There are many tools and connected objects to help you with food, physical activity and health in general. More than simple gadgets, some of those objects and apps are truly useful, if not essential, to help you eat better, follow your progress in sports, collect health data, etc.
I use a connected scale from the french brand Withings, recently become Nokia Health, which allow me to know my weight but also my body fat percentage, my total body water level, my heart rate, my pulse wave velocity, and… the weather forecast! All those informations about my body composition are useful to set realistic objectives and help me to calculate my calories need with more precision.
I also recently tested the Steel watch from Nokia Health, which came along at just the right time since I was already using the scale from the same brand, it was the perfect combo! On top of being beautiful and discrete, this watch is tracking my activity, wether it is the number of steps or my sports sessions (surfing included!) or my sleep. I set up a 10 000 steps daily objective and it is far from easy to reach but it enables me to realize that I don’t move enough. After a day spent working at my desk, when the activity needle shows only 5% of activity in my day it makes me think and motivates me to put on my running shoes and get outside! The big plus of this watch is that it is waterproof, which means you can go surfing or swimming with it, since the watch is very light and thin I don’t feel it at all and almost never take it off.
Then all the informations collected by the scale and the watch are automatically uploaded in Health Mate app by Nokia so you can see the curves showing your progress. No matter what your objective is, whether it is losing weight, being more active, or regulating your sleep, having precise informations on your progression is really motivating, especially when you see a clear tendency on the curve after a few months, it is always good to know if you’re on the right track.
The choice in apps for health and fitness is pretty wide and you can quickly end up with a dozen of apps on your phone without knowing which one to use and how.
For food I use the app My Fitness Pal developed by the sportswear brand Under Armour, this app allows you to keep a detailed journal of everything you eat and to see precisely the number of calories you swallowed, as well as the quantity of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids or even sugar, fiber, salt, etc. It is very interesting to become aware of what you really eat and to see the input in the different nutrients in your food, for exemple I realized I had a high consumption of sugar when I rarely eat sweet food, simply because I eat too much fruits! However be careful to properly set up the app manually, it will suggest a certain amount of calories per day depending on the objective you set but it doesn’t take all the variables into account, it is better to calculate your calories and macro nutrients need yourself and then enter it in the app. To calculate your calories need go here or here, then add or withdraw 10 to 20% depending if you wish to loose or gain weight, for your macros count 1g of lipids and 1,8g of proteins per body kilos, and the rest in carbohydrates (1g of carbohydrates = 4 calories, 1g of lipids = 9 calories, 1g of proteins = 4 calories).
For sport I track my activity with my Nokia watch and the app Health Mate, I’m waiting impatiently for the release of the cardio version which will have a small screen on it showing your heart rate, calories spent, number of steps, and more. For running I use the Nike+ Run Club and for my HIIT sessions I use the app Seconds so I can set up personalized timer, it also “talks” at every interval so you don’t have to check your screen all the time.
Other useful objects
A jump rope is the essential tool for HIIT sessions, you can use a light and thin one at the beginning, then go for a weighted one when it gets “easy” and you want to add some difficulty.
I also use bluetooth earphones, really useful to put your phone aside and not having the earphones cord on your way when running or exercising.