Elsewhere on the web…

I didn’t run the 29th (Monday) or the 25th (Thursday) . Thursday, I was running late and was also advised by my doc not to run. See, I had LASIK a few weeks ago and one of my eyes is blurry. It had a little bit of pain so they said it was a good idea to take it easy and see them on Friday. Turns out I’ve got some dry eye and one of my eyelids is messing up the healing. They gave me some stuff and while it’s not better yet, I’m positive it’ll be okay. Monday I didn’t run because my car broke down and we were running around trying to fix it.

Today I wanted to talk about the cool web tools that I’ve used or liked. There’s only a few and I thought I’d just discuss when I liked and what annoyed me about the sites. I’m going to go over: SlimKicker, SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy, Earndit, and BodyMedia.

Image representing SparkPeople as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

SparkPeople(SP) So for those that don’t know, SP is one of the largest communities online for diet and weight loss. They have lots of the great “hooks” to keep you coming back as well as diet and exercise trackers, message boards, groups, websites, blogs, recipes, and articles. SP is considered the best by a lot of people, the community is huge and they even have TV advertisements. They have a point system with levels that help users feel engaged and keeps people coming back because it becomes a game. I used SP for a while and after a time I found the system overwhelming, and cheesy.

Image representing Fitocracy as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

FitocracyThis site is great because it makes working out like a game. I love earning points and leveling up. They have groups that will provide support. Its less of a weight loss site and more of an exercise site, it doesn’t really have a food tracker. This is great for people that want to just play the exercise game, but usually, I feel, there is a lot of overlap and I might have used it more if it had it. The only thing I don’t like about it is the interface. I use Google Chrome so I’m not sure if it’s that the site just doesn’t work well with Chrome or just kind of awkward in general. I had great difficulty finding the exercises that I did and many times I picked something that I thought was close enough. Often the exercise required weights. In the beginning I wasn’t using weights, just doing the movements. It wouldn’t add the exercise if I put 0lbs for the weights. The community was also difficult to get into, the system was awkward and not intuitive for me.

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

MyFirnessPal(MFP) MFP is my main site, I constantly go back to it and I love the way it’s build. It’s very simple and super easy to use. You log in, you track your food, you track your exercise, chat on the group boards or the general community boards and that’s that. You can make friends or not, you can keep a blog or not. There is not a lot too it but I like the easy and simple way that it feels. They’ve begun integrating with more of the body bugs out there and that makes me happy. Recently they teamed up with Body Media, so the data can cross over. I like this because I find Body Media’s food library not very full and sometimes off or not easy to add too.

Back on BodyMedia

Back on BodyMedia (Photo credit: juhansonin)

BodyMediaBody Media is a lot like FitBit but you are supposed to wear it all the time. It tracks your movement and can track your steps and exercise as well. It basically uses accelerators to track this information. I’ve enjoyed mine, but I will warn you that many people have had issues with it, including a close friend. They online system is pretty cool and very info graphic-ish. It’s food library doesn’t feel so robust, but the workout and sleeping information is really helpful/interesting. It doesn’t have a community, which I felt was lacking, community helps me to come back and spend more time on the site.  Its recent partnership with MFP is awesome and made me renew my subscription. Yes, there is a subscription.

SK is a lot like fitocracy, where the goal is to make fitness like a game. You earn points when you exercise and from challenges. The interface it a lot simpler nd instead of focusing on what you did exactly, its more general. The challenges also range from things like “No soda for 1 week” to “Meditate for 30 minutes” to really basic ones like “Put on my gym shoes”. I like that, it gives the site a very low pressure feel and while it incites the user to do better and make better choices it does it without making the user feel bad if they don’t log in for a few days  or don’t do the challenges. (I’ll note here that I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker).

Image representing Earndit as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Earndit I like earndit because it rewards you for the exercise you do. It pulls information from the tracking websites, like Nike Plus, RunKeeper, BodyMedia, Fit Bit, ect.  You earn points that can be spend on coupons ($25 off a $50 order), trials of products,  and even sent to charity. I haven’t done the charity part yet, though I’m earning so many points and not all of the offers appeal to me I think that I will start donating them before long. They have competitions that if you earn so many points during the week you might win cool things, but I don’t currently rack up enough points. All of the deals require some purchase, but that’s understandable.

So those are a few of the sites I visit or have visited. I like all of them for different reasons. I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker, so take my opinion of that with a grain of salt. I’m not a journalist, so please don’t hold me to those standards, but I do like to be honest when I’ve been asked to talk about something. If you know of any other site that might be useful please share it below.


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