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December 27, 2012

Smartphone Apps Help Keep New Year's Fitness Resolutions

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

Coming up with New Year’s resolutions is easy, but keeping them throughout the year is the hard part, especially if they are fitness related. Hence, a number of apps have been generated that help you achieve your goals. Reports suggest that some 87 percent of Americans will make resolutions for the coming year. And, there are many smartphone apps that can help them achieve their goals.

A recent survey conducted by online trader TD Ameritrade shows that nearly half of New Year's resolutions are about setting health-related goals, reports International multimedia news agency Reuters (News - Alert). A new iPhone app called 5K Runner focuses on building sustainable habits. Instead of pushing you into a rigorous fitness routine, the new app slowly gets you into a routine. According Reuters reporter Natasha Baker, “The iPhone (News - Alert) app helps couch potatoes ramp up their running distance to 5 km over the course of eight weeks.”

At an annual ceremony honoring Internet companies, David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards, said, "You're slowly building this routine into your daily life with a lot of success and after eight weeks you're literally running 5K, which is pretty big if (initially) you're not running at all.”

The app guides runners through each run, alternating periods of running and walking for 35 minutes. Concurrently, the report also indicates that there are two other popular fitness apps, Nike+ Running and RunKeeper, recommended by the Webby Awards executive. Available for iOS and Android (News - Alert) devices, the apps use GPS to track distance traveled, speed and calories burned.

Similarly, another component of good health is diet. So there are many apps that promise to help you keep your diet good. One such app for iPhone and Android devices is Fooducate. It helps shoppers make healthier purchases at the supermarket. “By allowing them to scan the barcodes of products and get insight into how healthy the product is,” wrote Baker.

With over 200,000 products in its database, Fooducate displays a grade for the product and information on its contents. In addition, it also displays whether there are hidden additives or the probability of containing genetically modified ingredients.

DietBet is another iPhone app highlighted by the reporter. It uses money to motivate people and allows users to join in a four-week weight loss challenge to lose four percent of weight. In this scheme, users bet money, which goes into a fund.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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