A decade ago, watching one’s weight, monitoring weight loss, and improving fitness took effort. Between manually logging daily calories and documenting levels of exercise, being able to track personal growth and progress could prove challenging. Thankfully, in today’s modern age, technological devices are able to track all progress, compute caloric intake and even provide feedback.
1) Wearable Technology
One of the most popular ways health enthusiasts have come to oversee their physical wellbeing is through the use of wearable devices. These products can range from wristbands to heart monitors to clip-on activity trackers, and the right product for each person truly depends on their fitness needs and preferences.
According to Wearable, a site dedicated to wearable technology and the connected self, the best overall fitness tracker in 2016 is the Fitbit Blaze. This device has a new color display and features step tracking, sleep monitoring, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. Additionally, the Garmin Vivosmart HR was voted best for notifications and has incorporated incredible optical technology into this device.
2) Friendly Competition
In many ways, physical fitness has always had the potential for community engagement. Whether it be through the promotion of a community softball league, or through the organization of a local 5k, ways to stay fit alongside neighbors and friends are abundant. Yet, what about in the case of those individuals who are too busy to partake in these public events?
Now, with cloud services members of a community and long-distance friends alike can display their activity to each other each day. If being able to display daily activity levels is not motivation enough, certain applications also offer ways to virtually compete with others in terms of activity levels, calories burned or with more specific goals like a number of miles ran.
3) Dietary Logs
Entering all the food one consumes on a daily basis into an application has many benefits. First, it helps a consumer become more aware of his or her caloric intake. Secondly, it can help one to develop a more calculated plan for weight loss or consumption goals. After all, aside from physical exertion, diet plays the next biggest role in overall fitness.
“I feel the most important action one can take when trying to lose weight is to keep a food diary,” explained Becky Hand , a dietitian at SparkPeople, a leading publisher of health, fitness, and food information. “Yes, it takes time to write down everything consumed during the day, but this in itself can curtail overeating and be vital for self-assessment and monitoring”
Available for download, the applications Calorific, The Eatery, Evernote and Lose It! have some of the best ratings of all food journaling apps. Not only can users enter all food items they have eaten into these applications and have them categorized and tracked, but they can also do so from virtually anywhere!
Equally beneficial, the majority of fitness-guiding food tracking apps are able to sync all entered information to the cloud, therefore allowing users to access their dietary information from a desktop computer or laptop. Ultimately, when deciding what dietary tracking application to purchase or download, one must consider their preferences and decide what features and components they feel that they need and what application best meets those needs.