The buzz of energy around New Year’s health resolutions has come and gone. No reason to be discouraged; we still have 11 more months to keep trying.
What I have learned from interviewing people over the years on goal setting is that unrealistic expectations can often deflate the
momentum of initial motivation. Successful goal achievers who do make it to a desired endpoint get there not with magic, but with a formula of the basics—time, patience, repetition, and support. World Fitness Calculator and Superbetter, tech tools based on simple health principles can help boost your body-mind wellness goals for the year.
World Fitness Calculator, designed by exercise researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is an online fitness age calculator. Using simple measurements of height, weight, waist size, and resting heart rate, the calculator measures your VO2 max—your overall cardiovascular fitness
and aerobic health. For example, an active 60-year-old female who runs 1.5 miles a day could have a fitness age of 40, while in contrast a non-exercising, sedentary, 45-year-old woman could have a fitness age of
63. Why is this important? Fitness age is a more accurate gauge of staying young regardless of our birth-year age, and it can reshape our experience of the aging process.
If it’s your sprit that tends to wane when trying to stick with a goal, then SuperBetter may be a resource to try. SuperBetter is the creation of game designer Dr. Jane McGonigal. In this TED talk, McGonigal
tells her narrative of recovering from a concussion. Frustrated that she was not getting better, she tapped
into her skills as a gamer and designed SuperBetter, an app that functions as a daily check-in tool to support your goals if you are recovering from an illness, seeking to maintain your health, or trying to build your resilience in cracking an unwanted habit.
The idea is simple; turn any goal into a game, make it fun, and deduct the added stress. Discovering mastery through the smallest of steps is at the heart of SuperBetter.
Each day, you commit to a list of Power Ups: taking stretch breaks at work, drinking water, or engaging in a
5-minute meditation, for example. In SuperBetter, these steps are set in the context of a quest; you are your
own superhero, and each step you take you are conquering a bad guy and making it further towards your goal. Family and friends can also join in your quest by connecting to your account to become part of your
ally system for extra support.
Working at your health is always an effort, but rethinking your exercise goals with a tool like World Fitness Calculator or reinforcing daily health habits with a support system like SuperBetter can help focus your health goals and the
body-mind balance achieved will be worth it.
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