As the health editor for Chatelaine.com, I come across new health advice, books, and products every day. But applying all that information to my day-to-day life isn’t always easy and sometimes I need a healthy kick in the behind as much as the next person. I turn 30 on January 1, 2012, and I’m using that landmark birthday as motivation to get moving on some life goals and push myself to try new things. As such, I’ve been working on a list of 101 things I want to accomplish over 1001 days, starting at the beginning of the new year. A few of those goals are related to my desire to bring some more relaxation into my day-to-day life — and as such, they’ve had an effect on my wish list for the holiday season.
Here’s a few of the health-focused items I’d love to find under my tree this year:
I love gadgets, and I love stats, so this is at the top of my list. Up is a wristband that works with an iPhone app to monitor several indicators that can affect your personal health: steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, sleep quality, food eaten, and active versus inactive time. I really want to improve my sleep quality, and I think it’d be helpful to have more info on how much restful sleep I’m really getting each night.
2. Spoonk mat
One of my goals for the new year is to develop a meditation practice; I think it’d help me reduce stress (and maybe sleep better!) if I took out five or ten minutes each day to just be still. Acupressure mats like Spoonk are based on principles of shiatsu massage, stimulating reflex points in your body that can help you relax.
3. Ugi ball
I don’t have a lot of room in my apartment for fitness equipment, but I also don’t live near a gym so I like to be able to exercise at home. The Ugi ball is an all-in-one fitness gadget that doesn’t take up a ton of space and gives you a variety of workout options, including cardio, strength training, and balance exercises. Chatelaine‘s Alanna Glassman reviewed the Ugi ball earlier this year.
I don’t do all of my workouts at home — there’s something to be said for a class environment as a motivator. Unfortunately, my preferred yoga studio closed this year, so I’m going to need to find a new home for my practice. A Passport to Prana card lets you try a class at dozens of studios in your city, making it a lot less expensive to decide where you’d like to lay your yoga mat.
I want to learn some new fitness-related skills, and snowshoeing is on the list. My father snowshoed when I was a kid — I somehow convinced him to demonstrate this skill to me entire Brownie troop so we could earn our snowshoeing badge, but I haven’t strapped on a pair since. But snowshoes are small so they’re easy to store and bring on transit, making them a good option for city dwellers like me. I’m looking forward to heading to a nice park and spending a couple hours outside burning calories and enjoying the winter scenery.