We all have different things that motivate us and keep our eyes on the prize. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, or even when I’m feeling sad, it’s my favorite pieces of fitness technology that keep me movin’ and groovin’ through my tough workouts. (bet you thought I was going to go full-out Sound of Music on you there, didn’t you?) Technology is a wonderful thing. We should embrace it and use it to our advantage. This is why I am sharing some of my personal favorite fitness “things” with you all. Some of these you may be familiar with, but if some of these are new to you, I encourage you to try them out!
- MyFitness Pal. This is an app you can download for free on your phone, tablet, or your computer. It allows you to enter some information about yourself to determine how many calories you need to consume per day to reach your goals. This app also lets you enter your physical activity to give you a comprehensive review of your daily and weekly performance in meeting your goals. You can also link up with friends to encourage one another and keep each other accountable! It’s always surprising to me how different my perception of my caloric intake is from the actual calorie count at the end of the day. That’s a sure-fired way to keep yourself honest!
- Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor. In Pink. Okay, yours doesn’t have to be pink, but mine is and it makes me happy. This is my ultimate workout buddy. When I got my VO2 test done for the first time, I asked for this heart rate monitor for my birthday, and we have been fast friends ever since. It not only allows me to check if I’m in my training zones, it also tells me how many calories I burn during my workout, how long I spend in my training zones, and it tracks all of my workouts including date, duration, and calories burned. Love, love, love this heart rate monitor! Again, another piece of equipment to keep me honest! Just when I think I feel tired, I double-check my heart rate monitor only to discover that I don’t need a break because my heart rate is still safely within my training range. Think of it as your personal trainer that you can take with you everywhere to encourage you to keep working!
- Interval Timer app. The one I use is called “Seconds Free”, and what I like about it is that I can choose any style of timer, like tabata, or circuit, to name a few. One downside about this app is that it won’t save the intervals you create manually. There are apps that will do this, but I just went with the free version that requires a little more work. I have this downloaded on my iTouch so that I can listen to music while I’m doing my timed workout. It’s the best of both worlds!
- FitBit/Jawbone. These devices will track many aspects of your life (including nutrition, fitness, daily steps, sleep, and calories burned), in order to keep you productive and reaching your goals! There are a few differences between the two. FitBit comes in a wristband variation as well as a clip on device, while the Jawbone is more commonly offered as a wristband. FitBit connects wirelessly, and the Jawbone doesn’t. Dolores wrote a great blog post on what this piece of technology did for her, and I encourage you all to read it!
Though technology won’t do the work for you, it sure can make your life easier when it comes to tailoring the ultimate health and fitness plan for you. In addition, it helps me keep things fresh and avoid slumps. When the workout blues have got me down, “I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feeeeeeeeeel…” well, you know the rest!
Here’s to discovering some of your favorites as well!