This post is a collaboration with O2, but all thoughts and experiences are my own.
We all spend a lot of time on our mobile phones and screen time gets a lot of bad press. I have an iPhone 12 and to be honest it has so many great features and apps that I actually use it a lot to improve my physical health and wellbeing so it's not all bad news. I'd like to share a few tips and apps with you so that you can get the most out of your iPhone 12, stop mindlessly scrolling and use it for something good!
I turned 40 in January and I promised myself that I would focus on my physical and mental health in the coming years. I am all to aware that I am getting older and my body is finding life a bit harder work and I really want to be a fit, mentally well person - for myself and for my children. I have been trying to introduce new healthy habits into my routine and many of these I use my phone for.
We love to go on family walks - they are so good for your mind, soul and body. We actually got really into finding new routes and places to see during lockdown and caught the bug! I use my phone to track our walks so I can see how many kilometres we have walked and track our route and number of steps using the app Strava (free plan). You can also get apps that you can use to download new walking routes and I often use Google maps if I am having trouble finding my way on a walk!
Again, I use Strava to track my runs. It is a great app as the free plan is really good and you can monitor your progress on there. It links into the Health app on the iPhone 12 too which is handy. I like that I can run the same route and tell whether I have improved in speed. I also use Nike Run club as motivation throughout my run and use my iPhone 12 to listen to this and music too as I am running. The free Couch to 5k app is brilliant if you are just getting into running - I used this and haven't looked back!
I practice yoga at home as much as I can but I also love to practice it outside in good weather, either in the park, garden or on the beach. I use my phone to stream free yoga workouts from YouTube and I love having the flexibility to take my phone and yoga mat anywhere to practice. You can track your yoga workouts on the fitness app too.
There are lots of great apps you can get to use to meditate - which is something that I am really trying to incorporate into my daily routine. I like the app Calm which has some great free meditations but there are also lots that you can stream from YouTube or subscribe to a meditation podcast and listen to that through your phone.
I literally couldn't do without my phone when it comes to healthy eating. Not only do I regularly use it to look up new recipes but I also use the app Chronometer (free) to track my nutritional intake. This is great, especially as a vegan as I can monitor that I am getting enough vitamins and nutrients into my diet. This also feeds into the Fitness app on the iPhone 12. If you are looking to lose weight there are some great apps for calorie counting (MyFitnessPal - free) and you can also get Weight Watchers and Slimming World apps (paid plans).
Learning calming breathing techniques is something that I am trying to do to combat stress and anxiety and to improve my mental health. There is a Breathe function on my Apple watch that feeds into my iPhone 12 which is very easy to incorporate into my day and I also really like the Wim Hof app (free).
To say that podcasts have significantly improved my wellbeing is an understatement. I have learnt so much for work, health and general wellbeing by listening to various podcasts which are available for free through the Podcast app on my phone. I really recommend the Feel Better, Live More podcast by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Delicious Ways To Feel Better by Deliciously Ella, Simple Farmhouse Life by Farmhouse on Boone, On Purpose by Jay Shetty, Maison Pur, and Give Me Strength by Alice Liveing. I will listen to podcasts through headphones when walking the dog or when driving in the car as well as when cleaning and tidying the house - great ways of multi-tasking!
Reading / Listening to Books
I regularly use the Apple Books, Kindle and Audible apps to read and listen to books. I find books really convenient to read on my iPhone 12 as I always have it with me so I can read when I'm waiting in the car at school pick up time or whenever I have a spare 5 minutes and have my phone handy. We listen to Audible books as a family when going on long drives together, it's a great way to entertain the children without resorting to actual screen time too.
One of the best features on my iPhone 12 is the Fitness app which monitors so many different things. It has three rings which you can strive to close each day - standing, activity and general movement. You can set a target for each one and aim to hit it each day. The targets will suggest updates either down or up depending upon the trends you are setting. You can also monitor your breathing and heart rate and also run an ECG and track your menstrual cycle.
Sleep tracking is one thing that I don't do very well but if you are having problems or issues sleeping it is a great tool that you can use your phone for. Track how heavily or lightly you sleep and how many hours sleep you are getting which is really useful. I also have the bedtime function set on mine so that my phone alerts me when it is time to wind down before bed.
I am terrible at drinking enough water and it is something that I am trying to get better at so I have started tracking my water consumption through an app on my phone. As it is easy to record when I drink a glass of water as I usually have my phone on me it is working quite well so far. You can also set your phone to remind you when to drink water if you are likely to forget.
So, as you can see there is so much more to the iPhone than just calling or sending messages. There is a whole wealth of things that you can use your phone for to improve your health and wellbeing and I would encourage you to do so. Technology has become so advanced - I couldn't imagine having all this within reach even 10 years ago - make the most of the advances in technology and use them to your advantage. As with anything, we have a choice of how to spend our time, next time you are mindlessly scrolling through Instagram why not use your phone to meditate for 10 minutes instead? You will feel better for it!
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