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Time to put down the chips and get moving, and yes, there is an app for that

January 4, 2011 - Art Smith

According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 30 percent of West Virginians are obese. Ohio ranks slightly behind with about 28 percent of the population considered obese.

For many people, the New Year is a great time to start fresh, to finally start to eat right and to shed some of the pounds they have gained through the holidays.

There are a number of web tools designed to help people not only keep track of what they are eating, but also keep track of the exercise they do to help burn off the “fuel” they consume. Here is a sampling of some of the things available.

Sparkpeople.com
Sparkpeople.com is a massive online resource that more than 9 million people have used to keep track of pounds. The site claims to have helped people shed more than 13 million pounds.

The site allows you to record what you have eaten as well as how much you have exercised, tracking the difference. Setting it apart from many of the basic calorie counters is the massive amount of support materials available on the site. The SparkTeams on the site are designed to put you in discussion with people facing similar weight loss challenges.

Like many other online tools, there is an app that can be downloaded to whichever smart phone you use.

FatSecret.com
More streamlined than Sparkpeople.com, Fatsecret.com also keeps track of what you eat and does a very nice job of displaying the nutritional value of each item as well as giving you a summary of things consumed for the day. The site also provides forums, groups and journals to help people reach their goals. The system also will sync to iphone and ipad versions that allow you to keep track of your activity regardless of where you are. The ipad version is one of the best systems I’ve seen.

Livestrong.com
Livestrong.com, a product of Lance Armstrong’s effort it get people fit, provides the calorie-counting options but also provides a very strong fitness site as well.

The user can search for information on exercising with dozens of pieces of exercise equipment. The site lets the user get involved by adding routes for biking, running and walking. There are already dozens of loops for the Parkersburg-Marietta area. We are in the process of adding both The News and Sentinel Half Marathon and News and Sentinel Two Mile to the site.

As with FatSecret.com, Livestrong.com also has an app for the iphone/ipad as well as for users of BlackBerry phones.

Regardless of which site you use, the online tabulation of calories and exercise is a great way of helping you become fit.

 
 

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