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5 Free Self-Tracking Tools to Help You Get In Shape

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It’s easier than ever to get in amazing shape. (Photo: mikebaird)                    

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OK, so we all indulge a bit extra over the holidays.

Cozy family gatherings, festive parties, and the mass consumption frenzy that surrounds us, even if we’re trying to keep things simple.

Fortunately, the new year always gives us a chance to start fresh. And this year it will be so much easier to stick to your resolutions, thanks to the explosion of self-tracking tools 2009 has seen.

Here are my top 5 to help you get going:
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1. #getupandmove

Picture 10This is the best new app I’ve tried in a while. Hot off the press from the brilliant @jensmccabe and @shazow, #getupandmove is a lightweight Twitter app where you challenge your online friends to exercise with you.

For me, having virtual running buddies has been amazingly motivating, fun, and a great way to stay healthy while connecting with friends. Thank you, Jen!
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2. DailyBurnPicture 13

Ever tried to calculate and record calories on paper? It’s frustrating and cumbersome. That’s why I was excited to find DailyBurn‘s free iPhone app that takes care of it for me.

Not only does it have a great database that includes most grocery store brands and even many restaurant meals, but it calculates my ratio of fat/carbs/protein during the day, so I know how to balance the rest of my meals.

You can set target ranges and earn little apple icon rewards for meeting them. So easy to use, it’s a must-try if you have an iPhone.
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3. RunKeeper

Picture 17Here’s another one of my daily staples. I wake up, put on my running shoes, fire up my iPhone, and I’m off!

Running is so much easier with the free GPS-based RunKeeper app. It tracks how far you’ve gone, how long you’ve been running, your pace, and even a map of your route. (It works great for walking too.)

RunKeeper and DailyBurn both have Pro versions with extra features that you can upgrade to, but I find the free versions more than adequate for my needs.

I’m actually training for my first marathon now, thanks in large part to inspiration and ease from these first 3 apps.
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4. CureTogether

Picture 18Yes, this one is a shameless plug. :)

Thousands of people have been tracking over 100 different measures of their health over the past year at CureTogether. It’s been amazing to see the range of what people track, from mood to sleep to miles to supplements.

You can track yourself for free here, and we’ll soon be announcing (drumroll, please!) a Pro version that includes advanced analytics for your health and lets you connect with people who match your health profile. Join in the fun and stay tuned!
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5. Personal Informatics

If you like brain candy, check out Ian Li’s Personal Informatics site. Ian does research at Carnegie Mellon University, and he has put together this amazingly beautiful, categorized list of all the self-tracking tools he could find. It’s fun to look around, and you just might find a gem that makes your life wonderful.

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So these are my 5 favorites for getting in shape – free, easy, and fun. (If you have any other favorites, please let me know in the comments.)

Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!
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Related Posts:

- Why Track Yourself?

- Quantifying Myself: my self-tracking story at the Quantified Self

- Top 10 Innovations at TEDMED


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9 Responses to “5 Free Self-Tracking Tools to Help You Get In Shape”

  1. susanlindsey Says:

    microfitness via #getupandmove: doable, fun, easy. thanks Contagion Health!

  2. Definitely, and thanks for your comment, Susan! I’ve been enjoying getting up and moving with you on Twitter. :)

  3. I’ve found nutrimirror.com to be helpful.

  4. We’ve recently launched http://wellbook.org . I suppose it can be considered a competitor to curetogether, but it’s a sufficiently different take that hopefully you won’t mind me adding this comment. It’s mainly oriented toward people with illnesses rather than people who are interested in optimizing fitness.

  5. Thanks Evelyn, I hadn’t heard of that one! Another list of great resources is posted at the Quantified Self’s Resource Links – http://www.kk.org/quantifiedself/qs-resource-links.php

  6. Hi Vladimir,
    Thanks for adding to the list of self-tracking tools! Best of luck with your website.
    Alexandra

  7. Another good iPhone app that has helped me to track my food intake and exercise is Lose It!

    It has an online forum/website component and there are a lot of people using it- best of all its free!

  8. Thanks Carol, great suggestion! I hope it helps you with your food and exercise goals. Please keep us posted on your progress if you like!
    Be well,
    Alexandra

  9. CureTogether Blog » Blog Archive » 5 Free Self-Tracking Tools to Help You Get In Shape…

    CureTogether Blog » Blog Archive » 5 Free Self-Tracking Tools to Help You Get In Shape…

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