There are an estimated 5,820 health and fitness apps available according to The World of Health and Medical Apps. What is the best way to utilize an app to benefit your overall health and fitness?
As part of our TCBOOST Transformation Challenge we have encouraged participants to utilize the My Fitness Pal app as a way to track their nutrition. This free app allows users to enter weight loss or gain goals, age, gender, current weight, and then My Fitness Pal will set their daily calorie goal, as well as breakdown of fats, carbs, protein, vitamins, sugar, and sodium. Beyond nutrition, users can add in exercise and the app will adjust by increasing the calories allowed. Counting calories is not the absolute solution for weight loss, but understanding what we actually are putting into our bodies is essential. My Fitness Pal makes keeping a food diary easy and that’s a great starting point to create healthy eating habits. My Fitness Pal currently has over 40 million users and it connects well with Map My Fitness, which tracks walking, running, and biking. Utilizing those apps will help you keep a complete log of our health and fitness.
In addition to Map My Fitness, Nike has some great tools to track workout including the Nike Fitbit. The Fitbit tracks movement through a small clip or bracelet. It will measure steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and it is sensitive enough to tell how vigorous a movement is. Since coming out with a tracker, Nike has produced the Nike Training Club Free app. This app supplies users with a variety of workouts including strength, cardiovascular, yoga, boxing and more. They provide different levels from beginner to advanced and range between 15 min and 60 min. We would love to have everyone train in our facility, but understand it is not always possible and Nike has done great work creating options to accomplish at home or at a gym.
A unique free app that I have started to use is called Instant Heart Rate. This app will calculate the pulse by simply playing the index finger over the camera lens. It then will store that number in a category such as wake up, bedtime, post meal, etc. Tracking heart rate in the morning can be a useful tool to see if your body is performing as it should. After finding a consistent baseline number, seeing a spike can indicate that there is overtraining happening whether it is that your nutrition is off; you are lacking sleep; you are doing overly intense training or a combination of factors. This lets you use the heart rate level as a signal to adjust your fitness plan.
Consistent training and sound nutritional choices are the pillars of health and fitness. These apps can help users train smarter and have accountability, but the app can’ t do all of the work! Get Boosted!
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