It was Halloween day before I went shopping for trick-or-treat candy. Why? Because I didn’t need a bunch of bags of candy in the house calling my name. If you are anything like me, the timeframe from mid October to mid January is troublesome when it comes to making good food choices. Treats and sweets around every corner. Chocolates and candies. Special seasonal items on restaurant menus. Plates of deliciousness from family, friends and neighbors. My only defense is a solid offense. Put a plan in place to be accountable or at least aware of what I’m eating and double it up with exercising when possible.
I’ve said it over and over that MyFitnessPal is my favorite way to track my food intake. Whether I’m trying to lose weight or just maintain, I know that I make better decisions when I’m actually acknowledging what I’m taking in. My biggest issue is justifying that something is okay. “It’s just a few cubes of cheese.” “Apples are healthy.” “Peanuts are a good source of protein.” Unfortunately, if I don’t track those “little” details then I end up adding more calories to my diet than I realize. During the holidays when there are so many treats around, well, it’s just not good.
So it’s important that I have a plan of attack for the fitness side of the equation. With so many cool options in wearable technology, there isn’t a reason NOT to keep track. As with any type of technology, the options get better and better. If you’re looking for a holiday gift idea for yourself or a family member, there are plenty of options covering a variety of features. Personally, I’ve used a FitBit, Nike FuelBand and currently swear by the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit. Scott uses a Jawbone UP. All these bands sync with related apps on our iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S5 phones or even our iPads. This arms us with the knowledge that we’re moving enough or need to get off our butts. Used in conjunction with MyFitnessPal, these can add up to great tools for creating a healthy new you as you navigate the holidays and move into the new year.
Here are a few examples of some of the available options in wearable technology:
The Jawbone UP is a simple, low-key wristband that monitors everything in the background. There aren’t readouts or a clock to look at on your wrist. It vibrates to remind you to get up and moving. Sync with your phone and you’ll get details such as distance walked, calories burned and even sleep patterns. If you want to go a little deeper, you can input food and drink consumption to better monitor your calories. If you’re looking for something non-intrusive, this is a good band for that.
Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit / Samsung Galaxy Gear 2
I’m using a Galaxy Gear Fit and love the comfort and look of it. It’s sleek looking with a built-in clock. Despite owning a variety of watches, lately this has been the only watch I have worn. When I wear it to the gym, I can set the timer for interval training. It tracks my steps and my heart rate and has options to track running, walking, hiking and cycling as well. The Galaxy Gear Fit syncs with my U.S. Cellular phone and alerts me to email and text messages as well as phone calls and voice mail. There is also an option to track sleep patterns. The Galaxy Gear 2 offers real-time information through the personalized fitness manager. Based on the results of your workouts, it personalizes and gives adaptive recommendations for your next workout.
Pulse Activity Tracker
I don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of the Pulse Activity Tracker but in my opinion, having options and finding something that works for you is key. The Pulse Activity Tracker can be worn as a watch, clipped on a pocket or dropped in a bag. It monitors steps, distance traveled and calories burned. Just like the Samsung and the UP, it tracks sleep patterns. It can also reveal heart rate and blood oxygen levels. Sync it with your favorite fitness tracker app on your phone and it will catalog your data so you can see progress and access coaching options available through the app.
Okay, so this one isn’t available yet but it’s coming in early 2015. The variety of bands and faces bring wearable technology into the fashion market. This is the future of wearable technology.
There are also a variety of ancillary devices that help you with your fitness goals. A few examples are scales that sync with your phone.
Wireless Scale WS-30
The Withings WS-30 scale measures your weight and body mass index as well as connects with the partnered fitness app of your choice to more closely monitor the ups and downs.
For those (of us) too lazy to record our weight the normal way… scanning it with the phone! Weight Gurus scale lets you do that.
So what am I saying here? In a nutshell, our phones are powerful tools in our quest to be healthier. When we incorporate additional tools like wearable technology, we don’t really have any excuses for not trying to manage our health and our weight. It’s just too easy.
So as you navigate the holidays and get ready for the new year, remember that your U.S. Cellular phone with 4G LTE is your friend in helping you reach your fitness goals!