It's not always easy to eat right, exercise and stay in shape. The Holidays season will be here before we know it, and with it comes the general holiday bloat experience. Don't worry though, technology is improving, and it has encompassed healthy living in every way. Here are ten ways technology can help assist you in both diet and exercise to get fit and stay that way.
1. Track it! Running, Walking, Cycling fitness tracking apps
We all have smartphones and access to the apps they offer. If you haven't already, get yourself a good fitness tracking app such as a Runkeeper, Runtastic, Zombies, Run! etc. These apps allow you to measure the distance you've traveled during a walk, run or cycle using the phone's GPS sensor, and they can estimate the number of calories burnt during each activity. They also all come with built-in goal setting so you can create a goal to help motivate yourself and track your progress. Most of them also have some kind sort of social platform in them that allows you to share your exercise activities with friends to help further motivate you or build accountability.
2. Calculate it! Meal and Calorie consumption tracking apps
Like the apps designed to track your fitness activities, many apps exist that allow you to track and record your caloric consumption. Free Apps such as MyFitnessPal, Lose It! or SparkPeople. These apps will help you determine the number of calories you consume by inputting your daily meals and snacks. They all feature a search option for almost anything you can consume and give a fairly accurate estimate. Combining these with an exercise tracking app you can estimate your daily calorie requirements quite accurately.
3. Connected smart food scales
Learning about the food you consume can help you greatly in eating right. Digital food scales can now sync via WiFi and Bluetooth and have become calorie counting apps in themselves. If you tend to prepare your meals at home and want to learn about the food you consume, than a smart scale is a great way to do that.
4. Coaching Apps
Like the exercise and calorie consumption apps, coaching apps can help motivate you to keep pushing through your exercise routine. Many of the fitness tracking apps come with built-in coaching modes that can give you "pep-talks". They can range from reporting your progress towards goals to full out screaming that zombies are coming in an interactive game. Pick your poison. If you're intimidated by exercise or aren't sure what to do when it comes to working out in a gym, there are apps that can help too. Providing plans and breakdowns of machines and exercise routines, or coming up with routines you can follow at home without the need for equipment.
5. Connected smart body scales
WiFi scales such as the Withings Smart Body Analyzer and Fitbit Aria are great tech devices that can provide you with lots of insight on your body composition. They use bioelectrical analysis to measure the amount of body fat and lean mass you may have. They use WiFi to upload these statistics to your cell phone or tablet with graphs and charts to help you see progress. While many tell you not to live by the scale, it can become a great tool and motivator when combined with some of the tech-driven nerdy goodness.
6. Hydrating smart water bottles
Making sure your well hydrated is important to reaching your health goals. Lots of us forget to drink water and are getting by on the coffee and pop we consume. Just because you're not thirsty doesn't mean your hydrated. Innovation in water tracking water bottles has helped make this easier and fun. Bottles such as Hidrate smart water bottle are available for preorder that will measure your daily water consumption ensuring you are always well hydrated.
7. Video Games
Play some video games. Wait. What? Yup, there are active video games you can play. The XBOX One, PS4, and Nintendo Wii all come with games that promote body movement and exercise to play the game. Using video games can make working out more enjoyable by making it interactive.
8. Connected heart rate monitors
Get a good heart-rate monitor. The problem with exercise apps is that they guess the amount of calories your burning based on the weight and age you enter. No one is built the same and excursion affects everyone differently. By getting a good heart-rate monitor to see exactly how different exercise or actives affect you. You can get a good baseline of your fitness and work towards finding actives that push your heart rate. Bluetooth and WiFi connected heart rate devices will sync with your smartphone or the cloud and give you statistics on your heart rate and the calories you are burning.
9. Connected smart sleep trackers
Its hard enough to eat right and exercise well as it is, it gets even harder when you're tired from lack of sleep. There are many connected sleep trackers that can sense your movement or heart rate and determine when you are fast asleep. They will count the amount of deep sleep your body gets, as well as how restless you are during your sleep. It can all be built into fancy charts and graphs to help you achieve a more fulfilling sleeping pattern. Sleep science is now more connected than ever.
10. Connected smart sports equipment
Get some connected sports equipment. Sensors have been built into everything from basketballs, soccer balls to tennis rackets. If playing sports isn't fun enough, just added some geeky statistics and tracking to your favourite activity. All can be paired to make exercising and playing sports more interactive and fun.