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?
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.
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.
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.