As a petite girl with asthma I always DESPISED gym class, and I’m pretty sure I was allergic to the sun for much of my teen years as I stayed up all night playing video games and slept until 2 in the afternoon during any break from school. My 20’s haven’t been much better sitting at a desk all day at work then going home and vegging out in front of the TV or computer.
But, I was unhappy with my body and decided to try some cheap pilates DVDs at the recommendation of my friend. Those lasted maybe a month…
Then my boyfriend decided we needed to get in shape and we bought a couples gym membership at the fancy gym that was close to home – for motivation to go – which we went to I think a total of 3 times the first year we had it.
Honestly? I felt like crap. I wasn’t overweight by any means, but just tired and weak. It was time for a change. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I took the first step towards a fitter, healthier me.
I started using the MyFitnessPal app for Android (it’s also available for Apple) to keep track of my calorie intake. It has a fantastic database of foods and allows you to add your own foods which is helpful if you cook from scratch. You set your weight loss goal and it will tell you how many calories you should eat a day to lose weight.
The MyFitnessPal app allows you to track your weight progress, giving you a helpful badge with your how much weight you’ve lost. You can also track your exercise to see how many calories you’re burning.
MyFitnessPal is accessible on the computer as well through their website (myfitnesspal.com) which makes entries a little less tedious.
I’ve found this app especially helpful when going out to eat as a lot of menus don’t list calories next to the foods. I can pick a couple of dishes that sound good and check the calories on MyFitnessPal.
The TargetScale not only measures your weight but measures your BMI, body fat %, bone mass, muscle mass, and body water composition. It comes with an iTunes app to track and graph your daily measurements to help you towards your weight loss or fitness goal.
It supports multiple users as well and allows each to keep their own profile and progress tracking.
The Fitbit is an adorable, handy, little pedometer that also measures stairs climbed, activity level, calories burned, and distance traveled. It comes with a wrist strap where you can activate a sleep mode which will tell you how long you slept, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up and sleep efficiency.
The Fitbit dashboard will show you cool graphs and allow you input your measurements (weight, body fat, etc). One of the best things about it is it integrates with your MyFitnessPal and Endomondo accounts.
The Fitbit comes with a base and software that’s installed on your computer. When it’s within 15 ft of the base it’ll update your progress. There is also a mobile app, but the device does not sync with that at all. It’s mostly useful if you’re using it to track calories or measurements.
The Fitbit isn’t exactly cheap, retailing at $100 (though I’ve found it cheaper on Amazon), but it seems a lot more accurate (and less likely to break/die like my $10 pedometer) plus it offers a lot more functionality than your run-of-the-mill pedometer. It comes in blue and purple.
I pretty much just use the Endomondo app when I’m running, biking, jumping rope or going for long walks. It uses GPS to map your exercise and tells you how long you were doing it for, at what pace, and how many calories you burned.
You can add friends and see their workouts as well. It’s pretty neat to go back and see a map of your workout, see your pace and see how many calories you burned.
And one good workout game I’ve found is Fit in Six. Most of these games are available for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii if you have one system or the other.
If you’re looking for a little help or motivation to get in shape or become more fit, technology could help you! There are a lot of options out there it just may take a little time to find the ones that fit your life and your goals the best.
What are your favorite fitness technologies? Leave a comment below or Tweet me @iamprojectalice!