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