In previous posts, we shared several nutrition and fitness apps that help you plan and keep track of your health habits. While most apps on the market today don’t have clinical research to back them up, researchers are starting to look into the technology’s effectiveness, and the initial results look promising!
A recent Northwestern University study found that people who used a mobile food and activity tracking app alongside of another weight loss program lost an average of 15 pounds (and kept the weight off for a year!). Even those participants who used the app alone lost an average of 8 pounds. Below are some new apps and other gadgets that make a healthier lifestyle more attainable and maybe even more fun!
(Be sure to read to the bottom — we’re giving one of these beauties away!)
Fitbit: Wear this small device to track your daily activity (steps, distance, calories burned, sleep cycle); your information is wirelessly synced to your computer and mobile device. Use the companion app to set goals, log your food intake, track your progress, and share/compete with friends. The Fitbit comes in three small and stylish options: One, Zip, and Flex (new!). Price range: $59 to $99
Withings Smart Body Analyzer: This “health tracking scale” instantly gives you your weight, body composition (% body fat) and heart rate; then it automatically transmits this information to a companion smartphone app where you can keep track of your progress, note trends, and get help with your goals. Price: $149.95
Fooducate: Use this website or smartphone app to learn which foods at your local grocery store pack the most nutritious punch. Using a scientific formula, this program gives letter grades (A-F) to thousands of products so that you can pick the more nutritious items. You can take a picture of the product’s barcode with your smartphone to get an instant and easy-to-follow report of the product’s contents, to compare it to other products, and to select a healthier alternative. Price: Free
GymPact: Put your money where your muscles are with this mobile app! Decide how many days a week you want to work out; select a cash amount that you would be willing to pay if you do NOT work out. When you work out, check into your gym using the GymPact app (includes a GPS tracking feature), track log at-home workout with the GymPact Anywhere app, or log your outdoor exercise time in the RunKeeper app. The money paid by those who do NOT exercise is divided up and distributed to all the exercisers. The more you exercise, the more money you earn, but if you miss a day of exercise, you have to pay up! Price: Free
Lift: This app extends beyond physical health. Select good habits that you want to increase the frequency and consistency of in your life. Examples of habits include: getting outside, pleasure reading, flossing, learning a new skill, spending time with friends, exercising, drinking more water, etc. Use the app to set goals, track your progress, and share your success with friends. Price: Free
The key to all of these apps? They encourage you to set goals, track calories and activity, and use social media for social support.
Post adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens” (May 2013), “Fitness 2.0” page 187.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We are so excited to announce that this week we are giving away a Fitbit ZIP!
There are 3 ways to be entered in our giveaway–just make sure to tell us what you did so we can count your entry!
- Take a moment to look back through the blog and find a post that catches your attention, then leave a comment with what you like about it! ( = 1 entry)
- “Like” the Clergy Health Initiative’s facebook page! ( = 1 entry)
- Share our blog with 5 friends, and tell them about the giveaway! ( = 1 entry)
You can enter as many times as you’d like, just make sure to leave us a comment ON THIS POST with how many entries are “due” to you! That’s right, if you e-mailed 25 friends (or tagged them in a post on Facebook) about the giveaway, and liked our Facebook page, and left a comment on a previous post, you would be entered 7 times! Thanks for celebrating with us by participating in the giveaway!
A winner will be drawn at random on Friday morning, May 17, so be sure to get all your entries logged by 10 a.m. EDT Friday.
Thanks to ALL who supported the blog this week by leaving comments, “liking” the Duke Clergy Health Initiative Facebook page, and telling your friends! This week’s giveaway is now closed! And now, (drumroll, please!) the winner of the Fitbit is Erica! Congratulations! Please contact us Erica, and let us know where to mail your Fitbit.
Check back next Monday for details on our next giveaway!