Social media and technology are a huge part of our lives and I am sure you have heard the saying “there is an app for that!” In fact, when it comes to health, what we now have at our fingertips is limitless! I believe technology used the right way, is a great tool to support health and fitness goals and here I am talking exactly why and how!
Network & Support
Without a doubt, social media and technology provides a simple and effective opportunity to connect with others and reduce feelings of loneliness. This is especially if you share similar goals with people online and can share triumphs but also seek support if you go off track. I have witnessed this first hand with my Falling in Love with Food and Tribe Program! In fact, a simple relationship between people (such as shared goals or interests) is enough to increase feelings of warmth and motivation and health communities provide accountability for reaching health-related goals.
One of the most effective ways to stay motivated is to track progress. Tracking progress also helps us push beyond our limits and move onto the next goal. On the flip, if results aren’t being achieved, tracking is a great way to review and gain insight into why things aren’t changing.
Here are some of the best apps to track progress:
Exercise: Fitbit and iPhone – count daily steps, aim to increase number of steps on a weekly basis and eventually aim for 10,000 steps daily.
Food diary: MyFitnessPal, Easy Diet Diary or you can have a template saved on your desk top and type into it after each meal!
Sleep: Fitbit, Sleep Cycle and Sleepbot can log your sleep, track movement/sound and wake you up in accordance with your sleep wake cycle.
We all get bored at times with our meals and snacks and need a little inspiration! Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are all wonderful avenues to seek healthy meal and snack inspiration. A simple scroll can showcase new ingredients to use or show how to use everyday ingredients in new ways. If you use Pinterest, it is a great place to store recipes and categorise them into different meals for easy meal planning. If you have certain dietary requirements such as #glutenfree #dairyfree, #vegan or #nutfree, using tags and filters makes finding suitable recipes a breeze!
Tips for healthy technology use
While there are many good things about social media/technology use, there are also some detrimental if not used properly. Here are some ways to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of sabotaging your goals:
- Avoid spending too much time on social media/technology as this time detracts from the time you can be exercising or in the kitchen prepping healthy meals.
- Social media increases our awareness/following of strict food/diet choices, constant exposure to such diets can cause us to believe we should be following them but they may not suit us at all – make sure to consider your individual needs when looking at meal ideas.
- Constant exposure to new food posts (at the wrong times) can cause food cravings in the absence of hunger and therefore overeating, be aware of your true hunger and eat according to what your body needs.
- Checking FB or Instagram whilst eating detracts from mindful eating, mindful eating is positively correlated with mental wellbeing. Make sure to shut off the screen at meal times and eat without distraction in a calm environment.
If you are feeling stuck or held back from achieving your goals and feel lack of motivation, insight and support may be the reasons why, joining a like-minded health-focused community may be the necessary step towards healthy success!
My Falling In Love With Food program provides a weekly plan, recipes, shopping lists, food diary and access to an online community which provides the resources needed and teaches the foundations of how to create a healthy routine. The next round starts 6th February 2017 and to find out more, click HERE.