Hitting the gym, staying fit, and eating right aren't hard once you make them habits, and if you've got a fitness fanatic on your list, these gifts will help them stick to their workout goals all year long.
As 2012 approaches, you'll no doubt have some sort of resolution to get healthy. Rather than go it alone, why not employ some kind of smart technology to keep you at the top of your game? The UP might be just what you need. The Jawbone UP (yes, that Jawbone) is your wearable fitness monitor — it tracks your fitness levels, monitors your sleep and eating habits, and keeps you challenged with community activities.
Built with something called MotionX technology, the UP is said to be wicked accurate for monitoring your daily activities like walking, your pace, distance, calories burned, but also gets really detailed with your sleep habits since you wear the thing 24/7 (even in the shower — it's water-resistant!). No kidding — the UP doesn't just monitor the numbers of hours you've slept, but can also pinpoint how long it took you to fall asleep, the various different phases of sleep, and your overall sleep quality. The band even vibrates to "nudge" you awake at the optimal time during your natural sleep cycle. So thoughtful.
And as you may have guessed, the UP integrates with your iPhone to provide you with on-the-go stats and totals, but you can also use your camera to snap pics of the food and snacks you eat to compile your own virtual food journal. Fact is, when you know you have to take a picture of what you're eating, you're more likely to skip that piece of pie at the office potluck. Speaking of office, you can set the UP to remind you to get up and away from that computer screen during specific intervals throughout the day to get the blood flowing.
Coming in seven colors — blue, white, silver, brown, black, and two tones of red — the Jawbone UP seems to be the front-runner in the wave of new fitness gadgets, and by far the most wearable for the ladies. Get yours (or add it to your wish list) on Nov. 6 for $99.
Though you may look at the brand-new MotoActv Fitness Tracker and think, "Wow, that looks just like an iPod Nano," this thing was meant to make you sweat.
Introduced this morning, the MotoActv is a small and portable hub for your fitness goals. Coming with a 1.6-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen display and sweat-resistant band, the MotoActv tracks GPS for running and cycling, time, distance, speed, and calories burned during your workouts and stores up to 4,000 songs to keep you moving. But more than just a storage space for your favorite tunes, MotoActv is smart and deciphers which songs make you work harder and plays those more often.
MotoActv also syncs your workout data wirelessly with your online profile and is Bluetooth compatible, which allows you to take calls when your Android smartphone is nearby. Get your workout on with the MotoActv when it's released on Nov. 6 at two price points — 8GB of storage for $250 and 16GB for $300.
How many diet apps do you have loaded in your smartphone right now? Mine is kind of a graveyard of apps tried and failed, while others just didn't meet my diet and exercise needs. Enter Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker (Free) from the folks at CalorieCount.About.com. This app is the first I've seen to include both an activity log and food journal, alongside speech recognition (no more scouring food listings to find what you ate!) and bar code scanning for easy entry. Genius! There's even sections for informative articles, recipes, weight tracking, and the option to participate in the diet-focused community on the Calorie Count website.
Speaking of the website, if you choose to update your daily intake and output on the web instead of the app, Calorie Counter will auto update on your iPhone the next time you log in. Check out more screens of the app in the slideshow, and stay tuned for a full review after we take it for a spin.
The gadget freaks that we are, we're always excited to find new technology that aids a healthy lifestyle. Just announced for sale in late September, the NewYu ($100) is a small fitness monitor that clips to the sleeve or waistband of clothing. Going beyond a basic pedometer's footstep counting, the NewYu claims to recognize the body's movements for physical activities like cycling, running, or even cooking dinner through motion sensor technology.
The data on how many calories burned, calories consumed, and steps taken throughout the day can be synced through an Android app and via the company's online dashboard. The dashboard can also be shared with workout buddies using the service, to root each other on.
Whether or not NewYu can accurately detect which exercises we're actually doing, anything that reminds us to get up and moving after hours seated at a computer is a good thing.
You already knew that OD'ing on video games could lead to Nintendo Thumb, but did you know that it could also have fatal results? Recently, a young British gamer died of complications from deep vein thrombosis, which stemmed from 12-hour long sessions on his Xbox.
Though playing your Xbox isn't lethal in and of itself, sitting for long periods of time can be dangerous for your heart, muscles, and waistline. Next time you're taking part in an epic Halo battle or putting in overtime at your desk, be sure to take these healthy tips into consideration to prevent geek-related health problems.
- Take breaks more often — Whether you're coding, blogging, or gaming, you should make a habit of taking breaks often. Even better, stand up during your gameplay sessions, which not only keeps your muscles active, but it can burn more calories than just sitting alone, and prevent . . . other, more embarrassing conditions.
- Enforce a time limit — Decide how long you'll play before you log in, and stick to your time limit. You can always come back to pick up where you left off previously. Once your time is up, go take a walk, meet some friends at the arcade, or take your dog outside for some quality park playtime.
- Stretch — Every 15 minutes or so, get up and stretch your muscles. This will not only help to prevent cramps, but it will get your blood moving and stave off clots.
See the rest of our healthy gaming tips after the jump.
Summer is in full swing, and if you're still trying to shed the last of your Winter weight, don't go it alone. These three tools can help you track calories in and out while awake and even sleep (in some cases), which will not only help you drop pounds, but get improve your overall health.
Up by Jawbone
This newly announced fitness bracelet by Jawbone (seen here) stylishly monitors your movement, activity, sleep patterns, and nutrition in order to get a holistic view of where your calories are being burned, or more importantly, where they aren't. There will be a mobile app to use in conjunction with the bracelet so you can sync and see your totals on the go. The Up should launch sometime later this year with price TBA.
See a few more tools after the break.
Just because you live in space, doesn't mean you can't stay fit. Captain Picard is known throughout the Starfleet for his excellent health (despite some cardiac complications after a near-fatal stabbing through the heart) and fit physique, and he keeps fit by playing sports of all kinds. Check out some of his favorite activities on board the Enterprise and on solid ground. Remember to take a tip from the captain and relax every once in awhile — an extended holiday is good for your health!
Captain Picard is in excellent shape due to his love of running. He is the first freshman to win the Starfleet Academy Marathon, a 24-mile race on the planet Dranula II. If you're not at your tip-top shape just yet, FitSugar can give you plenty of tips on how to keep common running injuries at bay.
Captain Picard enjoys sports on the Enterprise, thanks to the holodeck, one of his favorites being racquetball. Racquetball provides an amazing workout (blasting over 200 calories in 30 minutes) and tests your hand-eye coordination with the quick moving target.
See the rest after the break.
Bad news, health nuts: Google Health is being discontinued. Although we loved the free online feature that allowed you to organize, track, and share important health and fitness information in a central place, granting access to doctors, family pharmacists, or others who should be privy to your health history, Google says the program just wasn't catching on and will be discontinued next January. If you were a fan of the site, or are just looking for a place to track and store health and fitness information, check out these five alternatives to get in on now.
- WebMD — Not just a place to see what that ache in your back can mean, WebMD offers up a food and fitness tracker so you can monitor your weight, calorie intakes, and even gives you recommendations on food and exercise times based on your goals.
- BabyCenter — Expecting moms can get a ton of information on this site, which offers up calendars and trackers to help you through your entire pregnancy and beyond.
- The Carrot — This site can help you monitor your fitness, nutrition, and medical data for a holistic view of your overall health. Plus, you can add or remove trackers to fit your lifestyle.
See the rest of the list after the break.
I talked about the BodyMedia Fit armband ($249) earlier this month, and finally completed my 30-day test drive of the fitness gadget that aims to make weight loss a science, not a guessing game. Wearing the band for up to 23 hours a day, you can program how much weight you want to lose and how quickly. Insert your stats (like body weight, height, and how often you normally work out), and BodyMedia will come up with goals for you to hit each day based on your BMI, calorie intake, and activity level.
You can see all of your daily results in graph form, which makes it super easy to tell where you need to work harder, and you won't have to do any crazy math to figure out your calorie deficits — it's all done for you! I loved using the device, and it really opened my eyes to exactly how much I was moving during the day (spoiler: not enough). Check out five things I learned about the device below, and why I think you'll like using it too.
- It's light and (semi) discreet — I thought the BodyMedia Fit armband was super light and pretty slim, which made wearing it under clothes virtually painless. I do wish it came in different colors though, since white is pretty hard to miss.
- It tracks everything — Not only do you record your food intake through the web interface (it's stocked with thousands of foods, so you don't have to spend forever customizing your items), but it records your sleep time with scary accuracy, your steps, calorie burn, and exercise time. You'll get a holistic view of why you can't lose weight, or why you aren't gaining.
- It serves as a reminder (in more ways than one) — Just wearing the band will remind you that you should get up and walk around, hit the gym, enter your food intake for the day, or pass on that second cookie.
See the rest of the list after the break.