The end of the school year is near. There is a light at the tunnel, but I’m also approaching what we refer to in the teaching world as “crunch time.” It’s time to wrap up all of the loose ends, prepare for exams, assign final projects, and grade all of those things. I always get to this point that I want to kick myself for making so many due dates in the last days. I know from experience that the next few weeks are going to be rough on me. I will be spending my entire day for the next nine days doing what it takes to walk out of my classroom by the final bell on May 25th never to return again (until August, that is.) Summer is in sight, but currently my view is blocked by all of the to-dos.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been on a bit of a health kick. The beautiful weather coupled with my passion for running have helped to fuel my workouts and eating habits. One thing that has challenged my desire to get in shape has been time. I prefer to run long distances and strength train a few times a week. Having a full time job, a family to care for, and a writing hobby has made it a little tricky to find time to do everything I want in a day. The 21st century is a faster paced lifestyle than ever before and although we are making huge progress as humanity we are oftentimes neglecting the importance of balancing our individual health.
This Sunday I sat down with my Sunday Basket and organized my week being sure to schedule my workouts into my calendar as well. They are important enough to me to warrant planning ahead. A big part of wanting to focus on my health stems from my want to be happy. If you’ve ever had a kick-butt workout you know what I mean. It may nearly kill you, but the endorphins released in the workout help to make you a happier person overall. But our happiness isn’t dependent on physical fitness. In order to live a happy and fulfilled life we have to also focus on the other two parts of our health.
I’m learning a lot about what it means to focus on my whole self when it comes to health. When it comes to health there are many facets. Health includes the mind, body, and soul. If one of those parts of your health is lacking it throws your life off balance. There is a constant struggle happening for your whole health.
It is important to keep your mind sharp and challenged. Sometimes that means reading a book, researching an interest, taking part in an intellectually stimulating conversation, or anything else that stretches you beyond what you already know and leads you to experience something new.
Your body is the part that most focus on when they think about health, because it is the easiest one to see or control. As a minimum you should spend thirty minutes a day doing something active be that running, walking, lifting, cycling, climbing, swimming, etc. We were built to have regular fitness in our lives.
Lastly, the most neglected part of your being is your soul. How often do you invest time and energy into your soul? For some, this is a more regular occurrence than others. If I haven’t taken time for myself to read something inspiring, pray, interact in a community of people with similar beliefs then I feel off balance in every other area of my life. In a busy lifestyle this is the first aspect to get neglected, but it is also one of the most important to happiness.
Living in the 21st century can be a challenge, but it also has its perks. Lately, I’ve found myself turning to some apps for help in this balancing act. Below are five apps that have helped me in my own struggles to maintain the health of the whole me.
Fitbit is one of my favorite apps. If you own a fitbit you know what I’m talking about. I love the daily challenges and the progress tracking the fitbit provides. Another feature I enjoy is being able to compete with friends via the app. Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to get out and moving and fitbit helps to provide that through its goal-centered rewards and community of other users.
Runkeeper goes beyond just tracking steps (like fitbit) and tracks my actual activity. Runkeeper is compatible with Fitbit. This is a recent download, but I’m really liking my introduction to its services. Some things that Runkeeper can do that Fitbit cannot are: track and save routes, provide personal records for activity, interval and split times, vocal prompts, if you are willing to pay a bit of cash they provide training programs specific to your goals. So far, I’ve basically used this app as an online running diary which allows me to track progress.
Sworkit is perfect for the workout enthusiast on the go. This app provides exercises for various regions of the body that require no equipment. To begin each workout you select the number of minutes you would like to workout and a target part of the body then it will go through several thirty-second exercises aimed at building strength in those areas with no weights or gym necessary. I’ve started using Sworkit after school in another teacher’s classroom before we go on runs. It kicks my butt every time and I love it.
She Reads Truth is one of my apps geared toward the health of my soul. I’ve used this app regularly for over a year. Using this app you have access to dozens of Bible Studies written by women and aimed at getting you into The Word on a daily basis. Most of the studies are free, but some cost a couple of bucks. It takes about ten minutes to complete a devotion on this site, but it is so worth the growth you will make in scripture knowledge and your outlook at as a woman.
Thrive Moms is a brand new app. Thrive Moms has been an online community for a few years, but they have only recently crossed over into the app store. Similar to She Reads Truth, this app provides short bible studies geared toward mothers of young children. Currently, I’m reading through a study that focuses on the stress of motherhood and how to rely on God through every challenge and not take yourself so seriously. The writers of this app really understand what it’s like to be a mother and all of the beauty, chaos, and mess attached to it. This app also provides information about local mother groups, access to prayer request submissions, and retreat material for girls’ nights.
I’m nowhere near achieving the perfect balance of my mind, body, and soul, but if we are all honest none of us really are. I hope these app resources help you feel a little more on top of it like I do. Words of wisdom: Love what you do and don’t be too hard on yourself!
Let me know if there are any other apps that you find to be particularly helpful in the building up of your mind, body, and soul.
Blessings in your pursuit of a wholesome you!
The Ameri Brit Mom