Heart and Stroke Foundation helps change lifestyles with new app
By Victoria Brown
The Heart and Stoke Foundation is giving a new meaning to creating a healthy lifestyle with a new free app.
The app works to change the users lifestyle in 30 days by giving daily challenges that target a risk factor.
Ahmad Zbib, manager of consumer e-health helped create the app and said it can give Canadians greater control over their lifestyles.
“It’s easy to say something, but it’s so hard to actually commit to do something,” said Zbib
“So you take the challenges and break it down into much smaller achievable ones and commit to doing something one day at a time.”
Zbib said the app starts with a five-minute assessment of a person’s health and lifestyle.
From there, the app creates an inventory of health risk factors. According to the foundation, nine out of ten people have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
“After they [users] receive the report, they prioritize the factors that are most important for them to change,” said Zbib.
Shavini Goyal, tester for the app and a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto, said her first priority was salt consumption, then lack of exercise, and lastly stress management.
“I thought it was really useful. I was able to identify the cardiovascular risk factors that I had,” said Goyal. “It let me work towards those risk factors.”
The app is made for people leading busy lives, said Zbib, which fits in well for a student. The app allows the user to choose one challenge they would like to do for the day, commit to it, and tell the app if they were successful.
Goyal said one of her challenges was to avoid eating high sodium soups, sauces, and cold cuts to meet her priority of reducing salt consumption.
“I was able to achieve my goal in the salt area, so exercise is my next one.” said Goyal.
In the first day of its release, the app has been downloaded almost 1000 times Zbib said. The app is available exclusively for iphones.