too many cocktails to count. As delicious as pimms, pina colada and fruity Rekorderlig can be, these drinks are consumed as empty calories due to their high sugar content but very low nutritional value. What's more, they do nothing for your hangover the next day. Counting calories is considered prehistoric when practiced as a means for dieting. However, one should be aware that cocktails such as pina coladas, long island ice tea and margarita can contain up to 780 calories! be-healthy-alcohol-calories-151204a It is important to keep in mind the drinks which are more calorific than others. Consider swapping your tonic water for slimline or sofa to effectively lower the amount of empty calories you are consuming. Asking for less sugar in cocktails is another simple way to reduce your sugar intake. The result is a refreshing drink that is still delicious. Moderation is key.   calories

H2O

It is very difficult to not eat with our eyes at first glance at of a BBQ spread of food. There are a few ways to help pace your speed of eating vast amounts of food which firstly involves quenching any pangs of false hunger to cause to think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Drink plenty of water prior to having a meal. bbq-summer-food-spread Drinking too much alcohol can result in dehydration, leading to a pounding headache the next day. Avoid feeling faint or light headed by drinking water in between alcoholic drinks and plenty especially if the temperatures are high.  

Remember SPF

sunscreenissexy-feat-prime-750x400 Forgetting to put SPF on even on cloudy days exposes your skin to free radicals and harmful UVA and UVB rays. In extreme cases, staying out in the sun for too long without sunscreen can result in skin damaging burns and heat stroke.  

Tips for more mindful eating

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Mindful, Uncategorized | 0 comments

14.06.16

We could all do with a refresher course on how to eat to benefit our health. Mindful eating may be the answer. You may have heard of mindfulness or mindfulness training. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness can be defined as a mental state that focuses on the present as well as an awareness and acceptance of one's innermost emotions, thoughts and feelings. Similarly mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Our culture of overconsumption today suffers a binary where diseases such as obesity and diabetes are rife, whilst other eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervousa are hidden. On every corner we see fast food chains selling artery clogging 'happy meals' and every editorial is obsessed with the latest fad diet or detox cleanse. It is very easy to become confused with our relationship with food. Mindfulness is used as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy and has been successful as a form of treatment for individuals with disordered eating habits and obese individuals. <indful eat Here are some tips for more mindful eating. Respect your hunger cues.  This may seem obvious to some however others find that they often eat out of other reasons, such as boredom, sadness or as an emotional filler for real life problems. This is where mindful eating comes in. With a deeper awareness of our surroundings and inner emotions comes a  better ability to address problems at hand a more effective strategy than say 'eating our feelings'. Eating is often used as a coping mechanism for life's hardships, this can lead to a disordered relationship with food and in serious cases even obesity. On the other hand, we should not ignore hunger pangs as they come throughout the day. Waiting till you are ravenous can leave you desperate for food and susceptible to making poor food choices and can ultimately mess with your plan to eat more healthfully. Put simply it is best to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This can help make eating a more enjoyable and rewarding experience void of the feelings of guilt and discomfort that are associated with overeating and junk food. Mindful eating tomatoes   Mindful eating can sometimes mean eating more slowly. This way our body has more time to register how much food we are eating before we are too full. Additionally, studies have shown those who spend more time chewing their food achieve a greater level of satiety after their meal. When we slow down we can really focus on what we are doing and what we are eating, this way we may be better able to enjoy every bite of our food, feel full and avoid overeating. In the recent decades the whole culture of food and eating has changed completely, the landscape of the food industry is now run rampant by fast food chains and in some countries even drive throughs. When we take time to carefully prepare our food, and sit down for a meal we may feel more in tune with our hunger and fullness cues. Taking a tip from the practice of mindfulness we may better able to appreciate our food and savour each bite. Pose Mindful eating Eat food that is both optimal for both your enjoyment and health. When you really pay attention to what you are eating you may be better able to focus on food that is enjoyable, balanced, healthy and will leave you satisfied after you finish your meal. Often when we eat processed prepackaged food we may eat what seems to be a lot of food and still be left wanting more, this may be because our body does not feel as though it is getting the nutrients it deserves. However when we eat an abundance of well-balanced, nutrient rich foods our body can feel full and satisfied and less prone to sudden hunger pangs and mood swings. In the long run this can save us from bouts of overeating, binging on unhealthy foods and ultimately leave us free to fuel our body with the energy we need to live life to the fullest. Overall, it is important to take a lesson from mindfulness to make us more appreciative for every moment we are given. When we are swarmed with an army of fast food options at every corner it is important to stop and think where our food comes from before we eat it. Mindful eating helps us eat more intuitively, feel greater satisfaction and avoid feelings of regret after our meal. When we revolutionise the way we eat, eating instead to nourish our body and mind, we may develop a greater appreciation for our food and be better prepared to tackle the modern day obesity epidemic. For more tips of mindful eating click here or here.