Category Archives: Health and Wellness

I’ve worked at home on and off for most of my career, though for the past five years, I’d been in an office. Now, I have a job enables me to work from home when I’m not on the road, and I am re-discovering some pitfalls. You know the big one: laziness.

I mean, really– how easy is it to not shower, not brush your teeth, and to eat cereal right out of the container when you literally won’t see anyone for hours?

Yeah, can’t do that. For one, I’m not productive. And for two, that reminds me a little too much of some of my darker days after I got laid off this past summer.

Being the gadget geek I am, I’ve turned to several apps to help me reinforce some good habits.

Moves: Moves is an app that tracks your movements and creates a “storyline” of where you’ve been.  It uses GPS and the gyrometer in your iPhone to track distance without having a second gadget. It tracks steps, running, cycling, walking– anywhere where you’re moving (but not cars; I guess they’ve programmed it to realize that humans can’t run 65 mph).  Today, I’ve really only walked around my apartment, but it also reminds me that movement is probably a good thing– and drives me to go out and walk in my urban neighborhood.

Lift:  Lift allows you to check into pre-created habits.  You can create habits like “Floss” or “Exercise”  or “Make the Bed” (a big one for me). You can search popular habits to see what other people are working on (and to remind you what you might work on– “drink more water” was a good one for me) and are also organized by categories like productivity, mindfulness and fitness.  You can check on your friends’ activity, and support them with “props”.  It’s like crowdsourced responsibility.

GymPact: Put your money where your mouth is, or something like that.  GymPact makes you pay cold, hard cash every time you don’t go to the gym.  Make a pact with yourself (mine is currently 3x/week), check in when you go to the gym or go for a run, and earn money.  I found the checkins can be kind of buggy, but their customer service very quickly will credit you a gym visit that you missed because of their app.  Users get paid by those who don’t go to the gym. I’ve earned, like, $7 so far– which doesn’t cut into my personal training budget, but hey, it’s better than paying $25 for not going.  Ouch.  If you want to join, they have a “get $5 when you sign up” promotion.  Hey, I’ve never been paid to exercise, have you?

SparkPeople is something I’ve been using for years on and off– probably since 2006.  They are a local-to-me company that is the largest fitness site on the web, and happens to have a great app.  You can track calories, weight, measurements and exercise and it’s all free.  The reporting features is pretty good on the app and even better on the website.  Plus, if you have a Fitbit or other tracking device, you can sync it with SparkPeople’s tracking.

SoFitGet ready America: the 2012 Olympics are about to begin! That’s right, in one week, the Summer Olympics are set to kick off in London, England and it’s attracting a lot of attention, at least from a technology standpoint. Whether it’s about their use about social media for its athletes or how it’s rumored to be the most social in the history of the Olympiad, or anything else, there’s a whole lot going on with this historic event.

But the Olympics are much more than just sports. It’s also about building a better community and to do some charitable good. This year is no different and even the tech community is getting involved  with one of the Olympic’s global events to help promote tolerance, peace, and fitness in the world.

Known as the “Walk A Mile” event, this campaign is supported by the 2012 London Olympics and also the US State Department’s Hours Against Hate tolerance campaign designed to help showcase the potential of young people to change the world. To help promote the “Walk A Mile” event, InterAmerican Gaming, in partnership with Dave Stewart, Rock-it Media, Kiip Rewards, PayPal, and Xtreme Labs, just announced the release of their new fitness mobile application, SoFit.

Facebook CEO/Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Don’t be evil — that’s Google’s unofficial motto. But while some companies may take that motto to simply mean “don’t do anything bad”, some might argue that rather than being passive about avoiding evil, companies should actually be more active in combating evil and doing more good. For Facebook, doing good and giving back seems to be very much in part of their effort to give back to the world. Sure, their service allows people to connect themselves with others from around the world, but there’s always more that can be done and one might suggest that Facebook has strived to be good global corporate neighbors. Just take a look at recent events to gain a glimpse at what the power of Facebook has had over our lives–the service has helped directly/indirectly shake the foundation of some of the most totalitarian regimes across the Middle East during the famous Arab Spring event. And Facebook’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not made it a secret that he intends to donate some of his wealth to charity, having signed onto billionaire Bill Gates & Warren Buffet’s “Giving Pledge”. And in 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg famously went on the Oprah Winfrey Show and announced that he was giving $100 million to the Newark Public School System as part of his effort to help Mayor Cory Booker revive the struggling education system.

Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have clearly been corporate model citizens helping to illustrate that companies can do good for the public and that more can be done instead of simply pledging never to be evil–there are other philanthropy efforts that need corporate help and it seems that Facebook is leading the way.

By Julie Blaustein

Trendy Lime will be celebrating its 1st. anniversary with a special edition of JETLAG at the sizzling hot Butterfly in San Francisco, September 10th.

Join San Francisco trend-setters, world travelers, and social media fans, WHERE FASHION MEETS TRAVEL and win a “Any City” round trip with JetBlue! The trendy jetsetters of San Francisco & Bay Area are invited to dress up to the nines to celebrate Trendy Lime’ 1st. anniversary at JETLAG. Served on board of this flight: JETLAG-only delicious mix of Travel, Fashion, Music, and Socializing to be enjoyed by the most discerning tastes. Food bloggers, Gratitude Gourmet and Club Dine In gave the venue and the food a thumbs up during a private tasting.

Admission is just $10 until 11 pm with an RSVP, or $10 all night with pre-sale tickets that you should purchase now as they are limited.

The perks of attending the JETLAG celebration include:

  • Round Trip with JetBlue (any 2 cities!) for the lucky TrendyLimer  – To qualify you must be part of the A-List Crowd or join now at Trendy Lime group on FB
  • “All you Can Dance” package by DJ Nader & DJ Michelle Musial
  • 1st Class pampering with Mary Kay goodie-bags
  • Fashion in the Air: “Fresh fashion experience” is brought to you by San Francisco renowned designers “ANYA” and “RockChiq” and presented by the stunning models from around the world.
  • Spectacular gourmet creations by the chef and owner of “Butterfly” Rob Lam, complimentary between 9.30-10.30,
  • Trendy Lime birthday cake at midnight

Sponsors and Partners include: JetBlue, Mary Kay, Mesaic, Red Bull

Media Partners: Bub.bliciou.us, Eclectic a la Mode, FailCon, Fashionaholics, Jetset Extra, Laura Loves Art, Mashable.com, Moda Epidemic, Vator.tv, 360 Fashion Network.

Follow the buzz about Trendy Lime’s 1st. Anniversary  and  Special Edition of JETLAG at #jetlagTL

JETLAG is brought to you by Trendy Lime and Michael Nader. Trendy Lime is a social media driven producer of upscale social, networking, and networking events for trend-setters and world travelers. Our San Francisco network of international socialites is 3,000 people strong and counting. Soon we are planning to bring Trendy Lime events to other world metropolis. Our distinguishing feature is combining elements of fashion, travel, and technology at the events. Our Mission is to provide unique event experience for the most discerning guests, while supporting good cause initiatives and collaborating with local businesses. DJ Nader (Michael Nader) is the Co-Founder of Feel Group and is the owner of several successful San Francisco establishments including Harlot and Morac.

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Photo Credit: Sean Percival

This week is the National Women’s Health Week empowering women to make their health a top priority. And it’s not only women’s health that we should be concerned about. Childhood obesity in United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and there are more than 1 billion overweight adults globally, of which at least 300 million are obese. Food industry is vowing to make processed food healthier, meanwhile studies showing how addictive fatty foods are, also suggesting that processed carbohydrates may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more than fat does.

Jamie Oliver’s new TV show Foodrevolution has a mission to fight childhood obesity and change the way America eat. His combined Facebook and Twitter community has passed 700 000 followers and the petition to improve school food has so far been signed by half a million people. It’s a great example of how to create awareness by engaging directly with the community, both online and offline. Watch this clip with Stephen Colbert (4min in) and the magnitude of the challenge the nation in whole is facing becomes evident.

So, what if you could bring a personal trainer, dietician and motivator with you all the time? In your pocket? Now you can. DailyBurn and Swedish ShapeUp Club are two easy to use online weight loss and fitness services, both with free iPhone apps. Yes, you can get started with your new life with zero cost (ShapeUp Club is soon to have an application available for Nokia). DailyBurn’s freemium model also offers a basic functionality free online, whereas with ShapeUp Club one can sign up starting at $3 per month to get added functionality, such as advanced nutrition tracking with charts, back-up and online community.

Setting up ones individual health program is quickly done in both services, whether one is looking for losing, keeping or gaining weigth. The iPhone apps make it really easy to record daily food and exercise, with metric system of ones choice, allowing one to create, add and favourite food items and meals. Both services sync all data with the online account. DailyBurn is a bit more fitness orientated with lots of various workout program and challenges, where one can find like minded people for support to achieve fitness goals.

I spent previously four years on developing the largest online weight loss service in Sweden (Viktklubb.se) in collaboration with an obesity unit, that also conducts research studies on weight loss online with help of the service. These are my learnigs and thoughts on why I think the two services have figured out the key success factors of weight loss, thereby already enjoying over 100 000 users in respective service.

1. The social aspects of weight control. Gaining and retaining motivation with the help of the community, day or night, is very important. To find and interact with other people in the same situation has shown to be crucial to many. Besides from the inbuilt communities, this is where social networks like Facebook and Twitter come to help to increase the interactivity, thus strengthening the core service. ShapeUp Club has been more focused on blogging than social networking so far, where I’m especially happy to see DailyBurn engaging with its users.

Who is joining us tonight for our @jamie_oliver #foodrev viewing party? Last week was fun!Fri Apr 16 21:08:41 via TweetDeck

2. Easy registering of daily calories and activities. iPhone apps do just that! The most annoying thing users know is spending a lot of time to fill in the diary of daily calories and activities. It brings down the motivation and once one skips registering, it gets harder to stay on track. I think both services have done a great job even if I find it a bit easier with ShapeUp Club. On the other hand, DailyBurn offers a FoodScanner app for $0.99 to easier find foods by scanning UPC barcodes or typing in food names.

3. Visualization of the progress. This is the number one motivational factor. To see charts and diagrams over ones weight, waistline, body fat, to name a few, does wonders. DailyBurn is also connected to Withings, a WiFi scale linked to the Internet that automatically tracks weight and body fat directly to DailyBurn. Trust me, men like this one. Men has shown to be more competitive, also when it comes to fitness and weight loss, thus making the information publicly available a good motivator.

4. Watercheck/Water tracker. Grown ups should drink at least 2 liter (0,5 gallon) water per day. Registering and visualizing the daily water consumption is a great way to get a hang of how much water one actually drinks during one day. I’ve learned how easy it is to be mistaken of ones daily water consumption. I particularly like the neat implementation of watercheck in ShapeUp Club’s iPhone app.

As Andy Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of DailyBurn, said: You manage what you measure”. (quote by Mark Suster). I couldn’t agree more.

Ps. Not to worry! For the occasional social drinks, stick with gin & tonic and wine. They’re the kindest when it comes to calories.

Paula is online strategist and startup evangelist. She blogs at paulamarttila.com and here at Bub.blicio.us.
Follow her on Twitter:
@paulamarttila
Drop her email at paula.marttila[at]gmail[dot]com

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