There are several tools and apps that I use regularly, or have used in the past, that I've found super handy in helping me stick with the goals I set for myself in the area of health and fitness.
One of first places I turned to at the beginning of my health, weight loss and fitness journey, the one that opened my eyes to just what and how much I was eating, was MyFitnessPal. I became an avid label-reader as a result of using their food diary to log my daily calories. I quickly realized I was eating far too much and some really not-so-healthy things, too! MyFitnessPal is a GREAT tool to not only help you become aware of what you're eating, but to also give you incentive to exercise to "add calories back". MyFitnessPal is available on their website, and also as a handy app on iOS and Android.
Next up, the app responsible for helping me become an avid runner: Couch to 5K (or C25K for short). It's a nine week running program for absolute beginners. It helps to take you from out-of-shape to being able to run a 5K. You start off gently with 30 second run intervals broken up with 1 or 2 minute walk intervals, all the way to being able to run for 30 minutes straight. I started using the app in February 2010 and signed myself up for my first (4 mile) race in September that year as a goal. I went from being a complete and total non-runner in 2010 to just last year completing my first full marathon (26.2 miles).
I currently use the Nike+ app on my iPhone to track my runs. I've also used Runkeeper in the past. The biggest reason I've chosen to use Nike+ over Runkeeper regularly is that I can use Nike+ to track my treadmill runs, whereas I cannot with Runkeeper. One of the best things about tracking all of my runs with an app such as Nike+ is that I have a visual of how far I've come. I can see run stats at a glance, it saves my personal best times, and adds up the miles ran over time. You can also connect with other runner friends and set up challenges if you're the competitive type. More recently, Nike+ has added a Coach section, which houses their training programs.
Overall, technology has most definitely had (and continues to have) a huge impact on my fitness journey, and for that I am thankful. :)
What tools, apps or bits of technology do YOU use? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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