The holiday season not only brings out the best in people and the best gifts, but the best food … and a ton of it. Between your kids’ leftover Halloween candy that’s tempting you to no end, the stress of planning for all the upcoming holiday celebrations, and all the food that’s sure to make an appearance at said holiday celebrations, sticking to your health and fitness regimen can be tough this time of year.
Tough — but not impossible — as there are helpful gadgets, sites, and apps that can help you stay the course. So if you’re looking to control your current health and fitness regimen, or want to get a jump start on your New Year’s health goals, check out this roundup of technology to help keep the pounds off this holiday season.
Best Holiday Health And Fitness Tech 1 of 8
DietBet | Include others, lose weight, and get paid 2 of 8
Studies have shown that the success rate of taking part in any activity with others is greater versus going at it alone. "It ain't no fun...if the homies can't have none." The site DietBet promotes social dieting by letting users create or join weight loss games, where the players who hit the lost-weight percentage goal split the total pledge winnings contributed by each member of the group. Game organizers can quickly set the "bet" amount, duration, and terms of the game, and members join games by contributing the bet amount. Winners are paid via PayPal. Talk about financial motivation...
FitDay Calorie Counter | Track what you eat 3 of 8
Another proven method to stay on track with your fitness/weight loss goals is to track your daily caloric intake. Keeping a journal of everything you eat makes sense, but isn't always easy to do, especially around the holidays when you have a bunch of things going on at once. FitDay is a website and mobile app that has a vast database of foods broken down by calories, fat, carbs, protein, and other factors that you can quickly add to your daily food log to get a better idea of what your consuming. FitDay also offers nutrition and fitness advice, and the ability to message a dietitian to help monitor your progress, offer coaching, and help motivate you to achieve your goals.
Withings Smart Body Analyzer | A do-it-all weight scale 4 of 8
If you're looking for a more holistic (and gadgety) approach to logging your weight this holiday season, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer measures weight, BMI (body mass index), heart rate, and even indoor air quality to make sure you are on top of your health. The Withings Body Analyzer gets geeky with the ability to connect to your home network to log your data for viewing via the Withings website, or mobile apps for a more-in depth look at your health. Too bad the scale can't specifically tell you how much turkey and dressing you can eat without gaining a pound.
Nike+ Fuelband SE | Track all your activity 5 of 8
Information is power. Wireless activity monitors record all your daily movements to get to actionable data that you can use to be more active. The Fuelband SE is Nike's latest activity wristband that can help you track your progress to end the year out on a high note. The latest interaction comes in more fashionable colors so you can coordinate your monitor with your holiday party outfit.
Aftershokz | Hear what’s around you while you listen to music 6 of 8
Nothing like shutting out the rest of the world, and zoning out to some music, to take your mind off that long run during the upcoming chilly mornings. The problem with zoning out is it makes you less aware of your surroundings. The Aftershokz are special open ear headphones that can send music to your brain without covering your ears, thus allowing you to hear other sounds like car horns, police, fire, ambulance vehicles, and other audible alerts.
Fitocracy | Turn fitness into a game 7 of 8
Gamification is a term that describes converting a otherwise "blah" activity into a game in order to foster more participation. For gym rats health enthusiasts, working out is the highlight of their day. For the rest of us ... let's just say we aren't itching to hurt and sweat for 45 minutes to an hour everyday. The Fitocracy app does a good job of incentivizing exercise by motivating users to "level up" by completing challenges and quests, similar to beating a "boss" on a computer or console game. The Fitocracy community is also full of other users who regularly motivate each other to meet and beat their fitness goals.
Hot5 Fitness | Find quick workouts when you travel 8 of 8
Everybody has uttered these words before when trying to get into shape "I just don't have the time." Particularly when you're traveling to visit family and friends this holiday season. On the contrary, just a little exercise can go a long way. Enter the Hot5 Fitness app that gives you 5 intense workouts to complete in 5 minutes. The app lets you choose between programs like "Beach Body," "Power Conditioning," and "High Intensity CrossFit," and lets you work along with the trainers with videos for each exercise right on your smartphone. If you really only have 5 minutes, you can do one program or string them together for a longer workout. You can even earn points to unlock more workouts.