Challenging the body and mind with new perspectives on health – this is the concept driving one of the latest health apps Noom, designed to embrace and promote a healthy lifestyle to its users. Noom challenges people to make realistic, yet effective, changes to their daily routines in order to accomplish this goal. The creators believe that the next stage in health apps should be to tailor the experience to suit each individual. This may motivate people to develop both a healthy body and mind. Smartphone applications are fast becoming integrated with people’s lives. Therefore, it is a useful opportunity to deliver effective health products with easy access.
Noom was recently highlighted as an example of the future of health apps by Google Fit – a platform created to help people monitor their fitness data. The app has also had over 11 million downloads, demonstrating that this new approach is a popular alternative. This month the company has been campaigning to increase awareness of their health message. By allowing the body and mind to act as an indicator of health, they believe individuals may lead a more rewarding lifestyle. The company has devised a number of challenges to accompany this campaign, encouraging both good habits and a positive body image. For example, they suggest taking up a physical activity enjoyed as a child, such as skipping or cycling. Another daily challenge may be to reach 10,000 steps on the pedometer, or take a break and pamper the body with a massage or face mask. Balance is paramount to their message.
Noom allows the user to keep track of what food they are eating and categorises them depending on their nutritional value. The app expands on this feature by focusing on habit changing and exercise routines, incorporating healthy recipes, a pedometer, educational material and surveys to help improve and tailor the experience. Through this design modern health apps may consistently change to suit various lifestyles.
A healthy lifestyle may develop a healthier mind. A healthier mind may develop a healthier lifestyle. It is a productive cycle continually rewarding and improving an individual’s health. To set the mind down this productive path Noom provides psychological coaching tips. Mindfulness is one such tool, which motivates the individual to think about their eating. Rather than eating whilst the brain is occupied with other thoughts, practising mindfulness asks a person to explore their senses. How does it taste? What does the texture feel like in the mouth? How does it smell? Mindfulness suggests complete concentration and meditation whilst eating, in order to embrace the pleasures associated with it. They acknowledge that changing a person’s psychology in this way may take time, and so realistically, long term targets are made as well as short term ones.
Meeting targets and facing new challenges may be made easier when people come together as a community. Noom encourages people to share their experiences for others to learn from, and motivate friends to meet their targets. The creators acknowledge the importance of community and social media, by utilising it to create a better experience. This way their alternative perspective on health may spread through society, which they believe may create healthier communities.
“Noom believes that the health of your body should be what’s motivating men and women,” says Sarah Moriarty, Noom UK Lead. Through effective coaching people may gradually incorporate healthier options into their lives. Noom is challenging communities to alter their health perspective and incorporating this into their intelligent health app. It is designed to embrace both technological advances and increasing scientific knowledge on health and nutrition. Apps are fast becoming integral to many people’s lives. Therefore, it is important to find productive, novel ways to utilise this growing technology.
What other challenges may motivate individuals to change their perspective on leading a healthy lifestyle?