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Staying Healthy With Technology

Hundreds of thousands of people make resolutions to start the new year off right. Given today’s society, which puts a lot of emphasis on appearance and self-image, the most popular resolution deals with losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle. Every January the treadmills and ellipticals are filled with eager gym-goers. Like clockwork, however, after a couple of weeks the gym returns to its normal state of isolation.

Resolutions are hard to keep (I didn’t maintain any of mine from last year[1]) and living a healthy lifestyle is even harder. With the demands of work, raising a family, and other obstacles we are met with, it’s just too much of a hassle for most people to count calories, make healthy food choices, and get to the gym a couple of times a week.

Luckily, we are in a golden age for technology. Companies big and small are creating devices and services to help simplify our everyday lives, and that includes numerous technologies that can help you achieve your health goals.

From various apps to wearable devices, here are some of the best tools to help you lose weight:

Apps

We use smartphone applications to connect with friends and family, meet new people, and even order food. It would only be natural that we also use these devices to help us stay in shape. There are numerous cross-platform applications that can turn any smartphone or tablet into the perfect personal trainer and help you shed those extra pounds.

There’s an old saying: perfect abs aren’t made in the gym, but are cooked up in the kitchen. Lifting weights and cardio are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but eating right is just as, if not more, beneficial as working out.

Calorie tracking There are hundreds of fitness apps out there, but one of my favorites for keeping track of the foods I eat is MyFitnessPal[3], an app that simplifies the process of counting calories. MyFitnessPal is free and available on all major mobile platforms: iOS, Android[4], BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

After supplying the application with information about your weight, goal weight, gender, height, birth date, and daily activity level, you will be ready to go. MyFitnessPal gives users all the tools they need to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle with features such as meal tracking and daily calorie intake recommendations.

Calorie counting has never been so easy. Food can be entered in manually, chosen from a user-generated catalog of more than 1 million items, or even scanned with your smartphone’s camera. Reminders can also be set to ensure that you never miss logging a meal.

MyFitnessPal is just one of the many calorie-tracking applications available for mobile devices. Similar programs you can check out include Lose It[5], Calorie Counter by FatSecret[6], and My Diet Diary[7], all of which are available for Android and iOS.

Running partners

When I was in college I always had friends and coaches to train with. It’s easy to lose motivation for working out, especially on cold or rainy days, but a training partner can help fix this. While a physical person is best for training with, there are also apps available to those of us with lazy friends.

Apps like RunKeeper[8], Runtastic[9], and Endomondo [10](to name a few) are perfect for runners with years of experience or even newcomers. All of these apps track your distance, time, pace, and calories burned, the downside being that you must run with your smartphone. They also provide you with vocal updates regarding your pace and speed after you reach a certain distance.

Each app also has unique features that may appeal to you. RunKeeper allows you to set workout reminders, Runtastic has a “Story Mode” feature to make runs more entertaining, and Endomondo hosts numerous challenges that puts you head-to-head (virtually) against other members of the app’s growing community.

RunKeeper, Runtastic, and Endomondo are available in free and paid versions on Android and iOS; all three also offer monthly/yearly subscriptions for premium features. Other running apps you may want to check out include Nike+ Running[11] and MapMyRun[12], both of which are available for free on Android and iOS.

Fitness games

What better way to stay in shape than to play a game? Apps like Zombies, Run! and Fitocracy offer a fun and entertaining way to stay active. The Zombies, Run! app is one of the most unique fitness apps available today. Not only are you told a story while running, you are living it.

Along with tracking your distance, time, and pace, the app includes numerous “missions” for runners to complete, such as picking up virtual supplies. The app takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, which means you will sometimes hear and be chased by zombies, and the game doesn’t end once your workout does. The virtual supplies you picked up on your run can be used to help strengthen your base and community to survive the hordes of zombies.

Zombies, Run![13] makes running and working out more enjoyable than ever before. For a limited time, the app can be had for $3.99 (it usually costs $7.99) on Android and iOS. You may think it’s pricey, but nearly a million people have already joined in on the fun.

Another app you may want to check out is Fitocracy[14], an MMORPG-inspired fitness gaming app and social network. Each time you log a workout you earn points that will help you level up. The idea is similar to a game like World of Warcraft, but rather than controlling an orc or an elf, you are the character.

The company’s extensive database also explains how to do a vast amount of workouts, which makes Fitocracy more appealing to first time gym-goers. Fitocracy can be accessed on the Web and from the company’s free Android and iOS apps.

Wearables

Wearable devices are slated to become the next big thing in tech, and we here at CNET have embraced the future. Numerous devices have come our way, many of which are aimed at fitness and helping you live a healthier lifestyle.

Activity trackers In the month of December, the Fitbit Force[15], the Jawbone Up24[16], and the Nike FuelBand SE[17] were ranked in the CNET 100[18], a one-of-its-kind leaderboard that tracks tech’s hottest products, with the Force and the Up24 making the top 40. Fitness trackers are becoming smarter, more accurate, and easier to use.

The FuelBand can track your steps and calories burned, the Up24 adds sleep tracking, and the Force brings distance and elevation tracking, in addition to steps, calories burned, and sleep tracking. All three of these devices support syncing with an iPhone[19] with an iOS app.

The Force also supports a limited number of Android devices, such as the Galaxy S4[20], Galaxy S III, Note 2, Moto X, and Nexus 5[21], among others. Force, Up24, or FuelBand owners who don’t have a compatible device can view their data, achievements, and goals on the Web.

These devices are perfect for the average consumer. While athletes may also enjoy the information these wearables provide, they are probably better off with one of the high-end fitness watches.

Fitness watches

For more hard-core runners, I recommend checking out either the Adidas MiCoach Smart Run[22] or a Garmin Forerunner. These watches deliver serious amounts of information for serious athletes. Thanks to an array of sensors, including GPS, the Smart Run and watches in Garmin’s Forerunner series display distance, pace, time, and calories burned.

The Smart Run also includes an optical heart rate monitor, which can help bring your training to a new level. The downside with these standalone fitness watches is the price; they usually retail for around $300.

Smart scales

You’ve heard of smartphones, smartwatches, and maybe even smart socks, but did you know there are also smart scales? That’s right, a scale that is smart. What does this mean? These scales, depending on the specific product, can calculate your body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and weight. Two products to consider are the Withings Smart Body Analyzer and the Fitbit Aria, both of which have their own benefits.

The Smart Body Analyzer is capable of measuring heart rate, indoor air quality, and is compatible with apps such as MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, and Endomondo, among others. The Aria syncs wirelessly with Fitbit’s Web site and mobile apps, and also integrates with the company’s wearable devices like the Force and the Flex.

The Smart Body Analyzer is available for $150, while the Aria can be had for $129, both a relatively steep price to pay for a scale…no matter how smart it is.

The Internet

The last and most effective tool that can help you lose weight is arguably the most important piece of technology from the 20th century. It’s the Internet, the single greatest resource for discovering new information and connecting with others.

Message boards, social networks, and online guides are just some of the tools you can access online. These can help you stay motivated and connected with like minded individuals, while also learning new ways to stay healthy.

[23][24][25][2]

References

  1. ^ any of mine from last year (bgr.com)
  2. ^ tablet (reviews.cnet.com)
  3. ^ MyFitnessPal (download.cnet.com)
  4. ^ Android (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ Lose It (download.cnet.com)
  6. ^ Calorie Counter by FatSecret (download.cnet.com)
  7. ^ My Diet Diary (download.cnet.com)
  8. ^ RunKeeper (download.cnet.com)
  9. ^ Runtastic (download.cnet.com)
  10. ^ Endomondo (download.cnet.com)
  11. ^ Nike+ Running (download.cnet.com)
  12. ^ MapMyRun (download.cnet.com)
  13. ^ Zombies, Run! (download.cnet.com)
  14. ^ Fitocracy (download.cnet.com)
  15. ^ Fitbit Force (reviews.cnet.com)
  16. ^ Jawbone Up24 (reviews.cnet.com)
  17. ^ Nike FuelBand SE (reviews.cnet.com)
  18. ^ the CNET 100 (www.cnet.com)
  19. ^ iPhone (reviews.cnet.com)
  20. ^ Galaxy S4 (reviews.cnet.com)
  21. ^ Nexus 5 (reviews.cnet.com)
  22. ^ Adidas MiCoach Smart Run (reviews.cnet.com)
  23. ^ maybe even smart socks (news.cnet.com)
  24. ^ Withings Smart Body Analyzer (reviews.cnet.com)
  25. ^ Fitbit Aria (reviews.cnet.com)

Original Story Here

Resources:

Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times

Wed, 10 Nov 2010 00:25:58 GMT Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: 5.0 Customer tags: mind body spirit(90), self-help(90), empowerment(89), personal growth(88), healthy lifestyle(88), health(88), healthy living(85), healthy life(85), personal development(81), relationships(79), self esteem(35), self-improvement(35) http://www.amazon.com/Be-Well-Your-Way-Authentic/dp/1453614095/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20

Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:27:19 GMT Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: 5.0 Customer tags: self-help(91), empowerment(89), health(89), healthy living(88), healthy lifestyle(88), healthy life(87), personal development(86), mind body spirit(86), personal growth(84), relationships(81), self-improvement(41), self esteem(40) http://www.amazon.com/Life-On-Your-Terms-Empowered/dp/1453615040/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20

Healthy Lifestyle Guides – American Heart Association

Published By: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. It's time to leave behind the one-size-fits-all approach to dieting. Now, the American Heart Association introduces its first-ever comprehensive weight-loss book! http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/CookbooksandHealthGuides/Healthy-Lifestyle-Guides_UCM_303873_TabbedPage.jsp

Lauren's Latest 50 Easy Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

There were lots of reasons for my decision to do this, which I'll get into at a different time, but I've come to find that taking baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle as opposed to changing the way you eat completely upside down … http://www.laurenslatest.com/50-easy-tips-for-a-healthy-lifestyle/

FITNESS TRAINER – Exercise Nutrition Planning Tools Healthy Lifestyle Software

2013-12-30T23:09:28.000Z $1.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jan-6-2014 15:09:28 PST
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2014 HEALTHY RECIPES MONTHLY CALENDAR W FIT LIFESTYLE TIPS AND EXCLUSIVE COUPONS

2014-01-02T21:40:58.000Z $4.99
End Date: Saturday Feb-1-2014 13:40:58 PST
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
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Comments

  1. Reply

    How Can I Keep Up My Healthy Lifestyle Over Easter? I have been trying to keep a healthy lifestyle, build fitness and lose a little fat. But I am surrounded by Easter treats, mum has been baking loads, have Easter eggs from family and my bf wants to get me an Easter egg too. Don’t get me wrong, I love how sweet everyone is being, but all of this will just make me I’ll. What should I do?

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    1. Reply

      If you’d like me to be honest, I think that the healthiest lifestyles include enjoying things. So every now and then, let go of the fact that “something will make me fat” and enjoy it. I think that often as people we give up a large part of living just to stay skinny. I used to be that way, and as much as I told myself it was worth it, it really wasn’t. Enjoy it, and don’t go on a guilt trip over it.

      That being said, there are several things you can do to avoid extra treats. Stay away from the kitchen as much as possible, as well as where things are being served. When you get things, get just a small bit. I’ve noticed that with a lot of sweetbreads and cakes and such, a very thin slice takes just as long to eat as a thick one and is usually just as satisfying. If not, you can even get a second (which, sliced thinly enough, is still smaller than the thick slices would be). Another trick I’ve learned is “sharing”–if it is a roll or whatever, just eat half of it and “share” the other half with someone else (maybe someone else who either just wants half, or someone who wants more than one).

      Enjoy Easter!

      View Comment
    • Bob
    • January 6, 2014
    Reply

    What Are Some Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Make? So I’ve started drinking more water. I drink Green, White, and Chai tea. I also bought the stainless steel water bottle, and I bike for about 20-30 minutes a day. I consider these healthy lifestyle changes. I was wondering if you could provide more suggestions along these lines.

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    1. Reply

      There are 5 elements in a healthy lifestyle.

      1. food
      2. exercise
      3. sleep
      4. happiness
      5. extra healthy things

      1. Food, we don’t really know that much about nutrition, we do know a blanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for you. Meat is pretty good, if it is lean and not eaten too often….ideally I might eat meat once or twice a week. A good healthy diet can include some indulgences.
      2. Exercise, you should do some. Though I don’t recommend routine exercise, cycle 2 or 3 times a week, join a social sports club, eg, tennis, go hiking on weekends, swimming is one of the best exercises for the whole body. If you vary your exercise, then you will enjoy it more and do more.
      3. Sleep. A lot of evidence says if you don’t get enough sleep you will have problems, eat more, metabolise your food differently and die young.
      4. Be happy, enjoy your life. Drink dance, eat chocolate, but not all day, everyday.
      5. Then there are all the little extras. eg, green tea (there is no such things as Chai tea….chai means tea, it is an indian word derived from the chinese word Cha, meaning tea), red wine, brocollie and beetroot, lots of things than can boost your body, ginger, garlice and hundreds of other things that you can add to your diet to make things a little better.

      Don’t obsess, don’t live by a book or a routine, just be healthy.

      View Comment
  2. Reply

    How Will You Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle In The Future? Imagine yourself after college. You’re married with a few kids. You’re gaining a few pounds every now and then. How will you get yourself back on track into a healthy lifestyle?

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    1. Reply

      Minus the after college part, but I have 2 kids and am expecting the third one in a few weeks. We maintain healthy lifestyles by eating nutritious foods, lots of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and milk. We also get a lot of exercise in. Although my kids are still toddlers and I’m big as a house, everyday as a family my husband and I walk with the kids up and down the road, then when we get home my husband stays outside with the kids and plays with them while I get supper fixed. We don’t turn the TV on until after baths, forcing us to get up off the couch. Hopefully that will encourage our kids to maintain healthy lifestyles after they’re all grown up.

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  3. Reply

    How Do You Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle? Please comment on your suggestions to maintain a healthy lifestyle, add any concerns or issues you have concerning you’re healt, and i’ll be happy to educate you further.

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    1. Reply

      I eat healthy – vegetables, fruit, lots of water, minimal sugar consumption, etc.
      I don’t smoke.
      I don’t drink in excess.
      I don’t do drugs.
      I exercise at least twice a week.
      I try to get enough sleep every night (minimum of 7 hours).

      View Comment
  4. Reply

    How To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle Up At School? I’ve recently started exercising and eating healthily, in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle, as well as lose weight. I go back to school in September, and I’ve been doing absolutely brilliantly so far. However, I’m definitely a stress eater, and especially with lots of exams coming up this and next year, I’m gonna be more stressed than ever. I don’t want to lose my progress or put all the weight back on. As well as this, I’m worried I won’t have time to work out as I’ll be tired from school in the daytime, so it could get difficult. Does anyone have any tips that could help me maintain what I’m doing for when I go back to school?

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  5. Reply

    How Do You Stay Commited To Your Healthy Lifestyle? I’m trying have a healthy lifestyle and lose weight but i’m finding it hard to commit.

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    1. Reply

      Are you sure you want to lose weight? If this a true desire, give it two weeks, and then asses how you feel. If you are eating healthy and exercises you will feel the difference, then if you go back to living unhealthfully you will be able to tell the change in how you feel, then you should be able to make an easy desicion.

      View Comment

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