Glow, Menstrual Cycle Tracker: App Review

Every month I’m testing a health and fitness app so you don’t have to.  This time I’ve been testing Glow, a menstrual cycle and fertility calculator.

Glow Ovulation Tracker Review


App Name: Glow Ovulation Calculator

Platform: Android (Google Play), iOS (iTunes)

Cost: Free on Android and iOS

Size: Varies with device

Tested on: Google Nexus 5 running Android 5.1 (Lollipop)

What they say:

“Glow is the world’s best ovulation calculator, period and fertility tracker. Glow’s menstrual and ovulation calculator help women learn about their fertility, whether avoiding or attempting pregnancy. Glow is a ovulation calculator that also records your period, mood, symptoms, sex, and medications, and assists those undergoing fertility treatments like IVF or IUI.

Winner of 2014 Webby for best Health & Fitness app, Glow is an elegant, data-driven ovulation calculator and period tracker designed to help you take control of your reproductive health.”

Glow   Ovulation Calculator – Android Apps on Google Play

 

What I say:
Pluses:

+ Can be used to aid or prevent conception, or just to monitor your cycle.

+ Very easy to use.

+ Option to track a lot of data, including your mood, physical symptoms, temperature, exercise and sleep.

+ Notifications when you are due to ovulate and when your period is due to start.

+ Helpful daily health tips and reminders.

+ Fairly active and supportive community.

 

 

 Minuses:

– Some of the tips and insights are a bit obvious.

– You need to log daily for it to be most effective.

– There’s a small bias towards encouraging conception, which can get a bit annoying.

 

Glow   Ovulation Calculator – Android Apps on Google Play

The bottom line: 

If you are want to feel more informed and in control about your menstrual cycle, this is the app for you!  It is easy to use and very informative.  I highly recommend it.  Download it from Google Play  or iTunes.

Your Laptop is Wrecking Your Posture…Here’s How To Fix It

Do you work at a laptop?  How often do you get to the end of the day with tired, aching shoulders and a headache?

Fix your Laptop posture

Laptops were designed with portability rather than ergonomics in mind so they are really not great for your body.  They force you to slouch forwards and tilt your head down to see the screen.  The track pad makes you turn your arm inwards, further encouraging you to slump forwards. Carrying your computer from place to place can put extra strain on your shoulders, especially if you use a shoulder bag rather than a backpack.

Luckily there’s plenty you can do to make laptops more posture friendly – here are some ideas:

 

– Use a peripheral mouse instead of the track pad.

– Use a peripheral keyboard.

– Put your laptop on a box or stand to raise the height of the screen.

– Use a peripheral screen.

– Take a break from work every hour (get up from the desk and move around!).

– If you have to carry your laptop around, choose a light model and carry it in a back pack.

 

 

Stretch Your Back – Child’s Pose

If you have ever done yoga before you have probably done this stretch.  I think it is just lovely – relaxing, easy to do and very soothing for tight, stiff backs.

childs pose - an easy and gentle back stretch

1. Start in a kneeling position.
2. Stretch forwards and down, allowing your forehead to rest on the floor with your arms outstretched ahead of you.
3. Rest your buttocks onto your heels if you can.
4. Breathe slowly and deeply. With each out breath allow your spine to relax and elongate.
5. Remain in this position for 10 breaths.
Notes:

Keep breathing normally while you exercise. Do not hold your breath.

Move gently and slowly. Exercises should not hurt.

If an exercise becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.

Only perform exercises which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath.  This information is provided for reference only.

Download a pdf of this stretch ▶

 

If you suffer with back pain, Osteopathy may help you! Call me on 020 8520 5268 to find out more or to book an appointment at my East London clinic.

 

Weekend Reads: April. Personality Tests, Popping Knuckles and Parkour

Welcome to the end of April!  How has your month been?  Are you looking forward to the bank holiday weekend?

Read on for my monthly round up of health news.

 

1.  A surprisingly accurate personality test – although it did say I’d make a good accountant so don’t trust it too much.

2. A 1000 year old Anglo Saxon remedy killed MRSA – Fascinating!

3. Looking for a new hobby? Beginner’s guide to Parkour

4. Why do your knuckles pop?

5. What happens when one identical twin exercises and the other doesn’t?

“Identical twins in Finland who shared the same sports and other physical activities as youngsters but different exercise habits as adults soon developed quite different bodies and brains, according to a fascinating new study that highlights the extent to which exercise shapes our health, even in people who have identical genes and nurturing.”

 

What I’ve Been Up To

 

I went to see the excellent Marcus Bonfanti at the Rose and Crown in Walthamstow.

Marcus Bonfanti Poster

Enjoyed  a day trips to Brighton and Colchester.  Did you know that with a group ticket you can go to Brighton and back for £7? What a bargain.

Looked after a cat for a week.  This is Daisy:

Daisy the Cat

And I made a pin cushion in a tea cup with my friend Make, Thrift London

pincushionlogo

 

 

Listening to: Marcus Bonfanti – Devil Girl

What have you done this month?

Health App Review: NHS Health and Symptom Checker

Every month I’m testing a health and fitness app so you don’t have to.  This month I’m reviewing NHS Health and Symptom checker.



App Name: NHS Health and Symptom checker

Platform: Android (Google Play), iOS (iTunes)

Cost: Free on Android and iOS

Size: Varies with device

Tested on: Google Nexus 5 running Android 5.1 (Lollipop)

What they say:

“Our NHS Health and Symptom checker app allows you to check your symptoms if you’re feeling unwell. You can get an assessment, information about your condition and advice on how to look after yourself.

Getting health advice really couldn’t be easier! Simply work through one of our clinically tested health assessment tools by selecting your symptoms and answering some short questions about how you’re feeling.

Once you’ve finished, we’ll instantly give you advice on the best course of action and, if you can look after yourself at home, we’ll tell you how.”

 

 

What I say:

This app is just a link to the NHS website.  I can’t see the point in it.  You may as well go straight to the NHS website or google whatever you want to know.

 

Pluses:

+Handy link to the NHS website.

 

 Minuses:

– It doesn’t really do anything.

– You could just go straight to the website.

-Waste of space on your phone.

 

 

The bottom line: 

Don’t bother with this one.

How High Should My Computer Screen Be?

Having your screen too low makes it impossible to maintain good posture.  In order to see clearly you are forced to slouch over your desk, putting pressure on the muscles of your neck and shoulders.

How high should my screen be?

To get your screen at the right height just follow these steps:

 

1. Sit at your computer chair.  Bend your elbows.  Adjust your chair height so that your elbows are level with the top of your desk.

 

2. Make sure your monitor is directly in front of you.

 

3. The centre of your screen should be at eye level.  Your screen might be adjustable, in which case simply raise it up to the appropriate height.  If it isn’t adjustable you can place it on some boxes, books or reams of paper.  For a cleaner look you can buy special screen risers- 1, 2, 3.