Aprivé Wellness Journal

The one thing you need to help pull you out of a health rut

The answer is digital

We all go through stages of flux with our health. You may have trained for a 10km run, and now you’re having a rest from running, but sometimes these fluctuations become ruts. Whether it’s your diet, your activity levels or your mental well being, the bridge between meaningful digital wellness tools and well being levels has been well and truly built.

Disclaimer: I’m not working for any of the apps of businesses mentioned. I just love the power of digital health tools!

What is digital wellness?

Digital wellness is a broad term that covers a whole range of digital devices, tools. monitoring systems and even government-led wellness initiatives. Examples are:

  • Digital activity trackers (like monitoring how many steps you take in a day)

  • Bio-sensing wearable devices (such as heart monitors and Fitbits)

  • Digital health records (your medical history all kept in one space)

  • Teleconferencing with health professionals instead of face-to-face appointments

While some of these digital tools sound like something out of the Jetsons, it’s incredible how popular they have become.

what is digital wellness

How do digital wellness tools get you out of your rut?

By holding you accountable. That’s right! When you have push notifications urging you to get 10 more minutes of exercise everyday, or get out of your chair every 20 minutes at work, the irritation will drive you to better health! Plus, you can see a clear graphs of your progress showing you the real truth.

The combination of health apps I suggest for anyone stuck in a health rut:

  • One activity tracker (steps and heart rate)

  • One nutrition recording app. My Fitness Pal is a good option.

  • One meditation app (Breathe or Calm are great)

  • and one symptom recording all if you’re in the midst of injury rehabilitation, or any treatment plan, including for mental health.

Activity trackers are popular and they work

Activity trackers from the stepping tracker on your iPhone to Fitbits on your wrist all work to track your movement. If you have a more complex tracking device, you may even be able to measure your heart rate, distance traveled and top speed.

Aussies are loving wearable technology, with one study finding those using wearable tech increased from 19 to 27% between 2016 and 2018.

Setting SMART Goals is the key to getting out of a health rut - digital wellness can help

Goal setting is great, but it can by empty if your goal isn’t measurable. Thanks to digital wellness devices, you can track your wellness data to monitor your progress..

A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

So! For example, your goal might be to walk 20 minutes everyday. But that’s not enough. It’s not concrete enough and you’re likely to favour an excuse instead of your seemingly boring walk.

It needs to have parametres:

Specific: Walk 20 minutes per day from home to work (instead of catching the train) But what about weekends? Ok, change it to 20 minutes per day, at any time of day.

Measurable: Track the time you spend walking daily thanks to your wearable device

Achievable: 20 minutes is a very manageable investment in your time

Realistic: Everyday? What about when it rains? What if you feel sick one day? Let’s change it to 6 days per week.

Timely: So by summer I can walk along the beach with my friends without getting out of breath

NEW SMART GOAL: I’m going to walk 20 minutes per day, 6 days per week.

And you digital wellness device is going to help you get there!

how to get out of a health rut

Digital wellness tools help you communicate better with your health professionals = help you get out of your rut

As a Physiotherapist, I have about 5 minutes to check in with a repeat patient and see how they are progressing since they’re last appointment. The rest of the time is spent on treatment, and education.

If I have a patient I’m treating for chronic, cervicogenic (from the neck) headache, I need to know how often many headaches they had since I last saw them, how long they lasted, what medications they took and how often, if it stopped them from their daily activities, and if they feel better or worse than when they last saw me. That’s a lot of information for a patient to remember!

I had one patient who wrote a huge A3 spreadsheet of all this information over a month. A practitioner’s dream! But most people won’t do that. They’ll rely on their memory.

Instead of asking a patient to recall all this information, we can use digital wellness tools to help.

Tools like Apple Health help a patient monitor their medication dosages, and symptoms. The patient can whip out their phone and show me how often they needed pain killers, and how much they took.

The same goes for their activity. If they’ve had two episodes of headaches since I treated them last, their activity tracker will show huge declines on those days, giving me accurate information of their well being since I last saw them. Thanks to digital wellness tools, I’m able to see this information quickly and easily within a few minutes, and record it in my notes. This takes the pressure off the patient from having to remember all the details.

For this patient suffering chronic headaches, seeing a clear pattern of improvement helps them feel a sense of relief. Plus! Having access to all of this health data on their own phone is hugely empowering.

Many digital wellness tool interact with each other

Apple health is one tool that’s created to interact with a number of other third-party tools to help you monitor everything from your sleep to your health. This is really exciting for those tech-savvy people out there, but if you’re very new to the wellness tool world, stick to just a few.

how digital health apps can help you

Digital wellness empowers you to start fresh

If you’re stuck in a health rut, now is the time to start again. Forget the 10 Mars bars you ate yesterday, or the empty graphs in your Fitbit app. Today is the day!

  1. Set a SMART goal for your wellness. Only one! And it must be positive eg. A distance to walk vs. ‘not going to eat candy’

  2. Integrate the digital wellness tools you need

  3. Track your progress every 3 days. If you miss a day, no worries! You’ve allowed for that in the ‘realistic’ part of your SMART goal setting

Ruts don’t last forever, even though we can get stuck in them for months and even years. There’s always time to turn things around.

Phones are an integral part of our daily lives, so use yours to help pull yourself out of your health rut, and help you move forward towards your goals.

If you’re stuck in a health rut and don’t know where to start. Send me an email, and I can recommend that important first step.

caitlin reid wellness consultant physiotherapist

Best Eco-friendly products of 2018

To me, wellness doesn’t mean just ‘living well’ for yourself, but enabling others to ‘live well’ too, and that applies to future generations.

In the last few weeks, a report about climate change was released by the IPCC that told us we have 12 years to make a difference and not let the world become warmer than an additional 1.5 degrees, or the world’s future isn’t very bright.

But! The best news is there are actionable things you can do to help prevent a climate increase of more than 1.5 degrees, and it’s thanks to some of the products below.

These ingenious inventions require a change in mindshift: Yes you DO need to change your habits to help you and your children live well.

These products Changing your habits easy!

I’m mentioning these brands by choice because I truly believe change is needed, and the women behind these brands are the change makers we all need to look up to. Get inspired, take a look!

  1. Bio-friendly Coffee pods: Nature’s Pod Capsules

    Patricia founded Nature’s pod capsules after an ‘enough’s enough’ moment

    “I saw my own personal Nespresso Pod Machine at home was constantly filling my bin with disposable single use pods and contributing to an excessive amount of landfill.

    Finding a solution like our reusable and recyclable coffee capsules was a wonderful realisation to us that we could enjoy coffee in a much more sustainable way.”

coffee pods best australia

2. Reusable Coffee Cups (because coffee cups are a HUGE contributor to land fill) - Eco Llama

Kelly started Eco Llama after she learned over 1 billion cups go into landfill in Australia each year!

“The parts of standard disposable coffee cups we can see are recyclable ( outer paper layer) but it's the bits we can't see so well that cause the problem.”

“The polyethylene (plastic) film inside the cups are used for insulation and waterproofing and they can't be broken down. Recycling loads can often become contaminated if these cups are part of a whole pile of recycling and everything goes straight to landfill.”

dont buy disposable coffee cups

If you think using a reusable coffee cup is too tricky, try Kelly’s tips:

  1. Purchase a cup that you are proud to show off. A cup that appeals to you in look and feel is most likely to get the most use

  2. Have a couple of cups so you have a back up just in case you happen to forget one. Keep one in your handbag/car

    (We are offering a buy one, get second one half price promo at the moment. Enter code HALFPRICE at checkout on our page ecollama.com.au )

  3. Put your cup next to your handbag/keys at night to remind you to take it in the morning

  4. Frequent cafes on the responsiblecafes.org website for your morning coffee. These cafes offer a discount off your coffee purchase when you bring your own cup. There are over 400 cafes available around Australia and this list is constantly growing. Saving money and saving the environment = win win

3.Eco-friendly cleaning services that don’t pollute, and have re-usable bottles - Neatly.com.au

You don’t have to clean your own home to keep harsh chemicals away from your skin, your lungs, and the waterways that all our sinks flow into.

Emma started Neatly because she knew it wasn’t just the cleaning products that needed to change, but they way they’re packaged.

Emma’s key tip to decrease waste:

“Buy in bulk! Many people don't realise that simple, safe and effective cleaning products are available to buy in bulk.”

“Things like castile soap and vinegar are not harmful, are powerful multi-purpose cleaners and can be picked up for a song at your local bulk store. No packaging! Yay. I also love to add essential oils to the products I use for additional cleaning and mood enhancing properties.”

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4. Swimwear made from recycled materials - Seamone Swimwear

Did you know over 10% of all landfill is clothing, and 24% of Aussies throw away a piece of clothing after just one wear?

Simone knew there had to be a solution, so she created Seamone Swimwear to combat textile waste and give stylish consumers a better alternative.

“Our swimwear is made from recycled materials such as discarded fishing nets, and sustainability is our key desire. Seamone’s elegant and timeless pieces are not designed to last a season, but a lifetime.”

Eco friendly swimwear

Simone’s top tip to help keep us below that 1.5 degree increase:

“Say no to plastic... it’s a simple start.”

“Invest in metal straws, keep cups, glass water bottles... we can all be more conscious about the way we consume.”

“Look closely at fabric contents and even the way items are packaged. For example: The bags our products arrive in are made from 100% biodegradable cassava plant starch. These non-plastic bags are naturally compostable, safe to consume for land and marine animals, and they will dissolve in water.”

“It’s all the little things that add up to make a bigger difference.”

5. Reusable drink bottles with a lifetime guarantee - Rolla Bottle

Plastic drink bottles are still the most commonly occurring plastic you’ll find on the windward side of any island. Around 370 MILLION plastic bottles end up in landfill in Australia each year. If you recycle - that’s not enough. The plastic is still made.

Katy created Rolla Bottle; silicon water bottle that roll into a little ball for your convenience. Plus, they have a life long guarantee which means you don’t need to chuck them out at all. She created this product in response to people’s complaints that carrying a reusable bottle was ‘bulky’ and ‘inconvenient.’

best environmentally friendly water bottle

Katy’s top tip on how you can limit your environmental impact:

“The one thing I think is REALLY important is always carry a reusable bottle on you and don’t buy bottled water! “

“It is environmental madness to spend the money and invest all the resources and create all the emissions it takes to bottle water and get it to the stores - and then have the plastic aftermath to deal with "forever"- when we have such great and readily available fresh drinking water in Australia. (And in most developed countries)”


6. Stylish clothing made from recycled fabrics - All in a curated online marketplace - We-Love

Ashly created eco and ethical online clothing store We-Love because she wanted to support the labels that were doing the right thing: “Giving fair wages, championing transparency and encouraging customers to question their purchases.”

@mistertimbuktu

Ashly’s top tip for decreasing your environmental impact:

“Buy better quality clothing! It lasts longer and likely works out cheaper than replacing it every year. Plus it means less old or ruined clothing ending up in landfill. “

“Honestly, I have so many ‘old’ clothes in my wardrobe only they’re not old! I wear them all the time and I look after them so they still look as good as the day I bought them, with the exception of linen, that actually gets better with age!”

7. Beeswax wrap instead of gladwrap- Mind your own Beeswax

Plastic wrap is so old-school, and such a huge contributor to waste. This environmentally friendly alternative is a super clever way to keep your goodies fresh in the fridge, in kids’ lunchboxes, or in your desk at work ready for your muffin break.

Beeswax.jpg

SO! There you go guys - a few incredible suggestions for how you can decrease your environmental impact, and some great tips from the founders of these brands.

What eco-friendly brands have you discovered to try to keep us below that 1.5 degree increase?