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Using Technology to Help You Lose Weight and Feel Fitter

20130520-using-technology-to-help-you-lose-weight

The two times of year that people most frequently start exercise and fitness programs are: the new year, and spring. Losing weight and becoming more fit is the most common New Year’s Resolution. It’s also extremely common for women in particular to want to feel fitter once warm weather hits, the big puffy coats are put away, and swimsuit season arrives! Fortunately, we’ve got a ton of technology options to help us get fitter – here are a few of our top favorites here at Big Girls Bras!

Phone Apps
Phone apps are one of the most valuable additions to our fitness lineup. They’re always with us, and they help with everything from tracking exercise to counting calories – or even showing us how to exercise! Here are a few of our favorites:

Exercise/Fitness Apps

  • Nike Running: Nike Running is a great app to help you track runs – or even walks! It uses your phone GPS to track your route and speed, so it can track your pace, calories burned, and can even pull weather data or track what shoes you were wearing so you know when you need to switch!
  • Endomondo: Endomondo Sports Tracker can track multiple activities, including running, cycling, walking and other distance-based activities. GPS can track route and pace, and unlike Nike Running, it will integrate with your Heart Rate Monitor to more accurately track calories burned and give you invaluable training data.
  • Run 5k/10k Runner/Half Marathon Runner: There are a plethora of run/walk interval training programs to help you transition from couch potato to runner. These programs tell you when to walk and when to run, taking all the mystery out of it. They include daily or weekly progressions to help you gradually improve – they’re great for people who are new to running or fitness!
  • Nike Training Center: If you want to focus on overall fitness, Nike Training Center offers some great exercise routines to get you moving and help build strength, flexibility and endurance.

Calorie Tracking Apps
Calorie tracking apps – like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt! and MyPlate Livestrong.com calorie tracker – make it easy to figure out your calories in/calories out equation. Your phone is always with you, making it easy to log the foot you eat, and popular exercise apps will integrate with these services to automatically pull in exercise data. Losing weight has never been so easy!

Heart Rate Monitors
Heart rate monitors are invaluable tools to accurately track your calories burned during an activity, and to measure your overall fitness. You can buy stand alone heart rate monitors, like heart rate monitor watches by Polar, Timex and Garmin. Or you can buy heart rate monitors that integrate with your phone, either via Bluetooth or an adaptor dongle, and sync directly with your fitness apps.

Personally, I use a Garmin HRM strap with a Wahoo Fitness ANT dongle, because my iPhone 4’s Bluetooth capabilities are too primitive to hook in directly to a Bluetooth HRM strap. It works with all my fitness apps, though, and is a great way to monitor improvements in my fitness.

Pedometers
Pedometers are excellent tools for people who just want to get moving more without having to focus on elaborate workout routines. You can get simple pedometers that clip on your clothes, or you can go more high-tech and get digital pedometers like the Fitbit One, Jawbone Up or Nike Fuel Band. These devices store activity data electronically and then sync with your computer, either wirelessly or via a dongle, to upload exercise data to the website. Hook up with friends to compare stats and gamify your fitness goals!

My personal favorite? The Fitbit One with the Fitbit Aria scale – the scale transmits my weigh-ins wirelessly, including body fat percentage data, and the Fitbit One tracks my steps, the number of stairs I climb, and calories burned throughout the day. I have it hooked into MyFitnessPal to track calories, and I have complete control over my fitness life! I love passing my friends’ step counts – it keeps us all pushing a little more – and is a great way to take the “chore” out of fitness.

Do you have any favorite fitness-related technology? Something you want to know more about? Hit us up in the comments or on Facebook!

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