It’s hard to stay healthy during the holidays — here’s how tech can help

Click to play video: 'The best apps to help you stick to healthy habits'
The best apps to help you stick to healthy habits
WATCH: Fitness expert Oonagh Duncan reveals the best fitness apps to help you stick to healthy habits during the holiday season – Nov 28, 2019

Sticking to your wellness routines during the holidays can be tough, especially when you’re busy with family or attending social events.

But it is possible to follow healthy habits that you’ve built for yourself, said fitness expert Oonagh Duncan, author of wellness book Healthy as F***. 

She told hosts on Global News’ The Morning Show that the first aspect to be mindful of is how often you’re using your technology. Canadian adults spend about 3.6 hours in front of screens per day, according to Statistics Canada. 

Before finding apps to help you follow a routine, understand what you’re using the apps for and whether they are truly benefiting you, said Duncan.

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“You have to have appropriate boundaries,” she said. “You have to make sure that you are using your apps, and their not using you.” 

Boundaries that work for Duncan include one hour of screen-free time every day, along with one day that’s screen-free per week.

Opening an app that helps track your movement for the day is a good use of technology, she said. But not every app is trying to encourage you to take care of yourself. 

Click to play video: 'Healthy hacks to help our eating habits'
Healthy hacks to help our eating habits

“If I’m just scrolling all day with no real point and it’s not really making me feel good, that’s the sort of mindless consumption that’s not good for us,” she said.

Apps that remind us to incorporate healthier habits into our lives, like finding time to be active or drink water, can be especially beneficial during busy periods like the holidays, said Duncan.

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Canadians exercise much less than they realize, according to a previous Global News report. 

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A study by Statistics Canada found that participating adults claimed they got about 49 minutes of physical activity per day, when in reality a wearable device found they actually got 23 minutes a day. 

“We tend to overestimate our health choices and underestimate our unhealthy choices,” said Kathleen Trotter, a Toronto-based fitness expert in a previous interview. 

She recommends tracking your fitness decisions, whether it’s activity or nutrition. 

“I really try to encourage a two-or three-day, as accurate as possible, food and activity log,” she explained. 

However, don’t spend too much time tracking every choice you make, she warned. Checking in every few weeks or so to get an overview of your lifestyle is enough.

“It’s all about being aware,” she said, adding that there are easy ways to incorporate more physical activity in your week.

You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym either— but swimming or dancing also counts, she said.

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“Start where you are, know where your end goal is, and gradually build up to it,” she said. 

For more on apps that will help you stick to healthy habits, watch Oonagh Duncan in the video above.

— With files from Global News reporter Maham Abedi

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