Sodas are larger, burgers have extra patties, and everywhere you look people are complaining about weight gain. The average weight in the United States and other countries is higher than it was even ten years ago; deaths from preventable diseases linked to obesity are common. There are lots of reasons why belts need a few new notches, but the most important thing is changing things up.
Technology is often cited as being one cause of the ever-expanding waistline around the world. So why not use technology to fight back? Mobile apps that track food and fitness can help you meet your weight loss or fitness goals-and you'll have fun while doing it. Though you can certainly write down your sandwich calories or the number of minutes you spent on the treadmill in a notebook, or enter it on a computer, a mobile app has benefits over both those options.
First: you usually have your smartphone or tablet with you. The devices are built to be portable-even moreso than a laptop. Are you more likely to pull out a desktop, a laptop, or your smartphone over lunch with friends? Most people are definitely more likely to quickly check their phone than to power up a laptop, connect to the internet, and go to a website.
Second: You don't actually have to count. Most apps that track your food or fitness have built in calculators that work with values already put into the system. The app can tell you how many calories are in a McDonald's McDouble. It can tell you how many calories a 5'6', 150-pound woman burns doing 45 minutes on an elliptical machine.
Since gym equipment is notorious for over-calculating your caloric burn, most apps are more reliable, too. It's not uncommon to overestimate your burn and underestimate your eating; doing both things will definitely prevent you from losing any serious weight. Why not use an app to be sure of accuracy?
But which apps should you choose? Mobile application development has come a long way since the days of PDAs; there are a lot of options for a savvy user. If you're just starting out, popular apps that are easy to use and troubleshoot are your best bet.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is an app developed by the creators of the popular dieting website. Create an account on your mobile device, if you choose, or input the information from an account you create online. The mobile app syncs with any input you do on the site or on other devices, making it easy to switch from one device to another. MyFitnessPal has user-generated databases with tons of food items to help you determine your calorie input each day. It also helps calculate how much food you should be eating; you can track things like fat, protein, potassium, and fiber, too.
Nike+ GPS is the perfect app for novice or experienced runners. It uses GPS technology to track your runs. Friends can connect to your workouts to help motivate you by commenting or liking your progress. It even offers a game mode called Nike+ Tag that pits you against friends who use the app. Voice feedback lets you focus on your run instead of on your phone screen. Nike+ GPS makes running even more fun and can help get you out of bed on grey mornings when you don't quite feel like a run.
Daily Body Workout
Daily Body Workout is another app that helps you maintain or increase your fitness. It's not only geared toward runners, though. It can help with a whole host of cardio routines. You can even use it to target certain muscle groups. A certified personal trainer models the activities, helping you to get the best possible form. Workouts can last from 10 to 30 minutes and are created based on your gender.
So log out of Angry Birds, turn off Instagram, and try out these health and fitness apps. Your body-and those skinny jeans you've been hoping to wiggle into-will thank you. Have you ever tried any of these smart phone apps?