02/12 2015

My Technology Fitness Faves

I have had many technology clients over the years, developing strategies to market their products and services – all seemingly to simplify and/or enhance professional and personal lives. Is it surprising that technology now permeates our fitness life, too?

I’m a self-professed devoted and disciplined exercise geek, so I don’t need too many additional incentives to get moving. (In fact, I prefer to schedule my work around my workouts). However, others are motivated by apps and gadgets that help make fitness and nutrition goals more fun and realistic to achieve. At the end of the day, these technologies hold you accountable – to ensure you’re eating, drinking and doing what’s best for your body.

What I use

GPS Watch

Believe it or not, I still use my antiquated Garmin Forerunner 205, a GPS receiver that provides precise speed, distance, and pace data. Though it looks like a mini-computer on my wrist, it’s had to beat for reliability and accuracy.

 

There are many smaller versions now available, even ones that triathletes can take in the water. Many of my friends have converted to Nike’s GPS Sportswatch and are quite pleased with the experience.

Map My Run

Most days, when I’m out for a shorter stroll, I simply use this wonderful app on my iPhone, especially since I’m carrying the phone along for tunes anyway. My favorite feature is the friendly voice that conveys my pace every mile, reminding me when I have slowed down (or sped up, which is rarely the case). It is a reliable as a training partner when I must face the elements solo. The only downside is occasionally the app gets tripped up and stops working without explanation, thus failing to follow through with its assigned duty. Furthermore, I’ve never successfully posted my workouts onto Facebook, though I really doubt my “friends” care about my daily jogs anyway.

The Daily Mile is another popular site to track and share workouts.

Shoes

With all the advances in running shoes in recent years, I’d be remiss not to mention the new pair of Newtons I have tried recently. Broadly defined as minimalist training shoes, my Kismets are a stability core trainer. I really love the way they feel on my feet as they are quite light to hold and wear. So far, I’m wearing them on every other run, to adjust for the change in stability and to thwart potential knee issues (which have sadly come to visit recently, at no fault of any shoe).

 

Other Fun Stuff

The FitBit Phenom       

Everywhere I turn, someone is wearing a Fitbit to track their steps, calories and sleep. Friends have told me they really like this gadget as motivation to walk instead of ride elevators, cars and more. I don’t yet have one but hope to get one soon.

Due to its popularity, there are now plenty of alternatives. Check out PopSugar for the full review.

Apps and Websites

Though I don’t profess to use all of these, I facilitated focus groups among moms last summer – all looking to find motivation for better health. Here’s a list of apps and websites that the moms raved about.

Fitness

Food/Nutrition

Health Plans
Many health insurance companies have also gotten in the mix, providing online and offline tools and incentives to help members better manage their health. In my neck of the woods, Regence of Idaho offers a MyRegence tool to members, while Blue Cross of Idaho offers incentives to employee members who get annual screens. I was also introduced to Oscar Insurance, a health insurance in New Jersey and New York who gives all members a Misfit Band much like the FitBit, which they can use to track personal goals and earn cash rewards each day for meeting them.
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