5 Geeky Wonders to Conquer Your Health

This is a guest post from Matt Gartland over at HealthyLifestyleDesign.com

What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Biz Stone, Mark Zuckerberg, and Matt Mullenweg all have in common?

They’re all geeks – wildly successful and accomplished geeks!

Geeks are creative problem solvers. They perceive and interact with the world differently. They have seemingly divine abilities to conjure remarkable solutions that improve the lives and capture the imaginations of millions. This power is born from challenging conventional wisdom, exploring the boundaries of what’s possible, and taking risks.

And they’re changing the world – from communications, to philanthropy, to publication, to activism, to education, and beyond.

What does this have to do with designing a healthy lifestyle?

Everything!

First, you can learn from their examples and apply their creative philosophies to designing a fulfilling and healthy life.  Second, you can (and should) use the clever creations of the geek-community to empower your healthy lifestyle. Remember, geeks are creative problem solvers. And simplifying the process of getting healthy in a fun and practical way can be tricky.

So, here are five geeky wonders to conquer your heath:

1. DailyBurn – Your One-Stop, Personal Health Headquarters

DailyBurn will mesmerize you at first use. This web-based application has a ridiculously simple and almost game-like user interface. You’ll get hooked. Trust me.

Why give DailyBurn a go?

  • Because you have access to over 244,000 foods and recipes
  • Because you can track what you eat with a few, simple clicks
  • Because you can record your workout data in minutes
  • Because you can compete in fun, health challenges with your friends on DailyBurn
  • Because you get motivation and support from the entire DailyBurn community
  • Because you can easily track your progress with idiot-proof and insightful analytics
  • Because it’s FREE

But wait, DailyBurn doesn’t stop there.

They also have a revolutionary mobile application for the iPhone – FoodScanner. It allows you to retrieve the nutritional data of any food item with a UPC barcode. You can enter how many servings you ate of that food after a scan, which automatically updates your food journal in DailyBurn.

It’s dead-easy to use. Watch for yourself.

FoodScanner Demo

2. SparkPeople.com – America’s #1 Weight Loss and Fitness Website

SparkPeople is a jaw-dropper. It’s bursting with information and tools on all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your healthy lifestyle passions and goals, you can learn more and find like-minded friends at SparkPeople.

They aim to “make healthy living fun & easy with our tools, content & community.” This fits perfectly with their mission “to help millions of people live healthier lives and reach their goals”.

Why should you fancy SparkPeople?

  • Because over 7 million people believe in SparkPeople and have joined the movement
  • Because they offer personalized diet and fitness plans
  • Because they provide calorie calculators, fitness trackers, and instructional videos
  • Because you can connect with certified dietitians and fitness trainers
  • Because the supportive community will help you on your quest to greater health
  • Because it’s FREE

3. Twitter & Facebook – Life 2.0

What else could possibly be said about Twitter and Facebook? Not much. If you don’t know about these two social network juggernauts I’d check your pulse to see if you’re alive.

But emphasizing Twitter’s and Facebook’s contributions to radically evolving the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated.

At no point in human history has it been easier to build, connect, and grow communities of supportive and compassionate friends – thanks largely to Twitter and Facebook. Such social relationships are vital to consistent healthy living. Why? Because of the motivation, inspiration, and sense of belonging they provide.

But there’s more.

Twitter and Facebook grant unprecedented access to premier healthy lifestyle experts. You can “friend” and follow renowned nutritionists, acclaimed trainers, brilliant doctors, distinguished healthy publicists, professional athletes, etc. Their wisdom is at your fingertips.

This isn’t about sharing what you ate for lunch. It’s about learning what you should eat for lunch. And so much more.

So get social and join the Healthy Lifestyle Design Tribe on Twitter and Facebook! And if you haven’t already, enlist in the NerdFitness Rebellion on Twitter and Facebook too!

4. FitBit – The Intergalactic Pedometer from the Future

Are you familiar with pedometers? That’s right. Those goofy things you attach to your belt to track your steps.

FitBit is a pedometer, on steroids and from the future.

The FitBit device automatically collects your fitness and sleep data. Specifically, it accurately tracks calories burned, distance traveled, and hours of quality sleep. Seriously, it monitors your sleep – time you went to bed, time to fall asleep, times awakened, actual sleep time.

How can it do all that? According to FitBit, it “contains a 3D motion sensor like the one found in the Nintendo Wii.”

You guessed it, there’s more.

The FitBit device easily syncs with FitBit.com, providing you the ability to track and analyze your daily activity data. Merely walk within 15 feet of the provided docking station and your data will be automatically uploaded.

Oh, and FitBit tracks your steps too.

5. HealthCentral.com – Your All-Knowing Personal Physician at Your Call 24/7

HealthCentral is akin to having unfettered access to a prestigious medical library. It offers intuitive information on copious health conditions, diseases, symptoms, and more. While it has parallels with WebMD, I enjoy HealthCentral for it’s simplicity and quick answers.

What else is special about HealthCentral?

  • You can perform a self-examination of various symptoms
  • You can watch videos of medical experts
  • You can find a therapist in your area
  • Everything is FREE

Disclosure – I had the privilege of meeting HealthCentral’s CEO Chris Schroeder at a 2009 conference on how social technologies are changing the future of healthcare and healthy living. Chris was the keynote – a brilliant and impassioned person with a genuine vision for helping others via social technology innovation.

Bonus: Withings – The OMG Scale of Your Dreams

Scales are boring.

Not this one.

The Withings scale revolutionizes the whole idea behind weighing yourself. With old school scales you hoop on, grimace at your weight, hoop off, done. Weighing yourself was an episodic event with no tangible output or call-to-action. And it definitely wasn’t fun.

With the Withings scale, those days are gone. Welcome to new school.

The Withings scale captures not only your weight but also calculates your lean mass, fat mass, and body-mass-index (BMI). It then transmits that data to the Internet via an encrypted WiFi signal where it is accessible via the Withings.com system.

Once online at Withings.com, you can monitor the historical progress of your body composition measurements. According to Withings…

“The web dashboard offers a rich graphical interface with easy browsing over time and allows you to zoom in on the date ranges of your choice. You therefore take pleasure in observing the evolution of your fitness in a simple, intuitive environment.”

It can also integrate with your DailyBurn account or others like Google Health.

They also offer an iPhone application so that you can access your data while mobile.

***

These geeky wonders are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more abound on the Internets. Feel free to look around.

But don’t overwhelm yourself. These technologies (or any other) should make your healthy life easier, not harder. Forcing yourself to adopt anything doesn’t work. So don’t do it.

And when in doubt, do as the geeks – challenge conventional wisdoms and use/create remarkable solutions to transform your life.

Now go forth and geek-out your healthy lifestyle!

What other geeky creations do you use to manage your healthy lifestyle?

What healthy lifestyle challenges are you encountering that warrant a new geeky gadget?

###

Matt Gartland is a healthy lifestyle geek extraordinaire, blogger, world traveler, lifestyle entrepreneur, coffee fanatic, web techie, lifelong kid, bookworm, and more. He writes at Healthy Lifestyle Design (HLD), where he unleashes his passion for remarkable and unconventional living propelled by amazing health. Follow Matt on Twitter and join the HLD Tribe on Facebook.

(Photo: pragmagraphr)

Get The Rebel Starter Kit

Enter your email and we’ll send it right over.

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention 5 Geeky Wonders to Conquer Your Health | Nerd Fitness -- Topsy.com()

  • http://www.geekintoshape.com George Titsworth

    Great post Matt!

    I really want a Fitbit!

  • http://www.healthylifestyledesign.com/ Matt Gartland

    It's amazing! I'm still baffled by it's awesomeness.

    Cheers!
    Matt

  • http://jcdfitness.com/ JC

    I always wanted to try one but couldn't seem to get my hands on one of the initial releases. I'd since forgotten about it, well, until today! I've used the bodybugg and gowear fit, though.

    nice post, Matt.

    JC

  • http://www.hardtobefit.com Adam Martin

    Good post Matt. Daily Burn is awesome and I have been using it for quite sometime. I don't have an iPhone so I don't use the food scanner, but the product itself is great. I really want one of those fit bits as well.

  • http://www.healthylifestyledesign.com/ Matt Gartland

    Thanks JC! I've heard about the bodybugg but have never given it a go. It'd be interesting to do a compare with the fitbit.

    Cheers!
    Matt

  • http://www.healthylifestyledesign.com/ Matt Gartland

    Hey Adam!

    DailyBurn is indeed amazing. Quite honestly, I believe that they're revolutionizing how we learn about and engage in health (fitness, nutrition, community, etc.). I can't wait to see what that team is going to do next!

    Cheers!
    Matt

  • http://www.hardtobefit.com Adam Martin

    I completely agree. It gives a sense of accountability, which I feel is a good thing 🙂

  • William Mize

    Withings sounds too good to be true. In the past, I've found that body fat analysis scales are wildly inaccurate. I'd like to read some good comparisons or real world use before punching out $160 for the scale.
    Great post, by the way.

  • http://www.healthylifestyledesign.com/ Matt Gartland

    Perfect point – accountability isn't only great but (IMHO) essential. Sadly, I feel too few “get” this.

    Being healthy or unhealthy are both choices. Choices matter!

    Cheers!
    Matt

  • http://www.healthylifestyledesign.com/ Matt Gartland

    Hi William-

    I agree. In general, I feel that things that are “too good to be true” typically are.

    Research (and more research) is always my friend! The truth is out there, somewhere! 🙂

    Cheers!
    Matt

  • http://www.shaunastacy.com/ Shauna Stacy

    How did I not know about any of these? Thanks, Steve!

  • http://www.hardtobefit.com Adam Martin

    I completely agree. It is your choice 🙂

  • http://www.halfofjess.com Jess

    Out of ALL of those, I only use facebook and twitter. Do I have a DailyPlate/DailyMile account? Yes. Do I suck at recording on those things? Absolutely. Too much tech, no need.

    My “geeky” gadgets, however, do include my Vibram FiveFingers. That stuff is geeked out maximus even though it's mimic-ing Grokdom. I mean, TOE “SHOES”. Come on.

    More geeky gadgets that I will be needing: triathlon/road bike with clipless pedals plus the proper shoes for that. A camelbak for my long runs. A triathlon suit (two-piece or one, haven't decided), and some functional goggles with a swim cap. Triathlon training is serious business.

    Other than that, I go with the pen + paper for my food/exercise journaling. Pretty low tech in that department.

  • http://twitter.com/jennsutherland Jenn Sutherland

    DailyBurn.com is awesome – I've been using it to track nutrition & workouts for about a year and a half, and I still love it, and am still logging everything daily…I've never stuck with any tracking system this long previously – their UI is killer, and there's a great support community as well.

    I take the fitness geeking one step further and log everything with my Garmin on DailyMile.com. A fitness site for total geek athletes, it's more a social network for sharing your runs/rides/walks and encouraging your friends. DailyMile inspired me to try a bunch of running races this year (previously I've just been a cyclist) and I'm having a blast!

  • http://www.facebook.com/billclark Bill Clark

    I have to disagree on the SparkPeople recommendation. The whole site looks like one of those “keyword ad sites” that you get to from Google ads–like one of those blogger-turned-“socal media experts” that want to sell you every cheesy ebook about how to get more hits and make money off your blog kind of sites.

    I never really got into using their site because it was always too cluttered and visually distracting for me. Now, Daily Burn on the other hand–right on!

  • http://www.newsfitness.com/ Fitness

    It’s amazing post, I really love it, got lots of  Daily Burn  information, its very helpful for our <a href="http://www.newsfitness.com/"fitness