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

drop-music-app-ios

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 Future of Wearable Tech Lies in Smart Clothing

Athos Gear

Wearable fitness trackers are excellent, and depending on the one you choose, you’ll enjoy features like calorie, step, and sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and more. They’re selling like hotcakes, with every company who could claim a remote link to the technology pushing their own version.

But what if there was a better way?

What if there was more accuracy? More precision? Something that didn’t rely heavily on estimations and algorithms? Something that was specific to each of your two arms, two legs, and everything in between?

That’s exactly what Silicon Valley start-up Athos is currently creating.

While not scheduled to ship to the masses until Spring 2015, Athos is creating a workout clothing line. Shirts and pants with the core technology sewn (quite literally) right into the fabric. And yes, they’re even machine washable. You can wear them and them alone, or under other workout clothing if you prefer.

What Does This Mean for Me?

There are three components that make up the Athos system: Athos Gear, the clothing you wear; Athos Core, a Bluetooth module that keeps track of all your workout data; and the smartphone app. All three components are required.
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The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for Holiday Shopping

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide

EMBED THIS GRAPHIC

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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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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