2017 was a great year for me, but not for my waistline. It’s the same old story. I made a resolution to exercise regularly. At my peak, I was training 3 times a week. Then the summer came along and it went down to 2 times a week, then once, then ahem… nothing at all.
I can’t make the excuse that I’m too busy to exercise. Even though I have a full schedule during the week and 3 children to manage on the weekends, there should still be time for 15-30 minutes of exercise at least 4 times a week.
The problem was, in 2017, I didn’t set any specific fitness goals. In previous years, I’ve set goals and I’ve achieved them. For 2018, I’m setting goals and I’m going all out to hit them. I’ve also enlisted some outside help in the form of apps, books, clothes and more. Here are 7 of them.
1 – Calm app
Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health and fitness, which is why I love Calm. It’s the #1 app for meditation and mindfulness. What I love about this app is its simplicity, usability and tracking functionality.
There’s the breathing in and out function, which gives you a 3-stage magical hum sound to guide your meditation. It helps you focus as you breathe in, hold and breathe out.
When you complete your session, a note is made in your calendar. Days you have meditated are coloured green. It highlights your total session numbers. You can also set reminders for more meditating.
The other feature I love on Calm is the different background sounds such as rain, fire and birds. They’re perfect if you don’t want to be distracted by music. If you are interested in reducing the stress and anxiety in your life, I’d certainly recommend this app.
2 – Babylon Health
What with the cold weather at the moment, my kids bringing home various germs from school, and my terrible commute, I’m a prime candidate to be struck down by something.
Whenever I need it, Babylon Health gives me the ability to access a GP within a matter of hours. I can even get a prescription. I’ve got the whole family signed up now.
This is going to be an important tool in my health arsenal for 2018.
3 – MapMyRun
I admit it. This app has sat on my phone for a long time without being called into action. This year is going to be different. I’ve signed up for 3 long competitive runs. They’re booked, paid-for and locked in the diary. To have any chance at all, I need to be on the road twice a week. It’s finally time to fire up MapMyRun.
MapMyRun helps me map my route, log my running activity, log my food intake and much more. MapMyRun was purchased by Under Armour and you can see the improvements that have been made. It’s a hugely smart acquisition, giving them access to a community of runners all over the world.
4 – Joe Wicks cookbook
I’ve got 11 cookbooks in my kitchen, but it’s only the Joe Wicks one getting used at the moment. Specifically, the soup book.
Joe’s soups are easy to make and they taste great. It fills your stomach and when hunger strikes, there’s nothing better. It also keeps really well, so you can make up a big batch and eat it whenever you like.
Joe Wicks is an overnight sensation. He’s on my #innercircle100 list for 2018, so I hope to be meeting him soon.
5 – Nick Mitchell – The Ultimate Body Transformation Plan
The last time I was in seriously good shape was probably in 2013 (yes, I know it was ages ago), and a large part of it was down to following the plan in Nick Mitchell’s book. I also follow his blog, which I love because of its no-nonsense approach. I also love that Nick’s gyms, programmes and trainers guarantee results if you fully commit following Nick’s instructions.
The Kindle version of the book is only £1.99. What have you got to lose?
6 – GymShark
While I’m sweating my way around London’s streets, I want to look my best. That’s where GymShark comes in. Their sportswear is awesome, plus I love the story behind it.
GymShark was set up in 2012 by teenager Ben Francis and a group of his school friends. They grew from a screen-printing operation in a garage, to one of the most recognisable brands in fitness. Last year they were on the Sunday Times Fast Track list.
The fact that they’re British, and Ben is working hard to build an empire, is so inspiring. I’m super impressed by the team behind the brand. That’s why Ben Francis is another name on my #innercircle100 list in 2018.
7 – 3 events in the diary
I mentioned this in section 3. 3 events, all booked, paid-for and locked in the diary. However, if I tell you about them, then there really is no backing out. Right?
18th March – 10K run
20th May – Royal Windsor Half Marathon
20th October – Duathlon
How about you?
There you have it. 7 tools I’m using to improve my health and fitness in 2018. Actually, I’m only scratching the service. There may have to be a second part of this list.
Until then, why don’t you tell me your fitness goals for 2018, and what tools you’re using to keep on track? Leave me a comment below.