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10 Fitness Tracking Apps You Need

10 Fitness Tracking Apps You Need

We’re well into 2014, which means most of us have long given up on the New Year resolutions we created. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start now in our desire to get fit and healthy. Sometimes all you need is a little help from a friend, or a bar chart showing you just how out of shape you are, to spur you into action. Then, when you see how far you ran and how many calories you burned, it provides that additional motivation to do it again. So, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or looking to become one, check out some of the best fitness apps available.

1. RunKeeper

RunKeeper

    RunKeeper currently has 28 million users. As the name suggests, it is an app that will track workouts and keep track of pace, distance and time. It is particularly popular with athletes who are training for races who want an easy way to track their progress.

    Download

    2. Cyclemeter

    Cyclemeter

      With a five star rating, Cyclemeter provides a perfect alternative to RunKeeper for cyclists. The app is highly comprehensive and customizable, allowing the user to select which stats he or she wants to see. The app will track, map, and record a bicycle ride and compile the data into graphs and tables. In addition, if you like to add a little variety to your workout, the app can also be used for other sports, such as skiing.

      Download

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      3. Fitness Buddy

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        The Fitness Buddy App acts as your personal trainer and comes with more than 1,700 exercises and 1,000 HD videos. It offers comprehensive exercises for all of the typical gym equipment, from barbells to resistance and stability balls. The app also categorizes workouts based on what you want to work out, such as your lower body or cardio.

        Download

        4. Endomondo Sports Tracker

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          Endomondo is an all-purpose tracker, whether you’re cycling, hiking or even kayaking. The app gives you audio feedback for every mile you go and will give you live pep talks from friends. Your friends can write a short text online that will then be read aloud to you. The app also lets you compare your performance to your friends and see their workouts in real time.

          Download

          5. MyFitnessPal

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            This all-inclusive app helps you lose weight by tracking what you eat, as well as your activity level. The app will make personal recommendations based on how much weight you want to lose and your current activity level. You can then selects the food you eat throughout the day from the database and can sync the app with Fitbit or Jawbone in order to track activity.

            Download

            6. Fitocracy

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              Fitocracy is a fitness social network. While it’s lower on the list due to complaints about bugs, many users stick with Fitocracy because the game-like setup keeps them going. The app offers challenges to beat, much like you would beat a level on a video game.

              Download

              7. MapMyFitness

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                MapMyFitness offers tracking of more than 600 activities. It will map the route you take and keep track of time, distance and several other statistics. Be aware that some of the features of this otherwise free app are kept behind a subscription wall.

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                Download

                8. Fitsby

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                  This app is currently only available for Android, but it provides a unique form of motivation. The app has you put your money where your mouth is by having you and your friends place a wager, and the friend who checks in at the gym the most wins the pot. Using real money is optional.

                  Download

                  9. Lose It!

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                    Lose It is a website and app that is compatible with a number of fitness devices. The app helps you to count calories, log exercise and reach those weight loss goals.

                    Download

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                    10. Pear Training-Intelligence

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                      If you’re willing to pay for the pricey heart rate monitor that goes with it, Pear Training-Intelligence is a great option for those who like to focus on heart rate during their workout. The app coaches you through your workout as it uses your heart rate to determine if you need to speed up or slow down.

                      Download

                      While these are some of the most highly rated and popular apps, the hipster in you may be looking for something a little less well-known. If this is the case, consider checking out Moves, a newer app that turns your phone into an activity tracker. The Nike+ app provides a nice alternative for those Nike fans out there looking for a fitness and calorie tracker, as does the TR90 app, which tracks food intake and exercise.

                      Featured photo credit: Joggers via farm3.staticflickr.com

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                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                      4. Feed Your Brain

                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                      6. Write it Down

                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                      7. Listen to Music

                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                      8. Visual Concepts

                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                      9. Teach Someone Else

                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                      More About Boosting Memory

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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