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Crowd-source Your Workout Music: DROP is the Free App That Lets Your Friends Pick the Songs

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We’re not pitching you on a new music service to sign up for. For this one, you’ll use the music you already have.

DROP is a new app, free from Jawbone, the makers of the wildly popular fitness trackers we love. It relies on the music you already have on Spotify, iTunes, or Rdio, but lets you enjoy it all in a new way. At the most basic level, it shuffles your songs (and playlists) and lets you listen to them in a new order. On a more exciting note, it lets your friends choose specific songs to “drop” on you at any given time.

Well, while you’re using the app, of course. It won’t barge in like a wrecking ball and start blaring Miley Cyrus while you’re in a meeting with your boss.

DROP will run on its own, but the real fun comes when you connect it to Twitter — and when your friends do, too. They can queue up a song for you by tweeting something like this:

@mbchp drop Talk Dirty
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The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for Holiday Shopping

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide

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These are the top wearable fitness trackers you should consider using to monitor your fitness goals. Last year’s 2013 Fitness Tracker Review Guide was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again with the new 2014 models. Several bands have gotten bumps in battery life, there are new and improved features across the board, and some new players to consider.

BUDGET CONSCIOUS

The two notable entries are aimed squarely at the budget-minded among us, with price points both under $60. They don’t pack all the high-tech bells and whistles of their more expensive siblings, but for many, they get the job done and serve as a reminder to be more active.

For a modest $50, you’ll find the Jawbone UP Move, which clips onto your shirt, pants, blouse, or purse. It’s a pedometer, first and foremost, and via the free iPhone or Android apps, also helps you keep track of calories consumed and calories burned.

The $60 Fitbit Zip competes head-on here, but is also waterproof up to 30 feet.
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Rise Offers Affordable Personalized Nutrition Coaching Through your iPhone

Rise-app-review

Would you like to have a nutrition coach cheering you on toward your chosen goals with you all the time? As a busy professional and mom to an active kid, fitting in one more appointment — even social activities — isn’t very easy. I welcomed the opportunity to review the app 1:1 Nutrition Coaching by Rise.

It is a food diary app that allows you to log your meals and snacks with photos and/or descriptions, but the big difference that Rise offers is a personal nutrition coach who reviews what you are eating, asks questions, and makes suggestions to help you meet your goals. You can request a supportive coach or a tough coach, but even my tough coach was kind. No one is going to be yelling at you or even messaging you in all caps.

I chose my own goal — decrease sugar — and she offered suggestions and general tips both as feedback to my meals and in separate messages. As someone who lives with food allergies and centers my diet on vegetables and protein, I wondered what kind of advice I would be given since my diet doesn’t meet the general guidelines. When you sign up for 1:1 Nutrition Coaching by Rise, you can enter in dietary restrictions, and she must have paid attention to them because it never came up. She seemed excited by the amount of vegetables my family eats regularly and unconcerned by eggs for breakfast and steak for dinner.
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Nike+ Running is the App that Loves You Back: Why the Cheers from the Sidelines, and Facebook, Actually Matter

interactive apps nike

Talk to anyone who’s ever run a marathon, a 5K, or any of the other Ks and they will tell you the best motivation is the crowd on the sidelines. The applause, and shouts of “come on, you can do it” are sometimes all the push they need to hoof it another mile.

Now, thanks to apps like Nike+ Running that sync with Facebook, runners can experience the same race-day rush during their daily trek through the neighborhood or park.

Angela VanBuskirk is an avid runner who participates in several races per year. She competes because they make her feel strong, alive, and also, she admits to being a medal hoarder – the bigger the better. The best thing by far, she says, are the cheering crowds.

“It’s a thing where your body is working so, so hard,” VanBuskirk explained. “You push harder than you ever knew you could and then seeing that finish line, hearing people who have never met screaming ‘YOU GOT THIS! GO! FINISH STRONG!’ It’s better than anything.”

“Out of nowhere you will hear the roar of a crowd, then another, it’s friggin awesome.” 

She was introduced to the Nike+ Running app by her buddies in the Ozark Mountain Ridge Running Club. It offers the option to sync with your Facebook account and each time you run, the following message is delivered to your followers: Angela is out on a run with Nike -Send me cheers along the way by liking or commenting on this post.

Angela says it was a surreal but wonderful experience to hear the applause and cheering noises through her ear buds as each like and comment came in.


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No Weight Loss with FitBit? 5 Reasons it’s Probably User Error

fitbit-tracker

Did anyone happen to see the Today Show story on FitBit users who claim the device made them gain weight? I missed it when it originally aired, but it was topic of discussion during an IDEA World Fitness session called Best Practices for Integrating Devices and Apps with Your Clients.

More and more people are using technology to assist them on their fitness journey. In fact, session facilitator Patrick Jak shared that 10% of U.S. adults wear some kind of activity tracker, and that estimates say by 2015, 500 million people will be using fitness apps on their smartphones. An activity tracker or food log app like MyFitnessPal can be a great help in getting more active or facilitating fat loss. The problem is, as with any fitness tool, they are only effective with consistent and correct usage.

If you’re one of the 10% with a FitBit, Fuelband, VivoFit, or a dedicated MyFitnessPal user, but you aren’t seeing results, take a look at these common operator errors:
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