Americans are battling an unprecedented health crisis as the result of inactivity, poor diet, and obesity. Our habits and diet are leading to high incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Given the productivity and control we have gained from the use of our smartphones, it’s time to apply this technology to our health. Here are four ways you can start working toward better fitness with your smartphone.
1. Use a pedometer
This basic function measures the length, step count, and distance traveled when you walk or run. Most smartphones have gyroscopes and accelerometers built into them, so they can register each time you take a step.
Popular pedometer apps include Runtastic, Nike+, and Strava. These softwares can help you develop a keen sense of how much exercise you’re getting each day, and how many calories you burn.
2. Pair with wearables
These gadgets have become one of the biggest highlights of tech shows and conferences — for example, SXSW and the Consumer Electronics Show. These devices can record more data with greater accuracy, which makes wearable tech an ideal companion as you work to get into shape.
Wristbands have become extremely popular, with companies such as Jawbone, Nike, and Fitbit competing to create the ultimate fitness band. The technologies allow you to track fitness activity without even carrying your smartphone, so you can go for a long run or bike ride without carrying or strapping on a phone.
Alternatively, companies such as LG are building heart-rate trackers right into earphones, so you can constantly gauge the amount of work your body is doing.
3. Record your caloric intake
The U.S. Department of Agriculture understands how important diet is for weight management. It encourages children and adults to follow recommended caloric intake guidelines.
But how do you know whether you’ve reached these totals, let alone surpassed them? You can take control of your diet by starting a caloric journal.
This could be a simple smartphone note in which you manually calculate calories. Or you might decide to use one of the many free or inexpensive calorie-tracking apps on the market, for instance, Calorie Counter or MyFitnessPal.
Your smartphone can help you track other health goals, beyond just calories, steps taken, and body metrics. You can also log minutes of yoga performed, breath-training exercises, and miles traveled via bicycle.
The options are endless once you choose to put your technology to use. These gadgets can be instrumental in motivating you toward weight loss. Here’s to healthier diets and more activity!