11 Ways Tech Can Help You Stay in Shape

Almost everyone has some kind of fitness goal or aspiration; and while there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned effort, these apps, gadgets, and tech innovations will keep you motivated and help you stay on track.

1. It Tracks Your Results

You could plot your own progress by hand every time you weigh yourself, or the Withings WiFi Body Scale can do it for you. Each time you step on the scale, it syncs your weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage with a clear and easy-to-read graphic website that helps you track weight loss.

Find It: Withings.com

2. It Measures Your Activity

The BodyMedia Fit is the ultimate in fitness tracking. Enter your caloric consumption through a food database and let the wear-anywhere-and-everywhere armband do the rest. It measures your body heat, sweat, and heat flux to track caloric output as well as your activity and sleep patterns. It provides one of the most comprehensive looks at how everything you’re doing in your day-to-day life affects your fitness.

Find It: BodyMedia.com

3. It Can Replace Your Personal Trainer

Providing all the perks of a trainer without the hefty price tag, the Nike+ Training Club is perfect for those who need some guidance at the gym but prefer to work at their own pace. Just enter the area of your body you want to focus on and how much time you can commit to the workout and the app will present you with an exercise plan, complete with quick how-to videos for each move.

Find It: Nike.com

4. It Can Be Your Favorite Running Buddy

Perfect for avid runners and newbies alike, the Nike SportsWatch with a customizable display keeps track of your mileage, pace, calories burned, and more. In between runs, it stores all this information in your personal log and lets you connect with other runners for motivation and support. And if you start to slack, it’ll keep you motivated with automatic run-reminders.

Find It: Nike.com

5. It Can Help Keep You Hydrated

Give yourself the best shot at success before and during every workout by staying hydrated. Even if you know how important hydration is, it can be tricky to know when you’ve had enough water. The Sportline HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle helps cut out the guesswork by tracking your hydration needs and pacing your sips throughout the day.

Find It: Amazon.com

6. It Can Help Maximize Your Workout

The 7 Minute Workout Challenge will leave you no excuse to skip your daily sweat session. You don’t need a gym, fancy equipment, or much time to get your heart pumping—this circuit workout really takes just seven minutes. Thirty-second increments of high intensity exercises like jumping jacks and planks really add up.

Find It: iTunes

7. It Gives Back When You Get Moving

Do good and feel good with the Charity Miles app, which lets you generate money for deserving charities with every mile you run (or bike). Funded by corporate partnerships, Charity Miles tracks your workout and donates $0.10 per mile for bikers and $0.25 per mile for walkers and runners to organizations like Stand Up To Cancer or the ASPCA.

Find It: iTunes

8. It Pays to Work Out

Maybe you’d be more motivated to break a sweat if doing so put money in your own pocket. Pact lets you do just that. At the beginning of the week, you use the app to set a target number of workouts and your healthy eating goals—if you fail to meet them, you’ll have to pay up (don’t worry, you set a dollar limit so you don’t go broke). The “fees” paid by those who come up short become monetary rewards for app users who achieve their goals.

Find It: PactApp.com

9. It Helps You Achieve Peak Performance Levels

The Peak wearable device from Intel does all the usual things a fitness tracker does, like counting your steps, but it adds a layer of insight by providing an accurate heart rate measurement (without requiring additional gear). Peak knows whether you’re walking, running, or biking and can even differentiate between stages of sleep so you get a fully comprehensive look at your activity throughout the day. It also has a four-day battery life and allows you to set Habit notifications, so it can give you the gentle nudge you need to achieve your fitness goals.

Find It: MyBasis.com

10. It Can Count Your Calories

Exercising is only half the equation for staying in shape; you also need to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. The MyFitnessPal app lets you scan food labels and search its expansive restaurant database (home-cooked meals have to be entered manually) to keep track of your food choices.

Find It: MyFitnessPal.com

11. It Curates a Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to a pricey wearable yet, try Argus, a free app that tracks your steps anytime you have your phone with you. And let’s be honest, when don’t you have your phone with you? A one-stop-shop for all your fitness needs, Argus also tracks your meals, weight, and sleep quality.

Find It: Azumio.com

With Intel® RealSense™ snapshot, you can use your tablet to measure how big your biceps have gotten—or maybe how tall the stack of onion rings you ate for lunch was. Learn more here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
istock
11 Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Measure
istock
istock

A simple measurement—made even easier by photo measuring technology—will save you wasted time, energy, and effort in the following scenarios. It never hurts to arm yourself with as much information as possible, especially now that innovative technology has put accurate, easy measurements at your fingertips. 

1. Doorframes and Hallways in Your New Apartment Building 

Even if you don’t live in New York City, where cramped stairwells and impossibly small apartments are just part of the charm, you’ll want to know ahead of time which of your current furniture will actually make it into the new apartment. Sure you love your four-poster bed frame or oversized couch, but if it doesn’t even fit through the building’s front door, wouldn’t you rather know that before moving day? 

2. Every Room in Your House, For When You Spot the Perfect Addition 

Even if it’s not new, every house is a work in progress. Be prepared to pick up the perfect statement piece to complete the look with photos of each room that you can measure whenever you happen to spy a great work of art or end table when you’re out and about. 

3. How Much Your Nieces/Nephews/Grandkids Have Grown

Of course you’re going to take a picture of the kids whenever you see them, and now when you say, “My, you’ve grown so much since last time!” you’ll be able to check how much is so much.

4. Your Snowmen 

Tap into your competitive side next time there’s a substantial snowfall and challenge friends and family to a snowman-building contest. When they’re all complete, snap a photo and measure up—award points for both size and style. In fact, the competitors don’t even have to be in the same place for this contest to work. Build your respective snowmen and share the photos amongst yourselves. 

5. How Much Air You Got 

Whether you’re jumping off the diving board or leaping off the ice for a triple axel, have someone document your athletic endeavors and later you can find just how much air you got. If you’re serious about your sport, do this regularly and you can plot your progress. 

6. The Inside Of Your Stove 

Especially if you’re in one of those tiny city apartments. Don’t let yourself buy that giant baking sheet (think of all the cookies!) just to find out it can’t fit in your stove; same goes for oversized casserole dishes. Before you stock your kitchen, make sure you know the dimensions of the oven space itself so you don’t end up with a bunch of useless supplies. 

7. The Distance Between an Outlet and Whatever You’re Plugging In 

This is especially important if you’re talking about an outdoor outlet. Don’t get too carried away with your plans for the perfect poolside margarita maker setup (or other electronic) without first making sure the cord will reach. It’s an easy fix—all you need is an extension cord—but better to know that before your party is in full swing. 

8. Window Height For Curtains

Maybe you think—like many of us did—that curtains are a one-size-fits-most kind of product, but unless you want the lower half of your body exposed or the curtains dragging on the floor, make sure you measure the height of your windows before ordering a set. Skip the rickety stepladder and just take a picture of the windows to get an accurate, reliable measurement.   

9. A Homemade Bookshelf

The beauty of building something from scratch is that you can make it exactly the size you need. Which means you need to figure out exactly what that size is. Consider not just the space you’re going to fit it into but also what it will hold—like if you have any especially tall books you need to take into account or anything else you plan to store there. 

10. Things That Are Just the Right Size

Do your friends have a TV that is large enough to gather around but not overwhelming or a love seat that comfortably sits two but still might fit in your small living room? They might not remember the dimensions of whatever it is you’re coveting but armed with photo measuring technology you can find out in just a snap. 

11. A New Appliance 

Appliances are a big purchase—physically and financially. Make sure you’re plenty prepared by measuring all the different dimensions that might come into play before you head out to compare models. 

From making sure your appliances fit to tracking your family’s literal growth, it’s time to put your photographs to work for you. Intel® RealSense™ technology can turn any snapshot into a useful measuring stick. Learn more here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
istock
11 Ways a 2 in 1 Device Gets You the Best of Both Worlds
istock
istock

Phones, tablets, and computers for work, laptops for gaming—we don’t have enough hands to carry all the devices we need to use on a daily basis! By exchanging your tablet and laptop for a 2 in 1 device you can streamline your computing and lighten your load—without having to make any sacrifices. Here are 11 ways using a 2 in 1 device can help you have it all. 

1. Use It at Work… 

2 in 1 devices inspired by Intel feature the Intel® Core™ M processor, which boasts processing speeds far greater those of its competitors. This means they pack enough power to take on a full day of meetings, presentations, assignments… 

2. … or at Play 

… and games. Your computer use doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and neither do the benefits of your 2 in 1. In addition to increased processing power, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices feature graphics that are sharper and more vibrant than older models, so you can fully enjoy the visuals of your favorite game. Transform your laptop into a tablet with a flip, swivel, or by detaching the keyboard and you can use it to entertain yourself on your commute or on the couch.

3. It’s Practical… 

When used with its keyboard and mouse trackpad, your 2 in 1 feels as comfortable as your trusty old laptop (but with twice its battery life). It can run Windows, Office, and your favorite desktop apps and Internet browsers. 

4. … and Edgy 

And yet, it’s far from your ordinary laptop. With their razor-thin design, Intel-powered 2 in 1s are ultra sleek, modern, and sexy. 

5. Use it On the Go… 

But the slim design is about more than just looks: 2 in 1s are approximately half the weight of your older laptop and tablet combo, which makes them perfect for taking with you throughout the day. They also have a battery life that outlasts your older laptop or tablet (you can watch hours of HD videos on a single charge), so there’s no need for you to stay within a cord’s reach of an outlet. 

6. … or from the Comfort of Your Home 

2 in 1s offer something for the whole family: You’ll love that you can easily get work done remotely and on your own time, and your kids will love its gaming capabilities. The large screen means you can flip your 2 in 1 into tent mode and comfortably settle in for a family movie night.

7. Use it to Multitask… 

Switch seamlessly from your spreadsheet to your design project to your game with your 2 in 1 thanks to its powerful processor. The 5th generation Intel® Core™ processor family also powers new technologies like facial recognition and voice control, so you can easily switch between tasks—just say the word. 

8. … or Immerse Yourself 

Intel-powered 2 in 1s feature Ultra HD displays, which have up to four times the pixels of full HD. Pop on your headphones and get lost in your game or video—it’s never looked so good. 

9. It’s Reliable… 

The Intel Core M processor with Intel® vPro™ technology features built-in security features that help protect your data, user identities, and network access, so you never have to worry about taking your business home or on the road.

10. … and Flexible 

While your 2 in 1 may be dependable, it’s far from boring. Available in detachable or convertible models, you can switch your device from a laptop to a tablet at the drop of a hat. Spontaneity is the spice of life, and with a 2 in 1 device you can be prepared to go wherever the wind takes you. 

11. You Get More Value… for Less Money. 

In switching to a 2 in 1 device you are not only lightening your physical load—for which your briefcase or backpack will thank you—but are also going easier on your wallet. Intel-powered 2 in 1s, like the Pavilion 15 or 17, can be yours for less than $400. 

By pairing high performance power with a slim, mobile design, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices give you the best of both worlds. Learn more here.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios