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How to use technology to stay healthy

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The Economic Times
27 Aug 2012

Instead of spending a packet on personal trainers and dieticians, you can tap the internet to get all the help and advice you need for free. ET shows you how you can use technology to plan and achieve your fitness goals.

GADGETS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS

Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale
Rs 8,740 from www.ebay.in (Global EasyBuy)
Rs 16,499 from www.playgroundonline.com
The Withings scale connects to your Wi–Fi network and uploads data (weight, lean and far mass) to an online account. You can then track progress (discreetly) using a free app or on a web browser.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer
Rs 12,889 from www.ebay.in (Global EasyBuy)
This Ironman has built in GPS, seven large buttons and a 1.5–inch display with Indiglo backlight. It's durable, water resistant and shows you your pace, distance covered, speed and heartrate (with the optional sensor) in four separate windows.

Striiv Motivational Pedometer
Rs 8,740 from www.ebay.in (Global EasyBuy)
This tiny device (40 grams, 25mm thick) is like your person–al trainer. It motivates you to ex-ercise using activity games, chal–lenges and a walkathon that counts steps towards a charity donation (no cost to you). It tracks activity on a daily level.

HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF AND GET REMINDED OF WHAT TO DO?
Apple iPod Touch

The Apple App Store has loads of fitness tracking apps that can help track and maintain your fitness goals. There are also apps that sync with various online services and update your calories burnt, food consumed and weight goals. The iPod Touch is ideal, thanks to the high–res 3.5–inch screen and fan-tastic battery life. Not to mention the wide range of accessories that you can get for it, including arm bands.

www.sparkpeople.com
To start with, you need to create a profile with some information: age, weight, height, health goals and daily lifestyle. Then you can track your weight, food and workout on a daily basis, either on the website or using the free iOS/Android apps that sync with your online account.

www.fitday.com
After a free signup, you create a profile with your weight, height and the type of work you do. You then get a dashboard to enter details about what you ate and exer-cise done. The site then shows your progress with easy–to–understand bar graphs and pie-charts along with sugges–tion to achieve your health goals.

Jefit
This free app (iOS & Android) has a large exercise database with instructions and an-imations. It can also reminds you about which exercise to do according to your schedule and to rest between workouts. The app tracks your progress and syncs it with your online account.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT THE CALORIFIC VALUE OF WHAT YOU EAT?
www.livestrong.com/myplate
You need to start by registering for a free account and post that, you can simply enter the name of the food you have eaten, the quantity and the time when you consumed it. The site will automatically calculate and show you the calories you gained.

www.caloriecount.com
This website not only shows you the amount of calo–ries a specific food item contains but also its nutri-tional value. It shows you a table with the fat, pro–teins, carbohydrates of the food item along with a pie chart to show its nutritional analysis.

Dailyburn Tracker
This free Android app (free signup re–quired) has a database of over 3,00,000 food items. it can show you the amount of calories in any food, nutritional val–ue, breakdown of nutritional compo–nents and pictures of each item. It keeps a log of what you eat on a day–to–day basis and tracks calories consumed.

HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD YOU BE CONSUMING PER DAY?
www.eatthismuch.com
To start with, you can find out how many calories you should be consuming, depend–ing on your activity levels. Armed with that knowledge, you can then view what food items to consume, that will provide a bal–anced diet while providing the specified number of calories. It even offers recipes in case you want to cook the food yourself.

Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
A free app for iOS and Android, Calorie–Counter generates your nutritional goals with details on how much calories you should consume in a day depending on your age, height, weight and the activi–ties your perform in a day. You can choose to set a goal for weight loss and then input your daily food and exercise details in the app. The app then gener–ates reports with various pie charts and bar graphs to track your fitness progress.

www.my–calorie–counter.com
Head to the utilities section, where you'll find various tools to calculate calorie require–ments, body fat and BMI. It even has a section that explains how many calories will be burned, doing various exercises and activities like sleeping, cleaning and dancing. The diet tips section has videos & information on top–ics like exercise, diet and overall health.

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