Jun 3, 2015

Reboot Your Fitness

As a society, we’ve become accustomed to using our computers and smartphones for shopping, banking, and staying in touch, but there’s a new trend in digital media that addresses the most important aspect of our lives: our health.

New health and fitness apps and websites are appearing almost daily. Some are designed to simply monitor progress and record data, while others offer advice and information. Reboot your wellbeing with some of these websites and apps for health.

Fitocracy is one example of health-related social media. It gives users exercise-based ‘quests’ or challenges to improve their fitness. When a user completes a quest they are awarded an achievement badge and advance to a higher level. Fitocracy allows users to connect and compete with friends, as well as share their achievements on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Fitness apps and programs that integrate a social media element can be a wonderful motivator for those who are naturally competitive or thrive on positive feedback.

Zombies, Run!
This immersive running game was the number one top grossing health and fitness app in Apple’s App Store in 2012. Designed to motivate runners, Zombies, Run features and audio track with sound-effects and narration. The app records running pace, distance, time, and calories burned as the user completes a series of missions and avoids zombies. Zombies, Run definitely adds a thrill and sense of imagination to your workout.

Sleep Cycle
This app uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to monitor your movements during sleep in order to track your sleep phases. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock analyses your sleep cycles, and wakes you during your lightest sleep within a half-hour window of your alarm. Waking at the optimal point in a sleep phase improves your energy levels and mood. Sleep Cycle alarm clock has received high praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time Magazine, and is worth trying if you find getting out of bed a struggle.

Pinterest is basically an online scrapbook where users ‘pin’ pictures to virtual display boards. Pins can also act as links to the image’s original source so you can access a particular website or article. One of Pinterest’s most popular board categories is Health and Fitness, and a quick browse can provide you with workout regimes, clean-eating recipes, and infographics. Pinterest, like Instagram, is an abundant source of ‘fitspiration’—a social media phenomenon featuring inspirational health-related images and quotes.

With hundreds of health-related apps and websites available to help you count calories, track your fertility cycle, quit smoking, monitor your heart rate, practice deep breathing exercises, or train for a marathon—odds are that you’re only a click away from finding one that helps enhance your health or improve your fitness.

Do you use health-related apps or websites? Which ones?