The 12 Best Apps for Tracking Your Health in 2019

The Bestow Team, a life insurance company using big data and technology to bring simple and affordable coverage to everyone shared with Healthy Lombard that the New Year is seen as a time of new beginnings and resolutions. It’s the perfect opportunity to make positive changes in our lives, which is why so many Americans make living a happier, healthier lifestyle a top priority. For many of us, that means exercising more, eating better foods, or losing weight.

Sticking to our fitness goals can be quite a challenge, though. According to a recent study, of the two-thirds of adults in America that set fitness goals as a resolution, 73%gave up before meeting their goal. What’s more, only 23% of Americans are meeting the 150 minutes of recommended exercise per week. That’s not good for your health or your wallet.

The good news is that you don’t need a personal trainer or a gym membership to meet your fitness goals and feel your very best. All you need is a smartphone or activity tracker and, in some cases, a WiFi connection.

With all the technology available today, fitness apps are the best way to mix a healthy lifestyle into your busy schedule so you can live your best life.

To help you improve your fitness, we’ve picked 12 of the best apps to help you track your health in 2019.

Your physical fitness becomes more important as you grow older, but many Americans simply don’t have the motivation to stick to a regular fitness schedule. Read more

Warm Up Exercises Are Always A Good Idea

The Easy Way To Health

College of DuPage Nursing Student Anna Yatskevich shared that according to the CDC, The physical activity guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. This is not great news for many adults for whom the idea of incorporating physical exercise into an already full day of work, school or both, is less than desirable.

If finding the time of day is not an issue, many people are put off by the prices many gyms are asking for membership.

Fortunately, there is a solution that is not only free but can be done at your own pace. Walking is one of the easiest and possibly most relaxing ways of getting your daily exercise in.  Not only will you reap great benefits such as decreasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, but it’s a great way to release the stress of the day and improve your mood.

It’s also a great way to shed some pounds as depending on your weight, walking at a leisurely pace of 2.5 miles per hour can burn approximately 600 – 700 calories in the prescribed 150 minutes of recommended daily exercise. So, go ahead; take the easy way out and get healthy!

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Help kids be more physically active with these simple tips

Dr. Matthew Smiley from Advocate Children’s Hospital shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that we often think of not having enough time to exercise as an adult problem, but new research shows that children are affected by this issue as well.

A recent report from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance stated that physical inactivity levels in children around the globe have reached crisis levels and showed that children worldwide are not active enough to maintain healthy growth and development.

The findings in this report might surprise some, but these trends are not new. It is well documented that a sedentary lifestyle and decreased rates of physical activity are increasingly common in the United States, and not surprisingly, around the globe.

A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous, as it is associated with higher rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and shortened life span. It’s necessary to teach children the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle at an early age.

Many factors contribute to an increase in sedentary lifestyles, including a lack of resources and access to opportunities to participate in physical activities and the number of time children spends with screens.

Ideally, children should engage in no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time. To help children adhere to this rule, parents need to proactively think about how they’re going to regulate screen time. Small behavior modifications like keeping screens out of the bedroom, away from the dinner table, setting time limits on tablet and video game usage, and unplugging for a day as a family can go a long way in helping kids find activities to do sans technology — exercise being one of them. Read more

Prioritizing PE

Parents for Healthy Kids shared that physical education should be on equal footing with academic classes. It teaches kids persistence, resilience, positive thinking and how to stay healthy.

Spot quiz: What is the only subject in school that engages a child’s mind, body, and spirit, promotes their physical and emotional health, helps them to learn better and cultivates the character they need to become productive adults? And what subject is consistently underfunded, understaffed and unscheduled?

If you answered physical education to both questions, you get an A grade.

At a time when American children are increasingly absorbed in their screens and one-third are overweight, the need for robust physical education is acute. Last month, the federal government updated its recommendations for physical activity for the first time in 10 years. The guidelines now include recommendations for children as young as age 3 and advise a minimum of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity for ages 6-17.  Alas, only one in five teenagers meets this standard.  Read more

How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

Ginny Grimsley shared in a Daily Herald article that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who will make a promise to improve yourself this New Year, there’s bad news: You’re 92 percent likely to fail in sticking to your resolutions, says a recent study from the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.

About 45 percent of Americans make resolutions. Ranking at the top is losing weight and staying fit and healthy ranks No. 5.

“Of course, those statistics represent the average – you don’t have to be average,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic. “There are plenty of things individuals can do to improve their odds of success if they resolve to become healthier and fitter.”

Dr. Sodhi, author of the new guide, “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions,” believes we can move much closer to a world of disease-free societies by following the laws of Mother Nature. Individual commitment to health via New Year’s resolutions is one path to take us there. Dr. Sodhi offers five tips for staying true to your goals.

• Get away from the instant-gratification mentality and avoid unrealistic goals. Don’t expect to go from zero to 60 — 60 being your ideal body image — in just a few months, especially if you have little background in training. Unfortunately, most who have resolutions like losing plenty of weight and quitting smoking are used to easy snack foods and quick rewards. Health is long-term labor of love; commit to the love and wait for results.

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Kids Aren’t Getting Much Exercise

Kate Elizabeth Queram, a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and based in Washington, D.C. shared that more than three-fourths of children nationally between the ages of 6 and 17 do not get enough daily physical activity, and activity levels vary depending on gender and other factors, according to a recent national report card.

The 2018 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, released this month, provides a comprehensive assessment of activity levels by reviewing and summarizing national health statistics and data from multiple national surveys. Metrics are broken into nine indicators, including overall physical activity, health-related fitness and sedentary behaviors like watching television or playing video games. Each metric is given a letter grade, from A to F.

The report, released by a subcommittee of the nonprofit coalition National Physical Activity Plan, aims to assess overall levels of physical activity among minors but also to serve as an advocacy tool to help parents and policymakers “implement new initiatives, programs, and policies in support of healthy environments to improve the physical activity levels and health of our children and youth.”

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American Children’s Level of Exercise

The Editor of Children’s and Nature Network reported that a team of researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio have uncovered some startling information about the amount of exercise the average U.S. child gets in a week.

According to the study, a majority of children are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity they need, and only 5% are meeting the goal of 60 minutes per day.

While this may come as a surprise to some, not everyone will be shocked by these findings.

Research has found that kids are spending more time on smartphones, tablets, or TV every year.

They also discovered that only one hour of screen time can increase a child’s chance of becoming anxious or depressed.

These results are worrisome because young children are in desperate need of physical activity.

Exercise is important for healthy growth and development, increasing bone density and strengthening muscles.

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Research Shows Eyesight Epidemic for Children Caused by Lack of Time Outside

FREYA LUCAS shared in the Sector’s Early Education News, Views, and Reviews, that scientists have concluded that children may reduce the risk of myopia (commonly referred to as being short-sighted) by spending more time engaged in outdoor play, a study recently published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology has found.
These findings echo Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) advocates, who have called for children’s outdoor play needs to be better served by the sector, and by communities as a whole.

The study discovered that genetics played a factor in whether or not a child would become myopic, however, screen-based activities – such as time spent on an ipad or playing computer games – also increased the chance of a child becoming short sighted. This risk was reduced when children spent more time outdoors.

Researchers also found that children who entered the formal schooling system at a younger age were more likely to develop short sightedness than their peers, noting that the change in work environment from the less structured preschool years to the formal schooling system, which required more near work – such as focusing on printed words – resulted in changes to the shape of the eyeball, which is linked to myopia. Read more

Workout tricks?

Christopher Ingraham shared in The Washington Post that according to Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago economist who last year won a Nobel Prize in part for his work on the subject, a  “nudge” is a policy intervention that “alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.”

Nudges are typically used to get people to do things that are good for them or for society as a whole, but which they may be otherwise disinclined to do. Famous nudges include flies painted on urinals, giving men a target to aim at and thereby reducing spillage; automatic 401(k) enrollment; and getting people to use less electricity by showing them how much their neighbors are using.

One type of nudge that has shown great promise is the planning prompt, which asks people to lay out the concrete steps they will take to achieve a certain goal. Research says these prompts are effective at getting people to do things such as vote, get their flu shots and go to the dentist.
What about going to the gym?

That’s what the team of researchers behind a new working paper set out to discover when they ran a randomized field experiment among 877 members of a private gym in the Midwest. In the realm of exercise, in particular, a notoriously large gap exists “between intentions and actions,” as the researchers put it. Most Americans know they should exercise more, but fewer than a quarter of them get the federally recommended amount of physical activity each week. A 2015 experiment conducted among workers at a Fortune 500 company found that “workers’ targeted levels of exercise are 43 percent higher than their actual levels of exercise,” according to the new paper’s authors.

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