Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Apps, gadgets and equipment.

There are a plethora of fitness equipment, apps, supplements and gadgets out there that can be very useful in keeping fit and maintaining health. Some of this stuff works very well and some of it is designed solely to make some budding entrepreneur a quick buck.

So what works and what doesn't?

Well it depends. Most people I would argue are approaching health and fitness the wrong way round. I see lots of people buying all the gear and downloading all the apps only to fail after a few days or weeks at best. Hardly a week goes by that a patient, family member or friend doesn't ask me for advice on the newest gadget or craze in the industry.

We are in the age of bio-hacking, people want the maximum results available with the minimum effrot. I've stated before on this platform that the 'journey' is the most important part of any process. The journey is far more rewarding than arriving at any destination. If the journey is challenging and you've given it your best effort, the destination or your results will always make you happy. If you bio-hack your way to a desired weight, shape or goal you can be certain it won't make you happy for any period of time. 

Over a twenty year period I've evolved into a chronic runner. I no longer work out in a gym. Having been a personal trainer for 15 years the thoughts of running on a 'dreadmill' or 'pumping iron' doesn't excite me anymore. I run at almost every opportunity I get. I do some basic yoga at home and in work. I foam roll my body whenever I get a spare few minuets at home and I meditate. That's it!

I've learned, as my family has grown, to keep it really simple. I have limited time and these few devices keep me in shape. 

What apps, gadgets and equipment do I use?

Garmin 620
Image result for garmin 620Running is my escape. I find answers, problems and inspiration when I run. I record every single meter on my Garmin 620 sports watch. When I am training for a specific event, I use a method of heart rate training involving zones, see here

All the data that I collect when running, distance, speed, elevation and heart rate is uploaded to a web site called Strava. Strava is best described as facebook for runners and cyclists. You can follow your friends and athletes and monitor their training regimes. 
I find this very motivating. Some days when I'm feeling tired or lazy I browse the feed on this app. After seeing friends have been out pounding the pavement I guilt myself into running too.

Image result for daily yoga app

Daily Yoga
I use the 'daily yoga' app for,,, you guessed it, doing yoga. I always joke that if a day had 25 hours I'd do yoga in the extra hour. I recognised this as a feeble excuse and found this great app. I confess to not opening this app every day but if I get a free 10 minuets I try and bust a few moves.
I wrote a post before about the ineffectiveness of static stretching, see here.

Foam roller
Image result for foam rollerTo stave off the threat of injury I do two simple things. I predominantly eat a plant based diet, no animal products. And, I foam roll. Foam rolling doesn't always prove to be successful. I do this at home usually after a long run which, most often takes place on a Sunday morning. On returning home my two young boys are usually waiting gregariously to mob me as I fall in the door. Laying on the floor and rolling my body usually involves one of them climbing on me while the other jumps on me. Foam rolling in my house can cause more injuries than it prevents.

My foam roller is most often used as an additional tunnel for my boys train track.

Head Space
Image result for head space appI can not stress the fact that a healthy body can only be found with a healthy mind. I use the 'HeadSpace' app to train my mind to slow down. I have a busy work week, traveling between clinics and meeting and treating many different individuals each week. Family life is hectic since the arrival of my beautiful daughter on New Years Eve. By the time I get to run its difficult to focus on goals with so many thoughts, chores and to-do lists in my head. I use this app to find some mental space which, allows me to focus and get the best available gains form the dwindling amount of time I have to run!

A final piece of advice

If you are unhappy with your body, your health or your fitness you must want to change before you can change. Start small but plan big. Invest in the journey and find enjoyment in the process. Don't measure yourself against anybody but yourself. You can achieve anything you want, you just have to want it. It really is that simple. However, simple doesn't mean easy. If it's worth having you can bet it will be difficult but the difficulty will provide the enjoyment. Trust me!

"If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got" Chinese proverb.

If you want to change you will have to change. If you are not willing change then you'll never chan ge. 

Run far, run fast but most of all RunSensible.