I was asked by one of my readers to speak about any digital tools that I have used to help me along my weight loss journey. I think they may have been thinking online but I will widen the net a bit to include a few other things I have used that still (to me) fit the definition of tech tools.
On my phone, my number one favourite app is My Fitness Pal. It allows me to track my food intake and exercise easily in one spot. The other nice thing about My Fitness Pal is the fact it connects to a number of other apps on your phone so when the data is recorded, it can be recorded in many places at once. You can set reminders for those of you (like me) who forget to record this data. Mine is set that 2 hours after I normally eat, it sends a reminder “Have you recorded your breakfast today? Want to do it now?”
There is another tool that I link to My Fitness Pal and this one is called Map My Walk. This allows you to either use GPS to track your walking route or you can just pull up a map from your area. You can just indicate on the map your usual route, and what’s really cool is that it will save that route. This is nice if you walk the same route regularly. You can labels it, and just pick (for example) My Neighbourhood Walk or whatever you call it. You don’t need to re-enter it all.They have a series of the Map apps like Map My Ride for cyclists or Map My Fitness which will keep track of your indoor or outdoor workouts.
I travel a lot for my work, and not all hotels have gyms so another app I like is called the 7 Minute Workout. As the name implies it lets you pick from different exercises and put together a 7 minute workout you can do anywhere.
I have another called Fitness Buddy. This is like an encyclopedia of exercises, broken down by things like core, lower body, chest, shoulders etc. It also has Exercises By Muscle, Exercise Library and a section to record your recent ones and favourites. Each exercise you pick out shows with a little animation how to do them properly. It also has a section of workouts already put together, from beginner to advanced. Also handy when I am on the road or if I want to mix it up a little.
I have another grouping of apps that are more about health than fitness. For example, I use an app from Spark People called Spark Quotes that daily sends me motivational quotes. Spark People make other apps as well with recipes or nutrition info and more. They have a Calorie Counter and Weight Loss app, but it does a lot of what My Fitness Pal does. They also have one called Perfect Produce that shows you what to look for when buying fruits and veggies, how to store them and how to prepare them.
I found one recently called Nutrition Lookup. You enter in a food and it brings up the nutrition info. Pretty simple really.
If you are using an IPhone, there is an app on there called Health and it also connects to many of the apps you can download. All the apps I have downloaded are free, though most have a paid version as well that offers more features.
If you are following Weight Watchers, they have their own apps as well. It pays to do a search in whichever app store you use. Search for weight loss or fitness and you will find tons!
Something else that has been very helpful to me is another tech tool – namely my WII gaming system. There are many fitness games out there for WII and for other systems as well. I have been using a combination of different ones just so I can shake up my workouts.
My favourite is EA Active More Workouts , which is a sequel to the original EA Fit. I like this because I can set goals, track my progress and I have set up customized programs that really kick my butt. Recently I was doing a workout, and I couldn’t figure out why it seemed I was kind of breezing through it. It then occurred to me that when I put the workout together, it was 20 minutes at a medium level.
I have made such progress that 20 minutes didn’t cut it anymore. I though in more exercises to make it 30 minutes and upped the level to hard. Now it is kicking my butt again. I personally like that it is not as “Girly” as some games. No offense ladies, but some games were more focused on yoga or on simple games than on really working out. That was what I found with the WII Fit Plus. Although it offered boxing it was very cutesy with it’s avatars and stuff.
Another one I have been using is UFC Trainer made by IGN I believe. This one has some serious training and will really work you out.
For those men or women who follow the MMA circuit, there will be some people you recognize in this game and it is fun to be put through your paces by one of these MMA Champs.
A lot of people believe that you can’t get really fit with these types of video games. Let me tell you that if you find the right one and put the work into it, it will make a difference.
When it comes to getting healthy and losing weight, we have tons of tools at our disposal now, and in this electronic age, they come on our phones, tablets, computers and our gaming systems. Find one or two that work for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different ones. This is especially true with apps on your phone because if you download a free one and it isn’t your cup of tea, you can just delete it. No excuses now!
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!