Lying on the couch bundled in a blanket, sipping on red wine and chomping on chocolate are all part and parcel of enjoying winter, and for good reason: in chillier months, we simply want to hibernate more.
This means that we’re generally less inclined to get out there and exercise – and we also tend to overindulge.
Combine this with the fact that winter is also the time when we are more prone to getting sick, and it’s easy to see how our health can take a knock at this time of year.
But never fear, because GLAMOUR has rounded up some handy apps that will keep you healthy this winter:
Even just opening up the app gives you a sense of serenity as it tells you to “take a big breath” before displaying the menu. There are many meditation apps around, but Calm’s distinguishing feature is its Sleep section, with a host of sleep tools designed to get you enjoying the longest, best sleep of your life. Our favourites are the Sleep Stories, narrated by melodious voices like Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey, describing lavender fields in Provence (and all manner of other soothing scenarios) that will get you enjoying some shut eye in no time at all. There are also categories for Calm Kids, music and soothing soundscapes, and an extensive meditation section.
2. Sweat Deck
We all know that HIIT is the best way to keep toned, but doing the same old routines time and again can get boring. Enter Sweat Deck: described as the “leading innovator in strength and conditioning workout cards”. Cards you say? Yes, the idea is that your workout uses a pack of cards as a device: you shuffle, select a card randomly (maybe the first one says 10 Burpees) and then sweat! You can adjust your workout to suit your fitness level, and then compete against yourself (or friends) by trying to better your times or the number of exercises in any given session. We know it’s winter, so with Sweat Deck you don’t even need to leave the house: just dust off your equipment and get started!
Named after the Swedish word for “strive”, Strava is still one of the most popular fitness apps around. At its simplest, Strava records your workouts (such as running, swimming or cycling) by syncing your activity directly with your GPS device. Your workout is published on your feed which can then be seen by everyone you’re friends with on the app. While some people don’t like the idea of a “public” workout where others can see how far and fast you’ve run or cycled on a particular day, others like it because they feel more accountable to be active, and it’s a good way to keep track of your fitness goals over time. There’s also a huge community aspect to the app – many sports clubs have “Club” pages where you can interact with other members, or you can join virtual clubs and challenges, such as committing to running one 10km race each month.
You know how nutritionists are always telling you to keep a food diary? Well, of course there’s an app for that! MyFitnessPal is more than that though: it lets you search over 11 million foods in its database to learn more about nutritional information and ideal portion size, so you can understand why your diet may be inhibiting some of your health goals. You can also save recipes, get workout tips and connect with others in its very active community. Along with this great app, you also want to avoid colds and flu in winter and one of the best ways to do this is to get the flu vaccine. Remember to check with your medical aid if they cover the flu vac (a bonus for Fedhealth members who get one free flu vac per year, paid out from Risk and not their day-to-day benefits.)
5. Down Dog
Want to do some yoga but don’t feel like leaving your cosy home? Down Dog is for you. Get out your mat, close that door, and open up the app. The best part is that unlike following that same yoga video on Youtube, you’ll get to experience a brand-new practice each time. Pick the voice you want, choose what level you are, and even decide to focus on a particular aspect like standing balances or hip openers. Down Dog even creates a unique playlist for each workout that rises and falls in time with your movements and breath work.