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Use Tech to Track Your Fitness Resolutions

Technology can make tracking your new year’s resolutions a piece of cake.

By
Eric Escobar,
January 14, 2016
Episode #204

Sometimes it feels like we are always making the same New Year’s resolutions without following through. A few examples are: I want to eat better this year, I want to work out more this year, or I want to become a billionaire this year. While I can’t necessarily help you with the last one, let's explore technology to help you accomplish your fitness goals for 2016 and live a healthier lifestyle.

iOS Health App

The Health app on the iPhone is one that you might not know you even have. Without you even knowing, it tracks how many steps you’ve walked on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. It shows elevation change, tracks your sleep cycle, and counts the steps you take. It’s basically a fit bit for someone that carries their phone on them all the time and doesn’t like the wristwatch feel. 

Fitbit

The Fitbit is a device that you wear like a wristwatch (and in some cases, it is a wristwatch) that can basically do all types of tracking. The Fitbit tracks your running route (thanks to the RunKeeper app), your sleep cycle, what you ate that day from what you log on your phone, and even your heart rate. It can basically do it all. It comes in many different styles, colors, and shapes and is very pliable to fit your lifestyle.

The Fitbit uses data collected from a ton of other apps which lets you compete with friends and coworkers on how many steps you take or miles you jog and so it has the social aspect to it too.

There are thousands of health apps that track everything you can imagine, and the number of apps and metrics is always growing. A few of those apps that I have personally found useful are RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal.

RunKeeper

If you enjoy running or jogging, RunKeeper is for you. RunKeeper is an app that tracks where you run and clocks your time so you know how long it took you to run a certain route. It’s nice because it’s compatible with devices like Fitbit and can sync to your other workout regimens. RunKeeper can also track your goals, connect with friends that run different routes and save your routes so you can track your progress and time to make sure you are in tip-top shape.

MyFitnessPal

My last tip to completing that New Year's resolution of being healthy is an app called MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is an app that really does it all. As I’m sure you know from listening to the Nutrition Diva and Get Fit Guy podcasts, when it comes to fitness, it isn’t all about just working out. It’s also about eating right! Just ask the Nutrition Diva and she will tell you that shedding those few extra pounds won’t work it you pump some iron or go for a run and then eat a box of hot and ready, melt-in-your-mouth donuts.

Although my mouth did just water a little bit, this app will keep you accountable for indulging in that extra bit of pie or eating that second helping of potato dish. MyFitnessPal lets your set goals for how many calories you are supposed to eat during the day and then try to match that goal to make your desired weight. Not only that, this app links up with Fitbit and the Health app to track your daily activity. It will even subtract the amount of calories burned throughout the day with your steps and daily activity or running. It almost makes it into a game to see who can makes the most points and beat the system.

Record

Now if you are wanting to focus more on your individual workout, you can use Record, which is a fitness app created by Under Armor. It's more refined for collecting specific fitness data and will allow you to set goals for how many steps you want to take during the day, time worked out, and even calories burned. If that isn't enough, it will even remind you throughout the day.

Since it is connected with the MyFitnessPal, it syncs your calorie count and can take your nutrition into consideration. It can even help with your preferred calorie intake, along with how much you are working out. It also focuses on your all around feelings on a day-to-day basis to see how you are feeling in regards to your workout. This is really helpful if you ever want to compare specific moments in time and track how you felt after certain workouts in the long run.

Now the awesome part about all of these apps is that they all work for Android and iOS. Really though the most important thing isn’t that you use a billion apps to track every little bit of data. Rather the most important thing is that you use one or even two apps that suit you best to keep you healthy and on track with your resolutions!

Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at techtalker.quickanddirtytips.com. And if you have further questions about this podcast or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, post them on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

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