Monday, January 9, 2012

Tools to Track Your Health

How many of you go to the gym and wonder if you are really burning any calories, or think you are and maybe really didn't burn as many as you thought? What about when you eat? How many of you actually keep track of everything you put in your mouth? Well, if you don't, then it is most likely hindering your weight loss efforts - if that is your goal.

I have been using a two specific tools that I am going to share with you, which have helped me immensely while trying to lose weight and keep track of everything I am eating and burning.

Heart Rate Monitors
The first one is a Heart Rate Monitor. If you don't have one, they are definitely worth your money. They range in cost from $70-$200 based on their different functions. I highly recommend the Polar brand. I have the Polar FT4 which does what every heart rate monitor does (or should do), without being too fancy. It comes with a chest strap (the only way to really be accurate) and you wear it right below your chest line, or right at the bottom bra line, for the ladies. I just have to plug in my info, like height, weight, sex, etc. and it calculates your heart rate zones for you AND counts your calories, as well. It will keep about 10 days worth of your information after you finish your workout. That means it keeps how long your workout was, what time you started, the calories you burned, and greatest and average heart rate.
I would highly recommend this brand. I have tried another brand in the past (I won't name names), and had to return it twice because it just stopped working.
*Any of these can be bought at most places that have health/fitness equipment

Food Tracking Tools
There are plenty of websites out in cyberspace for you to use to track your food. I am sure some of you already use and like them. I have never enjoyed using these kinds of sites because they either seemed too time consuming, very general, or not very user-friendly. But, good news, folks! I have found my favorite and, what I like to say, is the best one out there :)

MyFitnessPal
has solved every problem I have had with other food sites. It is really easy to use. It stores ALL of your food items you enter in so all you have to do is check a box to select it next time. It also has an app for your phone. This app makes it even easier to add foods by using your camera to read the scanner label on the package of food, and then it inputs all the nutrition for you! That is awesome! I love it even more because it stores specific brands - even Whole Foods and Trader Joe's stuff in their database!! Ahhh, I could just scream I love this site so much .... well, ok, that's getting a little overboard. One more thing it also takes into account is your exercise for the day, which you can add. I have included a screenshot of one of the days on my account, so you can see what it will look like with the totals at the bottom. Just disregard all the crazy food I eat :) I hope this helps!















Good luck in picking out the right tools for you. I hope this gave you a little insight into what kind of fitness tools are out there!

~Leslie

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