Whether you're a consultant or on-premise IT person, it's tough to stay fit and healthy. Long hours, little sleep, and unfortunate food options all add to a lifestyle that keeps you tired and feeling rundown.
Over at myITforum there's a special IT Fit group setup as part of a sub-community of IT folks who participate to share articles, hints, tips, and support to help live a healthier IT lifestyle. This group even ran a Biggest Loser contest at the Microsoft Management Summit for a few years where participants would weigh in and one individual would win a sponsored prize for the most weight lost.
There are a lot of technology options available to help maintain a healthy mind and body. The majority of those highlighted these days are in the form of fit wristwatches. But, for those without the desire to add another piece of technology to their wardrobe, there are also apps available that do just as good a job.
One of those apps, myFitnessPal, just released a big update for Windows Phone 8.
myFitnessPal is an app with an accompanying web site. I've used myFitnessPal for almost 2 years and loved it already. The primary use of myFitnessPal is to keep track of what you eat. It does have activity tracking, but that is more of a manual process. For activity tracking apps I use Runtastic for running (of course) and Gymwolf for weight training and both also have accompanying web sites. Since myFitnessPal is not a strong activity tracker, it also provides the ability to connect with the better activity apps. So, when I track my running with Runtastic, my efforts show up automatically in myFitnessPal.
So what does myFitnessPal do if it doesn't track activity? It tracks food. You can either enter food manually, or scan barcodes and have the food you eat entered automatically. But, it's not just a simple calorie counter, it also tracks every aspect of food intake, such as salt, carbs, sugar, etc. So, at a glance, you can check to make sure you're not getting too much salt in your diet. And, everyone knows if you can get a handle on sugar and salt intake, along with proper exercise, you've pretty much mastered your health (except for those with special health concerns).
What I really like about the app is that I can setup my weight and fitness goals, and myFitnessPal will help me quickly see if I am meeting those goals, by the hour, the day, week, and longer. Need to stop for quick bite somewhere? You can search the app's database to locate proper food items by restaurant and plan out a somewhat healthier meal – even at McDonald's.
myFitnessPal was already a great app, but here's what just updated:
- Voice Commands – Press and hold the windows button to add food, exercise, measurements and more with nothing more than your voice.
- Push Notifications – Stay up to speed with notifications when your friends are supporting you, comment on one another's profiles, news feed, etc. and get alerted with a simple push notification.
- Type-ahead searching – Search and log faster and easier than ever with type-ahead search. Eating leftovers today? Just start typing the first few letters and watch your list filter to show you exactly what you're looking for in real-time as you type.
myFitnessPal is available in the Windows Phone store here: MyFitnessPal
Here's to a healthy IT lifestyle.