Technology offers so much more than the ability to share what we had for breakfast or communicate with people we haven’t seen since high school (although those are fun things to do). In recent years, an enormous variety of fitness apps and devices hit the market, each designed to help you take a proactive approach to fitness.
Today, it’s easier than ever to track what you eat, how much you move, and even how your body responds to activity. Each of these options helps you make healthier choices and really take control of your health and wellness. Technology doesn’t take the place of a healthy lifestyle, or do the hard work for you, but it does make it easier to make personal health a priority.
What Is Noom?
Noom is a fitness app that promises to teach you how to live a healthy life; all you have to do is believe it’s possible.
You’ve likely seen Noom advertised all over the Internet. But, if you haven’t clicked any of those ads, you probably aren’t sure what it is. When you go to the Noom website, the first thing you see is a 30-second evaluation. Enter your goal weight, current weight, height, and age range. Answer a couple of lifestyle questions, scroll through a couple of “here’s why Noom is different” pages, and wait for your results. Of course, Noom wants your email address before they’ll tell you how much weight you can lose.
Once you give them your precious email, Noom tells you what you’ll weigh in 4 months on their plan. From there, choose “Claim your plan” and answer more lifestyle questions to customize it. This is also where you set your goals.
Noom offers a two-week trial. But, it isn’t free. You choose the amount you think sounds fair and that’s what you pay. Your choices include $1, $3, $10, and the amount Noom says it costs them to run the program for 2 weeks. As of June 2019, this was a little over $18. If you choose to continue, you enter your payment information, choose any add-on features, and create your Noom profile. Then just open the text they send you and download the app.
The Noom Fitness App
Open the app and enter your email and password. Noom promises they only need 10 minutes of your time each day to help you reach your fitness goals. Noom may be a fitness app, but it promises to figure out how you tick and why you make the choices you do.
Noom also offers a support team that includes coaches and a support group to help you stay on track. They promise that, if you stick to their program, you’ll lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Day 1 takes a bit more than 10 minutes, because you’re setting goals. The app offers loads of tips and tricks, designed to motivate you based on your unique psychology.
How Much Does Noom Cost?
The full monthly cost of Noom as of June 2019 is $34.57 per month. If you don’t cancel before your trial ends, Noom charges your card $138.29. This pays for four months of Noom. Throughout your membership, Noom charges in 4-month increments. If you want to cancel, the company claims you just need to let your coach know.
Fees are non-refundable, so let your coach know well in advance of when the next charge is scheduled to come out.
Other Fitness Apps
There are so many apps designed to help you shed unwanted pounds that it’s no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed by the number of choices available to them. The following three options are a good place to begin your fitness tech journey.
The principle behind StepBet is simple: When cold, hard cash is on the line, people are more likely to follow through on their goals.
StepBet uses money as a motivator. Players bet real-world money that they’ll take a certain number of steps in a given amount of time. Multiple players join the game, with most games lasting 6 weeks. The standard bet amount is $40, but both game duration and bet amount vary. At the end of the game, if you hit your goals, you get your bet back. You also get to share any forfeited bets from players who failed to meet their goals.
The StepBet fitness app works with activity trackers to log your steps. It won’t work with just any fitness tracker, though. Options as of June 2019 include:
- Garmin Tracker
- iPhone Apple Health (via phone)
- Android Google Fit (via phone)
- iPhone Apple Watch
- Fitbit (both iPhone and Android)
- Android S Health (via phone and S Gear steps)
StepBet claims a zero-tolerance policy for cheating. If flagged for suspicious activity, you must provide additional information or be removed from the game.
Calorie counting used to be all the rage. In recent years, though, the focus moved to the types of foods you eat. That’s important, but we seem to have over-corrected, because calories do count. Reducing caloric intake – through diet, exercise, or both – is the key component of weight loss, and keeping a food diary doubles your chances of success.
There are loads of apps to help you track what you eat, but MyFitnessPal makes it super simple and it works on pretty much every smartphone, even Windows(!). It also integrates with wearable fitness devices like Fitbit, Garmin, and Withings. The app uses data you enter to tell you how many calories you need to maintain your current weight and how many calories you need to reach your goal weight.
Once you have your starting point, you simply enter everything you eat. The app includes a catalog with literally millions of foods, but you can also enter items manually and even use your phone to take a picture of what you eat. Then, MyFitnessPal tracks the calories for you. It’s never been easier to keep a food diary.
One of the challenges when you take up jogging (or running or even walking) is gauging whether you’re improving. MapMyRun is here to help.
This is a simple fitness app that requires nothing more than a pair of sneakers and a smartphone (Android or iOS). It uses the GPS in your phone to log your route, the distance you run, how long your run lasted, and how many calories you burned. You can track speed and pace, as well as elevation and route. The app includes tens of millions of routes, but you can also forge your own trail.
If you want to kick it up a notch, you can connect with other users and participate in challenges. MapMyRun is a full fitness app that also includes a food tracker and integrates with other fitness devices.
Wearable fitness tech is everywhere; everyone knows at least one person who wears a Fitbit. These items are sleeker than ever, and even come in designs to make them more appealing to the fashion-conscious fitness enthusiast.
Hexoskin takes the term “wearable” seriously. It’s a smart shirt that monitors:
- Heart, including heart rate, HRV, recovery, and ECG
- Breathing, including rate and minute ventilation
- Activity, including intensity, peak acceleration, steps, cadence, and sleep positions
Cardiologists and neurologists use data from the Hexoskin smart shirt and were the first adopters of this technology. Coaches joined the trend, using the tech to analyze athlete performance. As the technology becomes more affordable, fitness enthusiasts have joined in, using the smart shirt to track progress and performance.
Fitbit may be the most well-known wearable device available today. The original product was a bit chunky, but it was such an effective piece of technology that it exploded in popularity anyway. Then, the manufacturer started offering different styles and sales increased even more.
Of course, style isn’t enough. If the thing wasn’t so easy to use, it wouldn’t matter how many colors and designs you could choose from. In its most basic form, Fitbit tracks steps taken, floors climbed, distance covered, calories burned, minutes of activity, sleep, and heart rate. Of course, not every model does the same thing.
Talk to Your Doctor
Eating a balanced diet and leading a more active life are two of the most important things you can do to improve overall health and wellness. But it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise plan. That’s because no one has a better idea of your current health levels, including how much activity your body can handle. And, of course, the best foods to eat for any existing health conditions.
If you’re ready to get started, contact Clancy Medical Group today at 761-305-1900.