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Everything You Need to Know About Apple’s New Health App

Written on June 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm , by

Written by Macklin Stern, editorial intern

Attention, fitness junkies (and if you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that’s all of you): Apple has announced that they will be unveiling every runner, biker, yogi, and health-conscious person’s dream app—Health (and its tracking feature HealthKit).. The technologically advanced app is coming our way when i0S 8 becomes available, and can only be described as the self-obtaining, on-the-spot, no-doctor-involved, personal quantification of health. It is that hyper-organized file cabinet that we wish existed in our lives.

Okay, now that I’m done pumping it up, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Think of Health as the mega fitness drop-box. It pulls in health and exercise info from other applications and activity monitors you already use, and deposits them into one place. For example, the app recognizes data collected in Nike+ after you go for a long run, along with daily movement and sleeping patterns tallied in Moves and Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. Then, Health takes that data and uses it to analyze your fitness level and general health, subsequently providing personalized wellness plans according to the goals you want to reach.

But what if you really want to see your heart rate, sleep patterns and miles logged, but don’t care about calorie burn? It’s simple: don’t include it in your settings. Health is completely customizable so you can pick and choose what information is available, and since the app also works with innovators in the health care industry (think Mayo Clinic), it promises to keep your personal health information private; only sharing it with the services you select.

In other words, shedding pounds, tracking calories, controlling your diet, and maintaining a fairly consistent blood pressure is now manageable, and won’t cause a traumatizing migraine. So forget bouncing between apps, and just bounce between your workouts. Health will cover the rest. 

Photo courtesy of Apple 

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The App We Can’t Wait For

Written on August 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm , by

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

When you’re traveling or in-between gym memberships, what do you do? Sign up for the free three-day membership? Pay $30 for a single barre class? If you’re like me, probably not. Which is why I just about jumped out of my chair in glee when I read this article about an Australian app that’s going to go global, sooner rather than later.

The FitUsIn app, founded by Vanessa Picker, will allow users to book gym visits at the last minute—without having to meet with a gym representative, sign a contract, etc. I’ve always been a big fan of Lifebooker, the site/app that lets me make discounted beauty appointments, usually at the last minute. So, I have high hopes for FitUsIn.

And Vanessa isn’t just a fitness fanatic who wants to work out wherever she goes—she co-founded Play Forward, which help bring organized sports to children in need. She’s even a fellow for The Resolution Project, a nonprofit that empowers young entrepreneurs.

(Related: Want to run the 4-Mile NYRR race in NYC on Sept. 7? You can be a part of the Resolution Runs team, which means your involvement will go directly to supporting the fellows, including Vanessa. Get details here on Facebook, at @ResolutionProj on Twitter, or send a note to info [at] resolutionproject [dot] org.)

You heard it here first, FITNESS friends. Vanessa, we’re waiting!

100 Million Pounds Lost by MyFitnessPal Users

Written on July 18, 2013 at 10:52 am , by

Whenever we ask you about your favorite apps, MyFitnessPal is always a popular response. The company has been helping people get and/or stay in shape since 2005, and they hit a huge milestone this week: The MyFitnessPal users have lost a total of 100 million pounds over the years! That’s amazing! Check out the awesome infographic from MyFitnessPal for more fun stats.

BONUS: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to hear Mike Lee, the Co-Founder, tell his story about why he created the app. (Spoiler: It’s a cute love story!)

MyFItnessPal App Infographic

Infographic courtesy of MyFitnessPal.


BONUS: How MyFitnessPal Got Started Video:



Jordin Sparks Manages Her Migraines With New App

Written on December 14, 2012 at 10:36 am , by

Thanks to Excedrin, Jordin doesn’t miss a beat. Between time on set and in the music studio, she finds time to sweat it out to her current favorite song, “Clique” by Kanye West, featuring Big Sean and Jay-Z. (Photo courtesy of Excedrin Migraine)

Migraines are, well, a headache and as sufferers know, triggers mean trouble. In a recent Excedrin Migraine survey, 93 percent of women said that having a better understanding of their triggers would help with their migraine management yet only 11 percent tracked them regularly. Good news: There’s now an app for that. With the help of a neurologist, Excedrin Migraine developed My Migraine Triggers (now available for free on iTunes) to log pain intensity, severity and location for convenient symptom understanding.

“There are so many triggers patients may not be aware of,” explained Keri Petersen, MD, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital. “[The app] breaks it down into environment, lifestyle and diet. There’s a big list of things that a month down the road you’re not going to remember, but in the moment it’s right in front of you to think of.” With the tough of a finger, triggers like alcohol, odors, chocolate and stress are documented in a personal history chart. Determine the root of the painful problem and facilitate a discussion with your physician for treatment by bringing the generated graph with you to your next doctor’s visit.

After an a cappella treat to celebrate the app’s launch, we sat down with American Idol’s youngest winner and moderate migraine sufferer, Jordin Sparks. We talked triggers, her fit lifestyle change and how the football lover lightens up game day noshing. Here’s what she had to say: Read more

Featured Fitterati: Weight Loss Blog It Sux to Be Fat

Written on July 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm , by

Jen is hoping to expand her family soon—and keep the whole clan healthy at the same time.

Each Tuesday, we’re highlighting one category of winners from our Fitterati Blogger Awards! This week the spotlight is on the Best Weight-Loss Blogs!

Jennifer Swafford

  • 34, Marietta, Georgia

One hundred pounds down, elementary school teacher Jennifer is learning to maintain the healthy weight she achieved through Weight Watchers. She started It Sux to Be Fat to stay accountable (Jennifer posts weekly weigh-ins) and share her secrets to success.

Dessert Do “Instead of having the full-fat version of a dessert, I choose a healthier or portion-controlled version like Weight Watchers ice cream bars. That way, I can indulge my sweet tooth and satisfy cravings without overdoing it on calories.”

Motivation Must “My future family inspires me to stay on track with my diet. I want to get pregnant some day soon, and I know that the healthier I am, the easier that process will be!”

Best Breakfasts “Quaker Weight Control Instant Oatmeal is fast, easy and keeps me satisfied for hours. I also love Greek yogurt for the protein punch.”

Sprinter Michael Johnson Wants to Help You Get Fit Fast

Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:28 am , by

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Retired track star Johnson is still passionate about staying fit. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

We are in a running mood after the amazing Olympic trials this weekend. Did you catch Ashton Eaton’s record-breaking decathlon performance? How about the hurdling action by one of the July/August FITNESS cover models (and Olympic qualifier) Lolo Jones?

Sprinter Michael Johnson may have hung up his gold running shoes after winning four gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but his love for health and fitness remains strong. He partnered up with GE to develop personalized workouts for a new Facebook app called “Healthy Share,” which encourages users to implement small changes in their lives to yield big results. The soon-to-be Track and Field Hall of Famer and Olympic commentator says the app thrives on a sense of community, because you can log your workouts and then share your results with Facebook friends.

He sat down with The Fit Stop to tell us some of the ways he stays motivated and the importance of setting goals.

Tell us about your new Facebook app.

It’s an app that people can use to help them with a healthy and active lifestyle. We give you a type of challenge and you share your health goals with friends. It creates accountability and helps them get some support from friends. You can get tips from me, too, using a challenge I created. We’re not trying to get people to do Olympics-style training—they’re simple and easy things to do to help them get started on a path to a healthy lifestyle.

What are some examples of the tips you share with users?

Things like stretching before exercising, simple exercises when you don’t have time and drinking more water, because it’s not just fitness but the nutritional side as well. It gets people started off easily because the idea of getting fit can be daunting for some people. You work them into your daily life to get started, then share those ideas and get help from friends so you can make it a part of your daily routine.

Read more

Fit Links: Top Health Habits For Bikini Season and How to Train Like an Olympian

Written on June 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm , by

These bikini body tips will make a day at the beach feel like...exactly that. (Photo by Patrik Giardino)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Safe Driving: Is There an App for That?

Written on September 14, 2011 at 10:49 am , by

If your speed is up, the phone powers down. (Image courtesy of Sprint)

It’s a shocking reality: using a cell phone of any kind (even with a headset!) while driving impairs your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of .08, according to a University of Utah study. And nearly one in five car accidents can be attributed to distracted driving. But besides tossing your phone in the back seat, what can you do to steer clear of the temptation of calls, texts or tweets at a red light—or help your teens do the same?

Sprint launched an app yesterday called “Drive First” that automatically locks the phone when the car’s speed exceeds 10 miles per hour. All calls and text conversations will be forced to end and the phone will be locked on the home screen, customized by the account holder (this can include just a 911 button or specific apps that the user deems necessary, such as weather and music). After the car stops moving for a few minutes, it fully unlocks. Considering many of us (myself included!) have a massive multitasking habit, this app could be a lifesaver.

Drive First is now available for Sprint android phones for $2 per month and in the near future, Blackberry and other phone users will be able to use the app as well. Learn more and sign up for a free trial or the app here.

Now tell us: What are your top safe driving tips?

Categories: Health, The Fit Stop | Tags: , , ,
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Don’t Forget to Spring Forward!

Written on March 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm , by

Wake up!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user alancleaver_2000.

The not-so-welcome news for some of us: Clocks “spring forward” this Sunday—meaning that we lose an hour of our already limited sleep. But we at FITNESS consider this well worth it, since what we lose in sleep we gain in extra post-workday sun time. That means more opportunities for outdoor evening exercise!

Here are a few fun sleep-related tools that may not help you snooze more, but do guarantee to make the switch a bit more bearable or fun:

For soothing…The White Noise app will play your favorite soothing sounds (wind, showers, ocean) as well as some options that strike us as not-so-calming (vacuum, violent noise or train). And it will play for as long as you like, because, appropriately, there are multiple sleep timers.  ($1.99, iTunes Store)

For laughs…The mattress company Sealy recently released a new app that harkens back to the popular junior high fortune cookie joke. Simply snap a photo you’re your smart phone or iPod touch and place a “in bed” caption after whatever you like. (Free, iTunes store)

When all else fails…Perhaps you could find someone who actually sells the Sleep Safe Tape, so that when you do finally nod off, others will think you’re as alert as ever. (Of course, we don’t really endorse this kind of trickery, but it sure is a creative idea!)

Do you look forward to setting your clocks ahead or struggle with the switch?

More from FITNESS: 5 Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep

Categories: Health, The Fit Stop | Tags: , ,
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