According to the Food and Research Action Center, two-thirds of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. More and more lifestyles involve sitting for long periods of time and, combined with unhealthy eating habits, can take a toll not only on weight, but on a person’s overall health.
Shows like The Biggest Loser and programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig help their members to start a healthy lifestyle through encouragement and a community of support. However, people can now use technology to give them the inspiration they need to become healthier, connecting with people throughout the world to meet their goals.
Abby Kidd, a BYU graduate in elementary education, now lives in Pasco, Wash., with her husband. She said having fitness apps are motivational to her and make tracking food and exercise enjoyable.
“I spend less than five minutes a day tracking using [LoseIt], and the pay-off is definitely worth it,” Kidd said.
A few years ago, Kidd went on a low-calorie diet and worked out for an hour every day. Not seeing results, she became frustrated.
“It was a tremendous waste of time and energy,” she said. “[LoseIt] is much better.”
Sonia Williams, who lives in West Jordan with her husband, said she loves using MyFitnessPal because she can track her food by scanning the barcode on items she eats.
“I would totally recommend it to others,” Williams said. “Actually I have. To all my family. And they are hooked.”
She said it is hard to change eating habits, but with the help of her husband and the app, she gets constant encouragement to pick the right foods.
“I love seeing the results,” Williams said. “I weigh myself every Saturday morning and I totally love doing the happy dance when I can see results on the scale.”
Many people like fitness and food apps because they take concepts like Weight Watchers and the gym and make them portable — and free. However, you don’t have to lose weight to use the apps. Individuals can track their fitness progress, train for marathons and maintain healthy lifestyles as well.
Macsen Viehweg, a BYU graduate in exercise science, uses both LoseIt and MapMyRun to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He said he loves both apps because they are really simple to use and both contain huge databases.
“MapMyRun should really be called ‘Map-My-Any-Exercise-Under-the-Sun,'” Viehweg said. “It’s great.”
Here are some apps that allow health to go portable:
: This app also has a web version which allows you to sign up, add friends and track your exercise and diet from its databases — for free.
: This app has databases for users to track both exercise and diet like LoseIt, but also offers each user a blog that they can write in and share with the rest of the community.
: By tracking users’ routes, this app offers a training log along with the option to post your successes on Facebook and Twitter. Users can also see other routes that have been uploaded for additional inspiration.
: This app contains over 145 yoga poses within three levels of difficulty and three durations. It can be purchased from Apple’s App Store or from Google Play for Android
There are hundreds of fitness and health apps available. Which have you used to help achieve your goals? Tell us about it on Twitter