At the start of each year, North Americans have the best intentions to get active and healthier, but few turn their goals into a consistent and prolonged lifestyle change.

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 64 per cent of people continue their New Year’s workouts into February. Worse still, recent research has found that sitting too long during the day leads to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, despite regular exercise.

What could be helpful to ‘Would-be-goal-chasers‘ is a way to tangibly measure their physical output during daily activities and find ways to enhance that output. Fitness wearables do just that, and people are starting to take notice. (and if you're wondering if wearable technologies is just a ‘fad', the industry in itself is forecasted to hit $19 billion in 2018

A recent survey found that 77 per cent of consumers want a wearable to exercise smarter, and 67 want one to help eat better. In fact, 20 per cent of Canadians intend to buy a wearable this year alone and 18 per cent already have one!

3 Questions to ask yourself before you buy a health and fitness tracking device

3 Questions to ask yourself before you buy a heath and fitness tracking device

  1. Can you use it? – this is all about ease of use and learning how to add the device into your lifestyle
  2. Will it work for you? – based on your lifestyle goals, will the device get your closer or further away from realizing them.
  3. Is it worth it? – do the benefits outweigh the cost… (in my opinion, absolutely, but the choice is up to you)

These questions may seem obvious, but one big problem is one-third of consumers stop using their wearable “accounta-buddies” within six months. To keep the interest and internal motivation high, there's a ton of great apps to help.

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In order to maximize the use of this new technology we need to understand how to use it to its full potential. This is where apps can help!

Apps you say? Heck yeah… in fact a Manhattan Research survey recently noted that more than one-third of physicians have recommended the use of mobile health apps to their patients.

To help you with both setting and ACHIEVING big goals this year, here's a few of my favorite apps…

6 of the Top Health, Fitness and Accountability Apps to Help You Crush Your Goals

#1. Microsoft Health App with the Microsoft Band

Microsoft Health helps you live healthier by giving you doable insights into how your physical activity benefits your overall health. View your data and insights about your step counts, workouts, and even sleep quality in a mobile app* and a web dashboard. Easy-to-understand graphs chart data that are important to help you understand your current, and changing, fitness levels. (shop for a band here)

#2. FitBit bands with FitBit app

The FitBit family of fitness products help you stay motivated and improve your health by tracking your activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep.

fitbit fitness trackersTrack All-Day Activity. See stats like steps, floors climbed, active minutes, calories burned and more when you use the app with a Fitbit tracker.

Can be used in conjunction with the following:

  • MyFitnessPal: MyFitnessPal is a free smart phone app and website that tracks diet and exercise to find optimal nutrients and caloric intake for the users' goals.
  • MapMyFitness: MapMyFitness uses built-in GPS technology to give runners, cyclists and walkers the ability to map, record and track their workouts. In addition, users have access to a searchable database of local routes, online training tools, event listings and more. Users can also Import workouts from over 400 compatible devices, including Jawbone, Garmin, Polar and Fitbit. Get credit for all the calories you burn by linking your MyFitnessPal account with MapMyFitness. Once connected, you'll be able to view your workout stats, calorie burn and nutrition data within the same dashboard.
  • MapMyRun: MapMyRun uses built in GPS technology to offer runners, cyclists and walkers the ability to map, record and track their workouts. Find popular running routes near you with a searchable database of over 70 million local routes. View detailed performance charts and improve with online training tools. Users can also Import workouts from over 400 compatible devices, including Garmin, Polar, Jawbone and Fitbit. Link your MyFitnessPal account with MapMyFitness to view your workout stats, calorie burn and nutrition data within the same dashboard.

#3. Coach.me

Coach.me specializes in motivation and accountability – who wouldn't benefit from a little more of that? You can start with world-class goal and habit tracking functionality, when implemented will certainly change your life. The app is focused on helping you achieve mastery and from day one they show you your progress, celebrate your milestones, and answer your questions.

Coach.me app

If you get stuck in your goals, get motivated by the online community or you can have the option to hire one of their world-class coaches.

#4. Calm app

Relax with Calm, a simple mindfulness meditation app featured in the New York Times and LifeHacker, that will bring more clarity, joy, and peace of mind into your life, at work or at home.

CALM app scenes... Photo credit: La Vida Bonita by Mikaela Duhs.

CALM app scenes… Photo credit: La Vida Bonita by Mikaela Duhs.

Take Note:

All the apps, technologies, and cool gadgets can't guarantee you results.

A healthy, happier lifestyle always starts with a personal choice. Either you choose to move toward realizing the life you want, or you don't. That's it. Fortunately there's some great communities to plug into along the way to help you with navigating a world of ‘options', ensuring you find the tribe that resonates with you.

If you are looking for a great tribe of like-minded, positive people engaged in leading healthy, happier lives, then join the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto today.

Remember, enjoy the journey!

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I'm part of #TeamTELUSI'm honored to be a part of #TeamTELUS. Community, both on and offline, is a big part of who I am. I love connecting with like-minded people of all backgrounds. Of course, I’m only one person and between my family, businesses and personal commitments, there’s only so much time in the day. Technological advances, social networks and cloud-based mobility tools have allowed me to leverage my time more effectively, allowing me to engage with people anywhere and everywhere, even on the busiest of days. Even when on my own, I’m never alone. I'm excited to share Telus' coolest innovations, tools and technologies with my readers…

TELUS cares about Canadians’ health and believes in the power that technology has to help Canadians reach their health goals. They have their pulse on the wearable market and is focused on delivering the most sought-after fitness and health wearables on the market to suit our customers’ diverse needs.

Whether you’re looking for a simple all-in-one solution for tracking daily activity like the Fitbit Charge, working on their golf game with the ZEPP Golf device, or trying to find something both stylish and functional such as the Moto360 smart watch, they have curated the most sought-after accessories to suit your needs.

TELUS’ unique Learning Centres offer and established a team of Learning Centre Experts that are trained to provide expert, 1:1 counsel on wearable health technology to customers, so they can maximize the investment in their mobile health and fitness devices

TELUS Learning Centre Experts can guide customers from the start, helping them select the right health and fitness wearable for their needs and teaching them how it connects with their smartphone. Most importantly, they’ll help customers understand how to make use of the data their new accessory tracks so that they can get the most out of it and keep it from collecting dust

Technology changes fast – that’s why TELUS Learning Centre Experts also receive ongoing training to ensure they are always up-to-date on the latest technology that’s available, and how it compares to existing technology.

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