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Mobile Apps Help College Students Minimize Obesity

Have you heard college students joke about the “Freshman 15”? The 10-15 pounds on average that students can gain throughout their college years is no laughing matter. These students are the future of our country and obesity contributes to deadly, costly health problems later in life. To reach this technology-savvy generation, here are some tips on leveraging smartphones, tablets, and social media avenues to stop the “Freshman 15” before it starts.

There are countless free smartphone and tablet apps available to help students make healthier lifestyle choices. What all these apps have in common is that you can choose to receive daily or weekly notifications to ensure compliance and motivation. Here are a few places to start:
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LifeKraze App Launches for Android, Improves for iPhone

Since September, the LifeKraze App has gained more attention and made some improvements. Just today they released updates making the application available for Android users.

The Android platform allows users to share photos or links from any share-enabled application, helping them get in to the “team” aspect of LifeKraze. The Android app will function with several screen sizes, including tablets.

LifeKraze has added updates to the iOS app as well. Those Apple users can navigate on a rebuilt format that includes a new custom photo function with LifeKraze filters. The app is up to 4.5 times faster on the iPhone 4 and 3.5 times faster on the iPhone 5.
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17 Day Diet App for Recipes Now Available with Food on the Table

It’s been one of the most popular diets since its debut in late 2010, and will no doubt remain top of that list going in to 2013, too. The 17 Day Diet, created by Dr. Mike Moreno, is a cycled diet plan that helps you look at the foods you eat and the portions you serve in a new way. While there is no online program, there is a series of books that support 17 Day beginners and veterans.

Now, just in time for the new year, an app to help 17 Day dieters manage their meal plans is here!

Working with Food on the Table, one of the leading meal planning apps, 17 Day Diet has made a collection of its best recipes available right in the palm of your hand. Food on the Table allows you to very simply plan your meals within the app. You can plug in your own recipe ideas, or search its database for new recipes when inspiration just isn’t striking on its own. The app also finds the grocery store you’re shopping at and shows weekly specials to help you save.
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Sworkit App Delivers Simple, Effective Workouts to Your iPhone

Want to workout but don’t know where to begin? The Sworkit app has you covered. It’s an app that gives you randomized training workouts based on which parts of the body you want to focus on. The workouts are timed from five to 60 minute sessions, so you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time to workout. It’s available for Androids, iPhones and iPads, and Web.

Sworkit’s creator, Ryan Hanna, told us, “The real purpose of Sworkit and what sets it apart is the attention to simplicity. When the majority of people set out to exercise, they don’t necessarily know where to start and then there are some people who will talk themselves out of ever starting in the first place.”

“Sworkit only asks two questions: How long do you have to workout? Where do you want to feel it?” said Hanna.
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Get Paid for Working Out with Earndit

Finally, my kind of exercising. Instead of rewarding myself with an ice cream that will cancel out any calories I’ve just burned, Earndit rewards its users with free stuff!

Earndit works in tandem with fitness trackers to gauge how much physical activity you’ve done, convert that to points, and then let you redeem those points for rewards. The rewards aren’t half bad, either: a $35 gift card to women’s workout clothing shop Body Rock Sport, a $15 gift card to Peeled Snacks, or a $50 gift card to the men’s clothing line Bonobos are among the choices. Or, for philanthropists, get rewarded with charity gifts that allow you to purchase a polio vaccine for a child in India or send a care package to U.S. troops. However, the prizes are mostly fitness related, like workout apparel, healthy snacks, and supplements.
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