Augusta University

5 apps and gadgets to help you get in shape this summer

It’s summertime, and instead of losing weight, you find yourself gaining. What now?

The myth goes that you put on some pounds during the winter and slim down when the temperature goes up. That’s not technically true.

“During the cold months, our body generates heat to keep us warm by burning extra calories,” said Crystal Neal, Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation at Georgia Regents Medical Center. “This process, called thermogenesis, doesn’t happen during the summer because our bodies are already warm.”

So if your activity level and calorie intake are the same in the winter and the summer, you actually burn fewer calories in the warmer months.

To compensate, you need to move your body more during the hot season in order to lose weight. Neal recommends the following apps and gadgets to help you get in shape this summer:

  • FitBit Flex: Use this device 24/7 to track your activity including steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep. This activity tracker also allows you to set daily goals and lets you know when you’ve met them. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a screen that displays your stats. So you have to import the data to your computer or your Android or iOS mobile device.
  • Runtastic GPS Watch and Heart Rate Monitor: Measure your training stats such as pace, speed, distance, duration, calories, and heart rate by using this GPS watch whenever you run. Then, import all the data to your Runtastic account via your computer, and track your running history and progress.
  • Endomondo: Take this personal trainer everywhere in your pocket. Endomondo is a free sports tracker app that helps you make a fitness plan and set goals. While exercising, you will receive real-time audio feedback on your performance. That way, you’ll know if you need to increase your pace or if you are going too fast. Endomondo also lets you share your activities with others to inspire and get inspired to exercise. The app is available on Android, Windows, Blackberry, and iOS devices.
  • Nike + Training Club: Join this training club for free and gain access to more than 100 workout designed by Nike Master Trainers. Choose your fitness goal and level to begin your training. With this app, you can also get tips from professional athletes. Nike + Training Club is available for download on Android and iOS devices.
  • MyFitnessPal: Use this app if you are serious about losing weight because you can’t slim down if you don’t improve your eating habits.  MyFitnessPal is an online food diary that helps you track every calorie you eat with just a few clicks. It allows you to add your own recipes and create your own food database. You can also create your own diet goals and join discussion forums to receive and share weight loss tips. MyFitnessPal is available for download on Android, Windows, and iOS devices.
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