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Technically the new you for the New Year

Monday 10 January, 2011 by Tania

The ‘New Year, new you' line starts to poke you in the ribs as soon as the last slice of Christmas turkey is carved and scoffed.  And when you can't bear it anymore, out comes the pen and the list creation starts.

After a few minutes of scratching around in your bad habits...the new year resolution list is born.  I will walk 100 miles; and I will eat salad for the rest of the year. I will not go down the chocolate aisle at the supermarket, I will take up a new sport, I will say yes. I will say no and I WILL make some changes around here!  Done. Up it goes on the fridge door, the bathroom mirror, the bed head, the car and then your forehead. 

Yawn. Of course it's one thing to write it down but it's another thing to actually find the motivation, the inspiration, the time and the encouragement to make it happen. Regardless of where you stick it to remind yourself, it's a task in itself to follow everything through.

Why not approach things a bit differently this year and embrace the technology you have.  Yes your computer, the web, your mobile and even your TV, oddly enough, can keep you active, help you sleep better, track your progress, and encourage you to keep going until you find the new you. 

Getting physically fit - technically

Nothing made me laugh more than my grandfather playing WII Fit after Christmas lunch. That was followed by the whole family having a dance off.  We must have at least worked off the pudding.

These days you can bowl, box, dance, stretch, kick or squat.  Mixing this in with your outdoor activity or challenging a friend will keep things interesting.

Keeping track

Checking in via your mobile.

What are you actually doing with your time, money and stomach?  If you have embraced mobile technology and have been tagging yourself through Facebook places, Foursquare or Gowalla - you might want check your check ins.  This will tell you where you are going, how much you are eating out, and what you are eating and with whom.  Some of the above applications will allow you to run reports to show you any trends.  E.g. Have you checked in at Mario's Pizza 10 times in the last month and always on a Friday evening?

Can you see the opportunity to turn this into an exercise log and tag yourself on your local walks, at the gym or swimming session? 

Keeping motivated

The smart phone can be your best friend with a huge selection of motivational iphone apps in the form of a personal trainer type scenario, counters, tips and weight calculators.

For iphones you might like to explore.... (most are free for basic models)

  • Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary - basic app free but check website for more information
  • BMI Calculator - Free
  • Pedometer (Passometer) - Free
  • Fitness Free: 300 exercises & yoga poses - Free

There are a number of online communities that you can join to pledge your kilos away. Most of them now can be integrated into your social networking pages like Facebook and Twitter so it's a constant buddy on your back.

You can do it

You see, as technology develops at the speed of light, so does the number of opportunities. There are always new and exciting things to try that will benefit our health and fitness.  Technology no longer just threatens to turn us all into keyboard potatoes, but gives us lots of new and exciting opportunities to create a better, healthier and motivated you.

Do you use any of the above to help you keep focused on your goals? If not, what would you most like to try? 

Comments

I have the free CardioTrainer app on my android-based smart phone. It tracks how far I've walked/cycled and how many calories I've burnt. Being a monitoring addict, this pleases me.

From: Jen, 15/04/2013

Great advice. My gym has an electronic tracker that records my reps, my heart rate and energy expended. At the end of the workout I look at how well i've done on each machine and how many calories I've burned. its a great motivator to see your progress over time.

From: Gloria, 15/04/2013

I've tried a calorie counter on my iphone and kept me motivated for longer than I would normally be while trying to watch what I eat. It might be time to get it active again.

From: Waist-watcher , 15/04/2013

For later model Nokia phones there is Sports Tracker - it's free and you can upload your workouts to Facebook

From: Shaun, 15/04/2013

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