Pharmacists have hectic jobs helping patients, and they sometimes barely even find time to use the restroom. When stress is high, productivity can wane, and we do not work optimally. Decreasing stress and paying attention to fitness and nutrition goals can be challenging without an action plan or accountability. However, tracking the progress does not have to be difficult. Busy pharmacists who are looking to achieve their 2018 health goals should look no further than their cell phones. New applications are being developed every day to help support people’s health and wellness journeys.
Some of the benefits of using these apps include:
1. Getting free workout ideas. Those who do not have the money or time to spend on fitness books or watching YouTube videos will find that an app is an easy way to get new workout ideas. Vitogo, for example, provides a tailored workout plan for different goals and backgrounds.
2. Setting achievable goals. Those who are just starting to exercise may find it overwhelming at first. Apps such as Couch to 5K can help with setting and achieving realistic goals. This app helps transform a couch potato into a 5k runner in 9 weeks. For those who practice yoga, Pocket Yoga is a great app that provides diagrams and instructions to help users learn yoga on their own schedules.
3. Tracking a diet. Between 80% and 90% of the wellness equation is getting nutrition under control. Those who log their food lose more weight, because they are more aware of what they are eating. Those who do not keep track of the food they eat find that it is easier to scarf down that extra handful of M&M’s or take another chicken nugget off their kids’ plates. Maximize efforts at the gym by pairing an exercise routine with a nutrition app.
Check out these fitness, nutrition, and stress reduction apps:
1. Accupedo (free). This app is a great way to gauge steps taken. In addition to being an accurate pedometer, the app can track progress in terms of calories, distance, laps (around a standard track), minutes, and steps. Track progress over days, weeks, and even years, to see improvement over time.
2. Lose It! (free). This helps monitor diet as well as exercise habits. Enter into the program goal weight, weight loss goal by week, and calories targeted per day. Each day, users input what they ate and exercise completed, and Lose It! calculates how many net calories were consumed. The app also lets users monitor progress over time and compare their stats with friends.
3. MayMyRun (free). This fitness tracker allows users to choose their activities and records daily workouts. For example, choose “cycling,” “run,” or “walk,” and the device uses a GPS tracker to tell users how far they have gone. Sign up for an email that provides a summary of monthly workouts.
4. My Fitness Pal (free). This easy-to-use app can track calories burned, exercise, food and water intake, and weight. And with more than 5 million foods in the database, it is easy to track nutrition, as well. Studies have shown that those who track their food are more likely to lose weight. In fact, a recent study showed that logging food doubles weight loss.
1. CarbsControl-Carb Tracker ($1.99). This app is perfect for those with diabetes or on low-carbohydrate diets. Users can search more than 100,000 foods and 300 popular restaurants to track carbs in each meal. It also allows users to adjust serving sizes to see the exact amount of carbs per meal.
2. Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner (free). When users input their personalized profiles and scan a particular food using the Shopwell barcode scanner on their phone, the app will tell them whether the food is a healthy selection. Diabetes, celiac disease, and high blood pressure can be placed in users’ personalized profiles. As a perk, users can earn rewards points by completing “missions” and providing feedback to companies about their products. In return, the rewards points can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards.
3. Restaurants & Nutrition: Fast Food Nutrition Plus Calculator ($1.99). This includes more than 300 of the most popular buffets, fast-food chains, and restaurants so users do not have to compromise on healthy meals while out with family and friends. The app provides calorie, carbs, fiber, protein, and sodium counts, as well as a food score.
Stress Reduction Apps
1. The Mindfulness App ($1.99). This is a tool to increase people’s awareness in life and helps them remain present in our increasingly stressful world. Set reminders and get messages when it is time to meditate. The app includes guided and silent meditations. This app is great for beginners and advanced practitioners.
2. Relax Melodies: Sleep Zen Sounds & White Noise for Meditation and Yoga (free). This app allows users to select sounds and melodies that can be combined to lull them to sleep. Set a timer for different durations to favorite mixes. This is great for meditation and yoga, as well as for falling asleep.
3. Take a Break! Guided Meditations for Stress Relief (free). Choose from 2 relaxing audios: Stress Relief Meditation (13 minutes) or Work Break Relaxation (7 minutes). Listen with or without music or nature sounds, and read the instructions to support the experience. There is also additional support on the Meditation Oasis website.