Better Living Through Technology: New Year, New You

Better Living Through Technology: New Year, New You

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Chris Perez
Jan 4, 2012

Ah, it's the beginning of a New Year and with that comes the responsibility of trying to better oneself with resolutions. In this multi-part series we look at some of the top resolutions and drop some helpful hints on how you can let technology hold you accountable. Today we look at how to whip yourself into shape, and to make this year the one you keep the resolution to "Get More Fit"

The Resolution: Get Fit

We all want to look better and feel better, and getting more fit is always a top resolution for the New Year. Use these motivators in 2012, to make sure you achieve your fitness goal.

The Motivators

Nike+
This great online tool has helped TONS of people get fit and stay motivated. Whether your goal is to run more, run faster, or run longer, the site's great online coach and calendar help you stay on track. Sync your runs, share them on Facebook or Twitter and let your friends cheer you on through the power of social media. Try it out and you may be surprised at how far that "Awesome job" comment from your friend on Facebook will go toward making your new routine a habit.

Find a race on Active.com
Giving yourself a specific goal and deadline can also be a great motivator. Use this site to help you find a race event in your area, and just sign up. Put it on your Google Calendar, and then maybe talk a couple friends into joining in with you. Input that race and deadline into the Nike Running site, and it'll even give you a training routine so you can finally run that 5k, Half-Marathon, or whatever it was you didn't think you had in you.

Crossfit
Not the running type? Then maybe you need to finally check out Crossfit. Crossfit is basically a workout style that focuses on using functional, full-body lifts to maximize your workout. The site is organized like a calendar, with a listing of Workout-of-the-Day (WOTD) routines for each day of the week. It can look a bit intimidating but you don't have to go all-out and follow these ritually. Do what I do and pick and choose your routine when its gym day and it'll eliminate all those "What-am-I-going-to-do-today" realizations when you get on the gym floor. The site is a great resource for workout material when you're in a slump and the best thing about it is the workouts usually don't take but 30-45 minutes to complete.

The Tools

Smartphone Apps + Workout Band
Download the Nike+ GPS app to your iPhone, or the iMapMyRun app to your Android device. These apps utilize the on-board GPS and let you sync your runs online for tracking on Nike+. The user interfaces are great, and pairing these tools with the Nike Running site above will get you hooked on your new routine. But don't just carry your phone with you, get an appropriate workout band and strap it to your arm. We like the Belkin Dualfit Band for the iPhone and the Tunebelt for Android.

Barefoot Running Shoes
Our bodies are technological wonders, but like any tool you need to use it correctly to get the best results. Enter the barefoot running movement, and get yourself a pair of new kicks to jump-start your new "Get Fit" plan. The idea behind these shoes is that they promote you to run the way our bodies were designed to - on the forefoot, and not the heels. Running in this manner significantly dampens the impact of each stride, and helps to prevent knee injuries that can plague runners. However, be careful and ease into them with these transition tips from Vibram. These shoes dramatically change the way you run, and will leave your calves screaming for mercy if you don't. You may get a lot of "are those toe shoes?" stares, but if you keep up running and hone your figure that won't be the only thing they're staring at :)

Withings Scale
This great scale not only tells you your weight but also your body fat percentage. Connect it to your wifi network, download the iPhone or Android apps, and monitor your weight on your smartphone or tablet. Seeing your results in a hard-coded data is always a great motivator and lets you know you're making progress.

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