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Your Digital Workout Companion
By: Andy Weiss
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With New Year’s just around the corner, it’s resolution time and many of us will pledge to get in better shape or lose some weight. Fortunately, we have some digital tools that can keep us company, motivate us, and track our progress along the way. Several have social media components so we can compete against our friends and have them push and challenge us to stay on track. So grab your smartphone or tablet, add some of these apps, and let’s get to work.
 
Working Out
First, it’s a great time refresh your playlists with some new, energizing songs and load them onto your device. Make sure the songs have an up-tempo beat to really get your heart pumping. Another option is to load your smartphone or tablet up with books, magazines, or TV shows. That way you’re not stuck with what’s at the gym. Recent updates to the Kindle and Apple’s Newsstand have made this process even easier. Oh, and don’t forget your headphones. If you’re in search of an alternative to the pair that came with your device, check out yurbuds. They're designed for fitness use so they won’t fall out as you sweat your way to the new you.
 
Tracking Progress
Now that we have the basics out of the way, it’s on to the workouts. One of the keys to staying motivated over time is tracking your progress. There are a handful of ways to do this digitally. If you’re a runner, app developers love you. Check out Nike+, RunKeeper, and iMapMyRun. Each offers the ability to track or log your runs outside and indoors. In addition, each has a companion website where you can view progress and take advantage of additional features. For workout regimes that go beyond running and basic cardio, Skimble’s Workout Trainer, MapMyFitness, and FitnessBuilder from PumpOne provide expert workouts and some scheduling capabilities, and they all import online tracking support. And if you’re into P90X, there’s even an app for that.
 
Logging Calories
Regardless of which fitness guru you subscribe to, they will all tell you that nutrition is just as important to achieving your fitness goals as your workouts. There are a myriad of options for not only tracking your what you eat but also the calories you’re burning. While the apps all require the discipline of logging your meals and workouts, the point of each is the awareness and the positive habits that the logging creates. So pick one and stick to it. To get you started, take a look at LoseIt, DailyBurn, and Livestrong. All are dedicated to the nutrition side of the equation and, therefore, offer more robust calorie and progress tracking than some the apps above. In addition, the good folks at WeightWatchers have ported their program to digital devices.
 
Hopefully this helps get you started on the right foot this New Year. Good luck and see you at the gym.


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About the Author
Andy Weiss is a digital direct marketer, consumer evangelist, change agent, and cultural anthropologist.
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