As a massage therapist I am expected to be a model of good health for my clients. Or at least be working on my health challenges, so I can empathise with my clients as they face their own.

I have a few challenges – heck, I stopped working in an office because of my health. And middle age is a great time to discover things that were not apparent before. I find a couple of apps extremely useful to keep me in balance. Anyone can find them useful, but if you have a chronic issue they are invaluable.

MyFitnessPal is a FREE app you can use on your computer, Ipad and phone, and it will synch between them. It helps you calorie count in the easiest fashion, doing all the hard work for you.

It has a online database of common foods, and you just have to scan the barcode and say how much of the packet you ate. All other calculations are automatic. I particularly like at the end of the day it says “IF EVERY DAY WAS LIKE TODAY, IN 5 WEEKS YOU WILL BE 79.3KG”. You also log your exercise for the day, and it calculates your extra calorie allowance based on your input.

You can link up with your email contacts, and cheer each other on, or commiserate on off days. That peer support can make all the difference if you get distracted.  But remember: SELF DISCIPLINE IS JUST REMEMBERING WHAT YOU REALLY WANT.

I see a gastro-enterologist next week, and will have a printout of my food diary. By logging what I eat, MyFitnessPal has helped me work out what food causes me grief. I like to think it has helped me begin to lose spare weight, but I also know eating food that doesn’t irritate is having a major effect on my health.

I also recommend FITBIT, as a way to log how much exercise you are getting in your daily life. We Londoners tend to do more walking than country people, but there is always opportunity to do more!  There are a variety of dongles you can wear round your wrist (or like me) fix to your keyring. They measure steps you take in a day and distance, how many floors you climbed, and some measure your sleep quality.

I have friends that have turned round their fitness levels, and now walk regularly in the evenings, just to get their step count up. Again, you can find out which of your email contacts uses the app, and set competitions with them, and cheer them on!

For myself, I am not allowed to cycle at the moment so am walking a lot. One day I will summon the courage to blog about rectal fissures – a cyclist’s nightmare! I live in suburbia, and have depended on a bicycle to get around the larger distances than in town. I noticed that I would be irritated and impatient walking because it is slower than cycling, but now I log the steps (and they are set up to automatically feed into MyFitnessPal), I recognise that this is exercise, and I honour it, and walk a more even pace and do it in good humour.

So if you find you are rushing about the place stressed and irritated with London, how about getting a FITBIT and honouring your time spent walking?