Health is wealth.
I don’t remember a time in my life when health and wellbeing wasn’t at the front of my mind. I think having Cancer as a kid gave me a huge appreciation for my health and I’ve always loved challenging myself to see what I can physically achieve.
I’ve explored so many different ways in which I can move my body, ways I can adapt to exercising and lately I’ve been really tuning in to how my body is feeling mentally as well as physically. We are all aware of the importance of moving our bodies but are we as aware that our mental and emotional wellbeing is just as important?
I’m beginning to learn that slowing down and taking time for myself is just as important as sweating it out. It’s about finding that right balance that works for you. For me, I’d like to train 3 times a day, I love the feeling I get from physically exercising my body but that’s obviously not realistic or good for me. My body also gets stressed easily through constantly having to adapt so slow movements are just as important for me (which trust me is a tough battle when all i want to do is sweat it out) but I’m noticing changes in my mental wellbeing through learning how to slow down and when to pick it up.
One way I’m tracking this is through the Samsung Health App. I’m going to be honest, I have had a Samsung phone for an entire year (I currently have the Samsung S9+) before I learnt about the health app. I knew it was there but I had assumed that it just counted my steps like other apps, that was until I opened it one day and my mind was blown.
Because I’m conscious of my own wellbeing and how I can be the best me, I’ve started to keep a diary of roughly what I eat, what I do, what I drink etc and doing it every day so that I can try to find trends and patterns that can help me figure out what types of activity and practices make me the best version of myself. Life for me is BUSY and the daily challenges of having one leg is concern enough physically, so understanding on average what I can do to feel at my best is so important to me. We must look after number one first & that’s ourselves.
The app has helped diarise how my body is feeling, and while I don’t want to fully rely on the app, things like the sleep feature give me insight that I couldn’t have without the added technology. I wear my Samsung Galaxy Watch at night which helps track my sleep. In the morning, alongside my phone’s daily briefing, it rates what my sleep was like the night before. It’ll say something like “your sleep was 92% effective” and then it shows you how restless you were. So in the days where I wake up feeling like I’ve had no sleep, even though I’ve had a good 8 hours, I can see that it’s because I only properly slept for 60% of it. By diarising this over a long period of time, I’m hoping I can start seeing patterns like maybe I had too much caffeine that day or had exercised in a way that stressed my body – which I could then combat by adding more magnesium into my diet etc. I was explaining this to my sister the other day and she literally said “wow, I need this in my life”, I’m not even joking!!
Now I will point out that I’m not a professional, I haven’t studied nutrition or naturopathy but I believe that if we all tune into our bodies a bit more we will be in a better place to figure out what really works for us and in turn, have the chance to be the best version of us.
Another HUGE one for me is stress. I’m only just learning how much it affects me day to day. The Samsung Health App has a monitor where you can track your stress levels. I like to use it a few times a day so I can begin to get an understanding on what kind of environments I feel more stressed in. For example, (and this is a true story), I recently gave a TED Talk. Before I went on stage I measured my stress levels, I was in the red zone (i.e. extremely high) so I did the suggested 1 minute breathing exercise and then gave my talk. 2 minutes after I stepped off stage I sat down (in disbelief that it was over) and measured my stress levels thinking they’d still be high but I couldn’t believe it when the came back in the green zone. They were the lowest they’d ever been. The combination of the breathing work I’d done and the relief that I’d given my talk put my body in a relaxed state! I now do the stress test post training with the breathing exercises while stretching to help lower the body stress levels!
There are so many features that blow my mind but those are definitely my favourites, as well as the fact that if I’m sitting still for too long my Galaxy Watch will pop up with an alert reminding me to move my body and gives me an exercise to do which is reasonably hilarious when you’re in a meeting and it’s telling you to do 5 squats – but it works. So I will sneak away to the bathroom, do 5 squats and return to my meeting. Sure, you probably won’t get the world’s strongest glutes from those 5 squats but I found simply just getting up from my seat helped me refocus my mind so I could continue working.
I believe it’s so important for us to be in tune with our bodies, to track how we are feeling and to know what’s right for us as individuals. The best thing we can do is strive to be the best version of ourselves. We don’t need to fit into a mould of what everyone else is doing, we just need to find what works for us and live our lives that way. Discovering this Samsung app that works on both my Samsung S9+ phone and Samsung Galaxy Watch has helped me so much and I can’t wait to keep finding the patterns that are helping me make me the best me.