When it comes to any fitness goal, numbers play an important role if you are looking to get effective results. They help us to acknowledge improvement (or not) and assists in keeping us motivated and on track to reaching our end goal. In the last few years, increasingly more fitness tracking devices and tools have flooded the market (from fitness tracker mobile applications to the online calorie count tool and heart rate monitor watch). Let’s take a closer look at a few of the options available that may give you an advantage when it comes to reaching your fitness goal.
Fitness and/or Calorie Tracking Mobile Applications
MyFitnessPal (a.k.a. “My Fitness Pal”)
MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a free calorie counting mobile application with over 4 million foods in its database. This application comes with even more functionality, including:
- Personal health and fitness goals
- Nutrition tracking
- Recipes and foods (personalized)
- Steps taken each day
The minimum requirement for this fitness tracking mobile application is a smartphone. No additional fitness tracking device is required to use MyFitnessPal.
Using your mobile phone as the tracking device, Moves tracks the distance, duration, steps, and calories burned for each activity you do throughout the day (i.e., walking, cycling and running). This free mobile application includes the following:
- Automatic recognition of walking, bicycling and running
- Calorie counter
- Routes on map
- Daily storyline with places
- No need to start and stop
- No need to charge and carry an extra device
A smartphone is required for this mobile application. No additional fitness tracking device is required to use Moves.
Fitness Tracking Wristbands
Unlike heart rate monitor watches, which are limited to tracking only heart rate, fitness tracking wristbands are designed to do so much more! These tracking devices help users become more conscious about the activities they do (or avoid doing) throughout a 24 hour span to accurately track calories burned.
Features of these devices include the following (depending on the specific model):
- Total activity over a 24 hour period (if they are worn all day/night long)
- How much sleep you get each night
- Steps and miles traveled per day
- Calories burned (factoring in additional calories from various activities)
There are currently several products available at any technology retailer (online or a physical store), including:
- FitBit Flex Wristband
- Garmin Vivofit
- Jawbone UP24
- Nike+ Fuelband SE
Taking Fitness Tracking to the Next Level
In the end, information is power and the combination of mobile tracking applications and physical activity tracking tools may provide significantly better results than using a single tool alone. Unfortunately, there is a cost for all fitness tracking devices that are physically worn on the body.
With advancements in smartphone technology, the list of mobile applications providing low cost options is growing each day. Unfortunately, most of these will require you keep your smartphone on (or close to) the body for the best tracking results (i.e., in your pocket or your purse). As smartphone technology improves more fitness tracking applications may add to the arsenal of tools. Stay tuned!