10 Useful Apps For The Whole Family

Top 10 Apps

Whether you love technology or loathe it, the fact of the matter is, it’s here to stay. We have everything at our fingertips and I honestly believe that we are starting to see a shift in people who have traditionally lived sedentary lives. With all the health and fitness apps on the market, it’s a lot more motivating for families to keep healthy and active.

Below are my Top 10 Apps that are all available through the Apple App Store(This is not a sponsored post for Apple by the way).

Health 

1. Chemical Maze

What it is: Ever wondered what those names you can’t pronounce are on the back of foods, moisturisers or cleansers? This is a particularly great app if you or your family members have food allergies or are wanting to go down the au natural path. A face code shows just how user-friendly each additive/ingredient is from safe through to potentially hazardous to your health.

Why it’s ace: A simple and easy way to identify what sort of nasties are in our foods and cosmetics. At the touch of a button, you can quickly find out with chemical maze. Simply type in the ingredient and you’ll be shockingly surprised with what you are putting into your body.

2. Smiling Minds

What it is: It’s meditation made easy.  A simple tool that helps put a smile on your mind whenever you think you may need it.

Developed by a team of psychologists with expertise in youth and adolescent therapy, Mindfulness Meditation and web-based wellness programs.

Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit initiative that provides six free Mindfulness Meditation Programs including:
– Bite Size
– 7-11 Years
– 12-15 Years
– 16-22 Years
– Adults

Why it’s ace: We live in a world where our stress levels can be high on a regular basis. This app can be used to help create happier, healthier and more compassionate people, from youngsters through to adults. It teaches you to just “breathe”.

Fitness

3. PT in my Pocket by The HIIT Mum

What it is: Literally, a PT in your pocket! Colette from The HIIT mum has absolutely got it right when she launched this little gem late last year. With a number of high intensity workouts that burn lots of calories in a short space of time, you’ll have your daily workout done and dusted in no time. Your welcome. :)

Why it’s ace: There are 7 awesome workouts to choose from but be warned, be prepared to work your butt off! Colette pushes you along every step of the way. Your own virtual PT, cool hey?

4. Strava

What it is: For the running and cycling enthusiasts, this is the app for you. Record your athletic activity, upload it then compare your data with your yourself, your mates and the pros.

Why it’s ace: Connect with other athletes all over the world and give them kudos for a job well done. Nothing more rewarding than receiving acknowledgement from your others after a run or ride.

5. Map My Walk/Run

What it is: A fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities. Record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to MapMyWalk where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history.

Why it’s ace: Create your route, set your goals, pump up the tunes. This user-friendly app has it all. A great tool to keep you on track whilst connecting with other like minded people.

6. Blogilates

What it is: Cassy Ho has combined pilates and pop to bring you the most awesome of workouts that can be done in the privacy of your own home.

Why it’s ace: Each month, 1 Secret Workout Video is released for you to download and keep on your phone. All the planning has been done for you. You can also view some awesome clean eating recipes via the app.

Family 

7. MenuPlanner – Planning With Kids

What it is: I just love Nicole Avery. Aka the Planning Queen. This fabulous app allows you to quickly and easily create weekly menu plans for the whole family, choosing as many meals per day as you would like to plan for.

  • Generate the shopping list for all the meals selected.
  • Modify the shopping list to check off items you already have at home.
  • Email the shopping list to yourself and/or others.

Each recipe lists the ingredients required, easy to follow instructions and photos.

Why it’s ace: If you’ve been following Nicole like I have for a while, you’ll know that she could be categorised as one of the most organised women on the planet. For busy families, this app will help you plan healthy, nutritious meals the whole family will love!

8.  I Learn – Bizzibrains

What it is: I only discovered this app last weekend and it has already become a favourite in our house. Targetted at kinder and school children, it allows your kids to get the best start to their learning.

Kids love writing their names, getting ready to leave on time, learning maths, joining in in the playground, identifying and talking about emotions, playing I spy and so much more. I learn will have your child ready to make the most of school, kinder or where ever he goes to learn in no time at all.

Why it’s ace: It’s extremely interactive and personal. It gets little minds working and keeps them entertained for ages.

9. The Human Body – Tinybop

If you want to teach the kids what we’re made of and how our machines work, then this is the app for you. Or if you are studying fitness or nutrition, it’s a great way for you to learn in layman’s terms.

What it is: Interactive, educational and animated, this app explores a working model of the human body. The heart beats, guts gurgle, lungs breathe, the skin feels, and eyes see.

Features
• Six interactive, animated systems included: skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive.
• Includes a detailed, accurate, interactive model of the heart, brain, eye, stomach, mouth, and much more.
• Ask questions and provide answers with a recording tool.
• Dashboard allows you to support learning and play and to view, save, and share conversations with your kids.
• Free downloadable app handbook. They’re full of interesting facts and discussion questions.
• Smart device features include: front camera to demonstrate vision, microphone to show how hearing works, photo and music libraries are demonstrate brain function, device orientation shows the effect of gravity on the body.
• Intuitive, safe, and kid-friendly design.
• Multi-user system: each child can choose and name their own avatar.
• No rules or levels—curiosity is rewarded.

Why it’s ace: Kids are like sponges, they love to learn. This is a great app to teach them about the human body and is fun for the whole family.

Fun

10. Little Moments

The very clever Chantelle Ellem of Fat Mum Slim created this brilliant app that makes any amateur photographer look like a pro!

What it is: With a super fun photo editor and a Photo A Day challenge, this app is easy to use, interactive and if you love snapping away every minute of the day like me,  it can be very, very distracting. (In a good way).

Make any photo, from any moment, really special. Apply a fancy filter, or add a quote, design or cute wording over the top so it’s more fun to share on Facebook or Instagram. Getting creative with your photos has never been more fun & easy!

Why it’s ace: Whether you take advantage of both parts of the app, or just one, it’s a great to way to celebrate the little moments that become life long memories.

So tell me, what are your favourite apps and do you spend as much money at the app store as what I do?

I’m flogging my blog with the gorgeous Grace from With Some Grace today. I met her in the flesh last week and she is so, so awesome.

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Why Doing a Challenge is Better Than Dieting

Challenge Yourself

Happy New Year everyone! I’m back and am super excited about 2015.

With a new business, Li’l Busy Bodies and a more tailored theme on the blog – Live, Move, Inspire – your weekly dose of Family Wellness, it’s going to be an awesome year. I hope that you and your families will benefit from the awesome bursts of wellness that I plan on sharing with you throughout the year.

Now hands up who set a new years resolution to lose weight? If you’re anything like me, a marketers dream, you would have signed up to at least one weight loss program that have flooded our TV screens. My money is now being put towards educating myself about lifestyle, food and wellness through Cadence Health.

Name a diet, go on, pick any diet and I can guarantee at some point in my life, I’ve tried it. If I’ve learnt anything about diets, it’s that they don’t work. Actually, that’s a lie, some do work but only temporarily. In most cases, the weight that you lose will creep back up again and the cycle is never broken. Who wins out of all of this? The weight loss companies that signed you up in the first place.

Why do you think the founders of these weight loss companies are so damn wealthy? It’s because weight loss enthusiasts lose weight, put it back on again, then re-sign up with the same company because they know that they have had success in the past. You following? I think I have been on Weight Watchers about 6 times over the years.

If we forget about dieting for  a moment and think about setting ourselves awesome, seemingly unrealistic challenges that will require a level of training that will take us out of our comfort zone, we are forced to refocus on something other than our weight.

Ever thought about running a marathon? Doing a triathlon? Entering an extreme obstacle course race? All of these events require training. You will need to start a weekly programme that will increase your fitness levels and ensure that you are in peak physical condition for race day. You have now trained your brain to think about finishing the event rather than losing weight. Providing you are mindful about eating well during your training, the weight loss will happen without you even realising.

There are so many challenges for you to choose from. It doesn’t need to be big. I recently did the No More Mummy Tummy Challenge by Lorraine Scapens from Pregnancy Exercise. It was brilliant! It got me working on my core strength post pregnancy, something that many of us mum’s seem to overlook. I loved it so much, I signed up for it again.

The inspiring Kate and Zoey over at Operation Move are offering a 6 week body blitz program starting in early February. What a great way to challenge yourself.

If monthly challenges are your thing, you can head over to Pinterest for an endless amount of challenges that will help flatten your tummy, strengthen your core, strengthen your body. The opportunities are endless.

So tell me, have you had success with weight loss programs in the past and kept it off and what challenges have you signed up for this year?

 

Image Source

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5 Career Moves For Active People

 

5 Career Moves For Active People

I decided to move away from the corporate world in February 2013 to purse a career in fitness and I haven’t looked back. Why? Because I am finally doing something that I am passionate about. If you’re an active person and keen to pursue a career in fitness, I highly recommend it.

In collaboration with Fitlink, Jessica Deotto points out some great job prospects for those ready to take the plunge.

Are you tired of being stuck behind a desk? Want to get out there and do something that you’ve always wanted to do? Then it’s probably time to look at a career change that lets you keep active and healthy whilst having fun. Below are five of the best career choices for active people looking for a change.

Fitness Professional

What could be better for an active person than working in the fitness industry? It becomes your job to stay active. And while you are doing it, you can share your love of keeping active and fit with others and help them to achieve their goals whilst continuing to set new goals for yourself. Online courses, like those at Fitlink make it easier than ever before to become a personal trainer or gym instructor. Before you know it, you could be working in the fitness industry and helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Travel Guide

Energetic people make fantastic tour guides and seeing the world is a pretty awesome way to do keep active. If you have explored your city or other cool places around the globe, then looking into leading a tour would be the perfect opportunity for you to not only stay active, but also have the chance to share your knowledge and experiences with eager and willing participants. If you like talking and experiencing the great outdoors, then this is the career for you.

Military and Law Enforcement

For the more extreme adventure seekers, the military offers careers that are non-stop action packed. Just to get into this line of work, you need to undergo intense training (think extreme bootcamp). After the training, it is imperative that you remain in peak physical condition. Soldiers put their lives at risk but are also offered once in a lifetime opportunities and experiences. Of course the military offers more jobs than just being a soldier. There are a number of trades and professions available.

Outdoor Sales

For those looking for a smaller change from the humdrum of a desk job, then becoming an outdoor salesperson could be just the thing for staying active. Just like a telesales or in store salesperson, it would be your job to sell specific products. The difference is you get to do it outdoors. You continue to do a similar job, with the added fitness of walking. This is an easy change that your body will thank you for.

Zoo Keeper

If you have a deep love of animals, big and small, then becoming a zoo keeper could be the job for you. Sure you might have to clean up after an elephant, but you get the chance to care for some of the most amazing creatures in the world. It’s like they all become your own personal pets. What a great way to spend your working day, doing what you love.

There are so many jobs out there for active people – these are just a few you could choose from. There is a career out there for everyone.

So tell me, are you doing what you love? If not, what would be your dream job?

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Fit Mother Hubbard Update

FMH blog

Wow! We’re already in December and what a crazy, exciting, turbulent year it has been. A real roller coaster of emotions. So many highs and so many lows.

In May, we welcomed our new edition to the Nichols household, the most beautiful, laid back, cruisy little guy, Toby. We are so very, very lucky.

In June, I commenced my studies with Cadence Health where I have embarked on a Lifestyle, Food and Wellness course.

Moving into July and without warning, the hubster found himself unemployed which threw us for a sixer. Not knowing how we were going to pay the mortgage was frightening and thanks to the amazing support from our families, we got through it. We are so incredibly grateful to them for supporting us financially until we got through the unknown. To Verenais Nichols, Mum and Erling, Warren Nichols and Sandra Peeters, Tania and Kristy , Jules and Katherine Reade – from the bottom of our hearts thank you. We are forever thankful for your generosity and support at what was a difficult time.

In August, our four month old started having seizures whilst we were staying in Perth. Having not experienced this with the other two, it was extremely worrying. After several hospital visits followed by an EEG, his results came back all clear. Very relieving however the EEG is only 70% accurate and due to the fact that they are still occurring, a second opinion is imminent.

My business Li’l Busy Bodies also launched in November which has been a little dream of mine that has been bubbling away for a while and is now a reality. I have always believe in loving what you do and as I’m so passionate about kids in fitness, I can honestly say that I’ve found my dream job.

To my amazing brother who has contributed financially to this dream, thanks babe. I would never have been able to do it without you. Well I would have but with your help I have been able to purchase equipment and collateral which would have happened a lot slower and as the business progressed. Thanks for the kick-start and for the fact that I didn’t need to crowd fund! It really means a lot.

Now I am only human and with running a busy household of three kids, four if I include my husband, trying to fit my studies in, run a business and maintain a blog, I figured that something had to give. I’m not one to do things by halves but the exhaustion has been kicking in lately.

My Fit Mother Hubbard brand has helped shape who I am over the past two years and I have loved the interaction that I have had with all of my gorgeous readers.

I am not closing the blog down but I will be changing it’s focus. It has always been about family, fitness and fun. The focus will now be about kids health and fitness, active birthday parties and general family wellness. This makes much more sense to me given the nature of what I am now doing. Of course, I am always open to suggestions so please feel free to message me at any time.

I will be taking a short break between now and Christmas to concentrate on my studies and will see you all in the New Year. I will still be active however on my social media channels. Of course I will.

Thank you so much everyone for your ongoing support with Fit Mother Hubbard and I  am so excited about what 2015 brings. My goal is to continue to inspire families to live healthy, active, happy lives.

Lil Busy Bodies Final

 

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5 Ways To Reward Your Kids Without Junk Food + $100 Cash Giveaway

Gold Star

I remember as a child going to visit my grandparents. The one hour trip seemed to last forever but it was so worth it when we got there. If we behaved, we got 20 cents and got to walk to the local milk bar for a big bag of lollies. Remember those days when a bag of lollies only cost 20 cents?

When I was a child it just seemed to be the thing to do – reward kids with sweets if they were good. So it’s really no surprise that the next generation are doing exactly the same thing. How often do we reach for the jar of lollies, the cookie jar or the bag of freddo frogs when we want the kids to behave? I know I’ve been guilty of this.

Last week I was at my local shopping centre and I was grabbing the kids some sushi. The sushi place happened to be beside McDonalds and my kids watched on as a couple of kids jumped up and down in delight because their grandparents allowed them to have a happy meal. The grandmother looked across at me and said, “they’ve been so good today, we’re shouting them a happy meal”. To my shock, she then said, “my husband and I are going to grab a salad over there, we wont eat McDonalds for anything”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I casually asked her, “if you won’t eat it, then why are you rewarding your grandkids with it?”. She looked at me with a baffled look on her face. Think it may have been an Aha moment for her.

Here are my top 5 tips to reward kids without using junk food.

  1. Have a jar in the house packed to the brim with lucky dips. Just a small token inside each one is all you need. Wrap seedlings, craft stuff, balls, etc. This is a great way to reward kids but make sure they earn it. Once they have completed certain chores or done their homework, at the end of every week, fortnight or month, they are entitled to a lucky dip.
  1. Fresh Juices are another great reward for kids and there is no better time to get juicing than now. The more colourful the better! The weather is warming up and the options are endless when it comes to mixing and matching. Be mindful not to use too much fruit as the high fructose content is not ideal for little ones.Mixing vegetables with a small amount of fruit is a great way to get around this. It’s a great way for kids to get the nutrients they need in a one small glass.  A good juicer is a must! You can head over to Vitality 4 Life’s Raw Food Appliances for some more information on juicers and other electrical appliances.
  1. A rewards chart is another excellent option that works a treat without the treat. We have been using one here for a while. Each time the kids do their chores at the end of each day, (make their beds, feed the dogs, take their plates to the sink), they get a sticker or gold star. Once they get 10 stickers, they get to stay up an extra hour on the weekend.
  1. Take them on a bike ride, walk to the local park or ask them what they would like to do. My little girl asked to go to the library the other day as a reward for not fighting with her brother and for not talking back to me. We walked down there and had a great time.
  1. Get them to deposit $1 into their piggy banks which is rewarded to them for good behaviour. Obviously you want to make them earn their dosh so you may want to set up a chart similar to a rewards chart. This will also teach them the value of saving also. Win win. You could also get them to withdraw $1 each time they misbehave. (Gosh my kids would be in debt to me forever).

So the next time you reach for the lollie jar or bag of chocolates to reward your kids, have a think about what it’s really doing to their health and ask yourself what benefit are they really getting. Try replacing the junk food in your fridge or pantry with real, raw foods.

Now I have $100 of cold hard cash to Giveaway. Yep, just like that. To win, simply like Vitality4Life’s Facebook page as well as my new Facebook page and leave a comment on the blog below answering the following question:

What is your favourite healthy food recipe that could be used as a reward for your kids and what other ways to do you reward your kids for effort or good behaviour?

Be as creative as you like. The winner will be judged on creativity.

This giveaway opens today and closes at 5.00pm AEST, Thursday 27th November, 2014.
(Open to Australian Residents only sorry.)

The winner will announced on the blog next Friday 28 November 2014.

 

Congratulations Helen Wood.

 

Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Vitality4Life who they have kindly provided the $100 cash giveaway.

 

I am flogging my blog with the fabulous Grace from With Some Grace today.

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard