Maintaining optimal health & wellbeing has always important. But never before has there been such a focus on its significance.
“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed all aspects of life – health & wellbeing included,” Osteopath Robin Kiashek said. “The closure of gyms and restrictions on non-essential travel has forced us all to find new health habits.
“At the start of the UK’s first lockdown, we saw a rise in the number of people going for daily walks, the lucky few converted their garages and spare bedrooms into make-shift gyms and there was a boom in virtual workouts in front of our laptops. And to help keep us in check, many people turned to smart tech and fitness apps which can monitor every aspect.”
There’s an App for that
According to the latest stats*, fitness apps have seen a ‘steep rise’ in users during the pandemic. Trackable fitness service, Strava now has 73 million users world-wide. Whilst, fitness app Freeletics – which has more than 2 million UK users – saw a 50% increase in its use during the first 2020 lockdown between March and June.
Nowadays there’s an app for everything. You can monitor your sleep with Sleep Cycle, chart your mindfulness with mediation app Headspace and even check your blood oxygen levels with Pulse Oximeter.
But is all this tracking causing more harm than good?
Staying active is always good
It’s a well-known fact that regular exercise brings with it huge benefits. In today’s society where sitting in front of the TV, or working at home from a desk all day has become the norm, being active helps to build and maintain strong muscles.
It can also boost energy levels, increase productivity and promote healthy sleep. Staying active also helps to reduce the risk of injury and diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.
Positives of health apps and smart tech
And these health apps and tracking tools can help keep us on the move and off our sofas. That’s because they have the ability to:
- Help you set achievable goals
- Track activity levels – like counting your steps
- Give you a nudge when it’s time to ‘get active’
- Give you incentives to work harder or push yourself
- Keep you motivated – some even show you what your other fitness friends have achieved
- Show you progress over time and give you the stats to back it up
- Track your heart rate
Robin says: “The ability to track your heartbeat is of course an important measure in health of fitness. Especially with the spotlight that coronavirus ** has placed on achieving better cardio health. However, as with anything, balance is required.”
All things in moderation
Recent stats*** revealed by the Office for National Statistics showed how stress and anxiety levels have soared because of the pandemic.
The stats from 2020 showed that 19 million adults in Great Britain reported high levels of anxiety. This was said to be a result of the challenges of home-schooling, work worries and health – in addition to all of life’s other stressors.
The key message to keep in mind
Robin added: “So, instead of focusing on the stats and adding another stressor to your plate, try to focus on the here and now.
“How are you feeling? How does your body feel? Do you feel tired? The key message to keep in mind is that these stats are a far more beneficial tool if you use them alongside your natural intuition. Rather than heading outside because your smart watch says you should, do it because you want to. You are still moving – whether that’s to walk around the block and back or going for a 20-minute run.
“We are all learning to live during this very strange time, so don’t let your apps rule you. Make 2021 the year you take back charge of your health and fitness.”
Osteopath Robin Kiashek has more than 25 years’ experience in the health and wellbeing industry. As a leading osteopath, Robin believes in getting to the root of your problems and restoring, healing and developing the body and mind. Get in touch today to discover how Robin can help.