My Little Helpers-2: Software, Gadgets and Accessories

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This post is the part 14 of The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide

There is a great variety of programs, applications and gadgets for health and fitness. I would break them into the following categories:

  • online services. My selection is MyFitnessPal.com
  • smartphone applications. My choice is My Fitness Pal and Garming Connect
  • individual gadgets. My preference is Garmin Vivoactive sports smartwatch and iPhone 6

You are welcome to choose any applications and gadgets you may like. I would like to share with you what I use on a daily basis.

MyFitnessPal.com

A remarkable service and mobile application which are a wonderful aid to those who have finally made up their mind to go in for sports and live a healthy life in general. Now every time you decide to eat something yummy, you’ll be able to see its calorific value as well as how much strain you will have to put yourself through in order to stop these calories from ending up on some delicate parts of your body.

This service’s biggest benefit is a huge database of products with such data as calorific value and the content of proteins, fats, carbs and many micronutrients. All the product information as provided by the manufacturer can be accessed by bringing your smartphone with the pre-installed application up to the product’s barcode. The second stage of my system is largely based on accounting of proteins, fats and carbs and in this area MyFitnessPal.com has been of huge help.

When signing up you enter the following parameters: your current weight, desired weight, height, date of birth, sex, degree of physical activity at work (sedentary activity, medium physical activity, etc), desired number of training practices per week and so forth. Based on the input data the application calculates how many calories you need to burn off every day in order to achieve the targeted results.

For instance, in order to lose 2 kg (from 50 to 48 kg), I have to burn 1200 calories every day. Then I will be able to lose 1,5 kg by January 25, 2012. You can track your progress with the mobile app as well as through the website. You can keep your nutrition diary based on your meals. For instance, you can enter the name of the dish you’ve had for dinner into the application’s food bank, indicate the portion size and get a full breakdown in terms of calories and micronutrients. Surprisingly, it turns out that two bananas contain as much as 160 calories.

You can also use My Fitness Pal for storing your own recipes of healthy and low-calorie dishes. When you go to the “Exercise” section, you can enter the number of training practices and calories burnt. Everything you enter online is automatically synchronized with the data in your mobile app and vice versa. If the pre-installed list of exercises does not include what you just did, you can manually add its name to the list.

For example, you have completed an individual training program with corresponding applications and gadgets which help track the time spent and calories burnt. Then you can create your own exercise and enter your post-training stats. At the end of every day, the mobile app calculates your daily total (calories eaten and spent) and shows your progress compared to the preset guidelines.

Garmin Vivoactive sports smartwatch

Its main advantage is a very powerful and functional software. This smartwatch is good for any purpose: for tracking your daily activities and for tracking your workouts, too.

Daily activity tracking pack spans the following functions:

  1. Step counter – you can control your level of activity across the day or the whole week. Set your goals and control how you attain them.
  2. Daily activity tracking. Been sitting too long? – Vivoactive will tell you when it’s time to move on, so that you’ll be up and running with a clear mind.
  3. Monitoring your rest. Set the sleep mode when you go to bed and vivoactive will monitor your rest.
  4. Calories burned.  Get rid of your excess weight with the help of this smartwatch.

All your stats are automatically uploaded to your smartphone. Thus through your Garning Connect app you can view all your post-day activity stats.  So gear up: with Garmin vivoactive you will be able to walk faster and further and sleep better.

Running, cycling, swimming and going to a fitness center – all these activities are a must for anyone who has a sedentary job. Rest assured: vivoactive is ever-ready to help.  Built-in GPS tracking helps track your speed, pace and distance covered when you are in the open air. In addition to that, you can use the device when working on a treadmill or swimming in a pool. Your training workout data can also be recorded.

It’s hardly a secret that the primary workout progress indicator is your pulse. This gadget has a bonus in store for those looking to slim their figure – a heart-rate monitor which comes in one package with the watch.

Your post-training data are also uploaded to Garmin Connect that you can view your stats on your PC or in your Garmin Connect mobile app.

The app pairs seamlessly with My Fitness Pal so you are able to get a comprehensive report on your nutrition and activities.

If you use the powerful combo of Garmin vivoactive – Garmin Connect – My Fitness Pal and follow all the recommendations of my system you will surely achieve all your goals in weight loss.

Needless to say, you will need a smartphone with iOS or Android operating system.

Choosing the right shoes for walking: a detailed guide

Your selection of appropriate clothes and shoes is very important. Clothing requirements are fairly simple: your garments mustn’t hinder your movements and they have to be breathable. Clothes made from cotton fabrics are best. Special attention needs to be given to shoes.

Using special walking shoes as your common everyday shoes has the following advantages:

  • They are specially designed for intensive workload and for long-distance hiking;
  • They are adjusted to the anatomy structure of your feet;
  • You can choose your shoes in accordance with the physiological changes in the position of your feet when walking.

People, who have an active lifestyle, opt for special walking shoes for their comfort, sturdiness and durability.

Special walking shoes’ characteristics

Walking shoes have special orthopedic inserts designed to protect your foot in motion.

  1. Thick durable outsole cushions the blows from vertical contact of the feet with the ground;
  2. A rigid high quarter helps support the rear of the foot in motion;
  3. Long shoe-tops provide fixation of the flexible ankle joints.

There are substantial differences between walking shoes and running shoes. For instance, running shoes are designed to take into account that the body, when running, leans forward. Such design is, of course, unacceptable for regular walking shoes.

Requirements for walking shoes

Each element of such shoes has to comply with certain specifications in regards to comfort, usability and safety.

  1. Outsole has to be thick and resilient to provide protection from the ups and downs of the surface and to cushion the shocks from the feet’s contact with the ground. Sole cover protector has to be slip resistant.
  2. Quarter or the rear and sides of the upper that covers the heel has to be high and rigid for maintaining balance and prevention of sideslipping.
  3. Midsole has to be made of elastic materials to enable proper absorption of shocks. In cross-country tracking shoes the absorption of shocks is done by the silicone gel, which helps protect your knees and spinal cord.
  4. The purpose of the midsole shank is to prevent flat-footedness and to protect the ankle joint from overstrain.
  5. Insoles have to be moisture-absorbent and easily detachable.
  6. The upper has to be breathable. Best materials are textiles or a combination of leather and high-tech synthetic materials.
  7. Shoelaces have to be resistant to deformation and should not be too easy to come undone.

Walking shoes need to have high laces, a corrugated outsole and a soft upper.

Fitting

When shopping for shoes, always try your sneakers on as well as any other tracking shoes to see if they fit.  There needs to be a little leeway – up to 0.5 cm – between your big toe and the toe of your shoe. It’s best to fit your shoes in the evening: the day’s strain makes your feet a bit swollen by the end of the day so you can get a little allowance for size.

Shoes should be fitted on both feet, with socks on, and socks being the ones you plan to wear with your sports shoes. Some shoe models even have a customized fitting system.

Walking sticks for Nordic walking

There are special walking sticks for nordic walking. Such sticks are considerably shorter than regular ski sticks. Using sticks of inappropriate length can overstrain your knees, ankles and lower back.

There are two types of sticks: standard with fixed length and extensible (which include several extensible sections). Nordic walking sticks are peculiar in that when the handle straps are fastened around your hands, you look like you’re wearing fingerless gloves. It helps to get a good purchase on the ground and push off without clutching the handles.

The sticks are equipped with rubber replacement tips which are good for hard surfaces. For walking on ice, snow, cross-country, etc. the sticks are equipped with specially designed hard-alloy tips. Walking sticks are generally made of light materials — aluminum, carbon, various composite materials.

Kitchen scales can help you lose weight

Kitchen scales came into my life when I made up my mind to get rid of my excess weight. I have never been able to figure out how to estimate the weight of any food just by eyeballing it.

My system provides detailed information on the recommended contents of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your diet as well as on the size of your food intake.

If you go about estimating your portion size in terms of weight and calorific value by sight then overeating is inevitable.

Now I have an ample experience in meticulously measuring everything on a food scale so I can estimate by sight the weight of a pork chop or a plate of vegetables.

A standard mechanical timer

 After I return from my morning walk, I immediately set the timer for one and a half hours. This is the time which has to pass between aerobic exercises and your next meal.  When you hear the chimes of the timer – it’s time to have breakfast.

What’s next?

Those apps and accessories are great, but to lose weight even faster, you’ll need some supportive practices. What are those practices and how can they help you slim down? Click on the link below to learn about them!

GO TO THE PART 15 OF THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE  >>> Supportive Practices in My Fat Burn System

What do you think about it? I would be very grateful if you share your opinion in comments!

Updated: November 17, 2017 Author: Dmitrii

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Hi, I am Dmitrii!

I have become a master of my own weight without exhausting diets or fasting. No, I am not yet another guru from the weight-loss industry. I am just a regular guy who wanted to live a balanced and healthy life. Like many of you, I have studied great volumes of information on the subject until I have found what truly works for me. And I would like to share all I have learned with you and most importantly, to tell about finding your own way towards a healthy and fit body.

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