It’s never hard to find an excuse to be unhealthy, but as the weather gets colder – and it’s now started to – it will become even harder to keep fit and avoid junk comfort food.
So here’s a handy guide to the gadgets, apps and websites that will help you to try and stay healthier through the autumn and winter months now upon us.
From running machines that mean you don’t have to face the elements to apps that calculate how many calories you are consuming – here is my Top 10.
The key to keeping fit is regular exercise and, as the bad weather sets in, it’s always best to know where your nearest gym is. This app for Apple iOS devices uses GPS to pinpoint your current location – whether at home, work, on the road or abroad – and then displays a list of the closest health centres, sports clubs, gyms and swimming pools, with a handy Google Map to help you get there.
For those who prefer exercising at home, or want to avoid mounting monthly fees, there are lots of great treadmills, cross-trainers and exercise bikes now on the market. This equipment from ProForm that, while initially expensive, will provide great value-for-money if used by the whole family for many years to come.
One of the main reasons people give when asked why they don’t exercise more is boredom – doing the same old routine every day can get dull. That’s where this microsite, from the people behind Men’s Fitness, comes in. Just pick your ultimate goal, such as bulking up or losing weight, how much time you have and which part of the body you want to work on – and it will then produce a fully detailed random daily workout. You may need a lie down afterwards though!
Of course, anything us guys can do – the girls can do better. This site contains enough body-toning and weight-loss exercises to keep anyone going for months. And routine names such as ‘Lean Legs, Tight Tush’ will keep you smiling as you exercise too.
Did you know that adults should do 150 minutes of exercise each week or that regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart problems and strokes by up to 35%? How about that almost five million people keep fit through dance classes? This government website is full of useful facts and figures, but more importantly shows how to live a healthier lifestyle
within your capabilities with tips on everything from cycling and swimming to paintball and Nordic walking.
There’s no point doing all the above, if you then tuck into a bacon cheeseburger and chips for dinner. This website, full of great healthy recipe ideas, shows that eating well doesn’t need to taste horrid. Don’t believe me, then try whipping up some North African spiced lamb kebabs, mustard chicken with swede mash or banoffee pancakes.
A health grill is a good addition to any kitchen – as it drains a lot of the unhealthy saturated fat away from your meat so that you don’t end up eating it. This ‘Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine’ is the market leader and does exactly what it says on the tin.
Of course, you can’t always stay in to eat – which is where this next website is a real help. Whatever type of food you’re off for, whether it’s Chinese, Greek, Italian or good old fish and chips, it advises on the dishes to avoid… and those which can you enjoy without worrying about the calories.
Named by Apple as one of the top downloads of last year, this app adds up how many calories you are consuming each day. What sets it apart from the competition is its huge, user-generated, database of 416,000 foods, a barcode scanning option that means you don’t have to enter everything by hand and a planning feature to help you achieve your goals.
So have you reached your target weight yet? Well, it’s only the start. But there’s only one way to find out when you do and during all those weeks in-between and that’s to jump on the scales!