As a self-confessed over-achiever, one life hack that suits my personality dangerously well is gamifying health, wellness and fitness. That’s right, if I don’t get points for it, then I don’t want to do it. Kidding… kinda. In all seriousness, I’m not the only one who has found the gamification of health & wellness to be a true game changer. If you’re someone who likes using data to track and better your wellbeing, I’m with you. Tracking my behaviors and habits, and using that data to improve my health and wellness just feels good. Here is a list of some of my favorite health and fitness apps & tools that gamify wellness for our data-loving 30-something hearts.
Apple Watch for Activity Tracking
Apple Watch users use the Activity app to track how much they move, exercise and stand every day. The Move ring shows how many active calories you’ve burned, the Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, and the Stand ring shows how many hours in which you’ve stood or moved for at least a minute. My personal favorite feature, however, is the step counter. I have a daily goal of getting 10k steps in, and I think most step-counting lovers would agree that it takes a lot more movement than you may think to meet that goal every day!
Daily Dozen for Nutrition Tracking
Dr. Gregor’s Daily Dozen app leaves calorie and macro counting at the door, and instead – gamifies eating a well balanced diet by suggesting daily servings of all the important food groups. “It has completely transformed how I eat,” a friend told me as she recommended it. “It’s added a foundation of fruits and vegetables to my day. When I go out to eat, I’ll change my order to opt for a side salad, just so I can get all of my greens and check that off my list in the app.” It also can be set to remind you to exercise and take your vitamins – an efficient and encouraging wellness checklist, all in one.
InsightTimer for Meditation
Findings on the health benefits associated with a daily meditation practice are astounding, and yet, it can still be one of the most difficult practices to incorporate into our day. Enter Insight Timer, a free meditation app that gives us the opportunity to “get centered” through group events and guided meditations from psychologists, spiritual teachers, and even celebrities. And the gamification component? Nothing feels quite as good as being reminded that you have a 30 day streak of meditation going.
Streaks for Habit Tracking
The Streaks app refers to themselves as “The to-do list that helps you form good habits.” Sign. Me. Up. Whether it’s forming a habit around flossing your teeth daily or making sure you dog gets a walk in, the app rewards you for every day you complete a task by extending your streak. And us data lovers love a good streak – we want healthy habits & completed checklists, right? This one is highly recommended for anyone who leans on a to-do list to get things done!
SleepCycle for Sleep Tracking
I’ve been using SleepCycle for about 5 years now, and it still amazes me that I can look at that much data around when I go to sleep and when I wake up. In addition to using it for sleep tracking, I also love their alarm feature. Instead of setting it to wake me up at a specific time, I choose a 30 minute window, it alarms me with beautiful and peaceful chimes when I’m in the lightest phase of sleep within that window. This means that I’ve never been aggressively jolted out of my sleep, and I always wake up feeling well-rested and ready to seize the day.
Our Challenge to You
We’ve obviously given you a lot to think about above, so we challenge you to pick one area you want to focus on, and gamify it (just for fun!) There’s a lot to learn about how much we move, or sleep, or eat – and knowledge is power. Get out there and move!