Get fit for life with MyLife
Irish life has launched MyLife, a great new fitness app that's built around a personal Health Score. Danielle Barron logs on to start her own fitness journey
Irish Life have tapped into this need for our health endeavours to be assessed and validated with their new MyLife app
What motivates you to stay healthy and fit? Is it what you see in the mirror, or on the scales? Is it the long-term view of gliding gracefully into old age or are you just happy with gliding gracefully into your jeans?
For me, it’s numbers. I love the idea of a fitness tracker – checking my step count and calorie burn, how well I slept and the precise proportions of deep sleep and REM. What’s a healthy meal if you don’t know exactly how much salt and sugar is in it?
But truth be told, I need a little more encouragement these days. I had my first child seven months ago, and a Caesarean section meant a forced three-month absence from the gym.
Truth be told, I need a little more encouragement these days
Power walks with the pram replaced pump and tone, but now that I am back to work those opportunities are increasingly rare. I also work from home, so my daily commute is about eight steps. Lunches are eaten standing up and very, very quickly. And sleep . . . well, who with a seven-month-old is getting their requisite amount of shut-eye?
Irish Life have tapped into this need for our health endeavours to be assessed and validated with their new MyLife app. Like other apps, it links in with your fitness tracker (although you don’t need to have one as all our phones count our steps now) but unlike other apps, if you’re an Irish Life customer it offers real and tangible rewards for keeping healthy.
The app operates by allocating each user a Health Score, which is initially based on the data you input when you first log on. This Health Score – based on body, mind and lifestyle factors – is a scientifically calculated number that ranges from one (low) to 1,000 (high). As you engage with the app and track your exercise and sleep the score will change in real-time. It’s age independent, so it allows you to compare your Health Score with other users of different ages, on a level playing field.
You earn reward points by tracking your exercise, getting sufficient sleep, achieving a monthly goal you set yourself, answering the MyLife Coach’s questions and tracking your weight.
Irish Life customers on certain plans can redeem these points to claim great rewards.
The reward categories include: nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, relaxation and adventure. Points can be spent on small rewards such as a coffee from Costa or an Omniplex cinema ticket, or saved for bigger rewards such as a Dublin Airport lounge pass, a Gourmet Fuel food hamper or a discount on a Fitbit. There is also the option to use your points to donate to charity – how’s that for an all-round good feeling?
After emerging from the fog of new motherhood, I am hoping to focus on myself and my health a bit more
The app has goals you set yourself, such as daily steps, eating more greens, drinking less coffee, or doing meditation. It also allows you to compete with your friends through a group. So those with a competitive edge – and, let’s face it, that’s all of us – are well catered for. I registered with the app and almost immediately saw my Health Score begin to rise. I was instantly motivated. Connecting with friends, I saw that their score was higher than mine. My motivation became laser focused.
Meet the coach
For me, what sets the app apart from others in the health and wellbeing space, is the MyLife Coach. This omnipotent being asks probing questions on my nutrition, fitness and lifestyle, and by doing so manages to paint an accurate picture of just how healthy I am, beyond the mere numbers collected by my tracker.
They also manage to gauge my stress levels by asking some obvious but insightful questions. According to the coach, I am “moderately stressed” so they are going to check in with me every day to keep an eye on that.
I like this feeling of personal attention, plus it helps to make me aware of my stress and more likely to deal with it. The coach offers little titbits of information too – snack ideas, or tips on how to get more sleep – and reminds me of my goals. It’s a highly personalised experience.
After emerging from the fog of new motherhood, I am hoping to focus on myself and my health a bit more, with a little help from the MyLife app.
Better with friends
In this three-part series, Danielle Barron will be joined on her MyLife journey by friends.
MyLife thrives on groups and connecting with other people. With personalised permission settings you and your friends can see each other’s Health Score and activity and keep each other motivated. The default setting is private if you prefer not to share your Health Score.
Fit for 40
Mimi Murray, a mother of two, aims to get fit and build strength as she approaches her milestone birthday.
Fit for the wedding
35-year- old Natasha Duffy is using the My Life app to prepare for a big wedding this year where she is bridesmaid.
Fit at any age
Two men at very different stages in life, 25 and 49 years old, will compare notes as they travel along their fitness journey with MyLife.