Help is at your fingertips on the Web

9/2/2011

          The past few columns I have shared personal fitness experiences for a context to encourage you in your own health and fitness goals and pursuits. I have read elsewhere in the Advocate about people losing weight and increasing their fitness involvement. I’d love to hear from you so I could share about it in this column—your story could encourage others!
          So, this month, I’m going to share some helpful websites that can aid your personal fitness pursuits and health practices (all are preceded by www.). I encourage you to check them out and see what works for you.
          Active.com – This is a great site for picking a race that you can work toward as a goal. You register for a race and you’re more likely to train toward getting prepared for the race. They have 5k, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, and triathlon races. You can edit it so you only get information for your local area. They also will send you emails with very helpful articles on nutrition, training, and running tips.
          HabitForge.com – One of the hardest obstacles to overcome in fitness is sticking with a new habit. This site is straightforward: You pick the habit you want to instill in your life, go public or private with it on the site, and then they send you an email every day for 21 days straight. General rule of thumb is it takes 21 days to start a new habit. You don’t just have to rely on a calendar reminder or your spouse nagging (er, I mean, encouraging) you.
          Livestrong.com/myplate – I wrote about this a couple of columns back, but I include it here again. They have thousands of food items already loaded which makes it easy to track what you eat. I was surprised at how much hidden sodium and sugar there was in food I ate. It’s helpful if you’re trying to get a handle on what you eat and how changes might make a difference.
          Youbar.com – Have you wanted to design your own snack bar so it would have only what you wanted in it? You can on this site, as it allows you to design your bar exactly as you want, so you can create anything from high-protein, low-carb energy bars to gluten-free protein bars. The process is easy enough and the cost is comparable to what you’d pay for any of the protein bars you find in the store. It’s pretty fun to pick what you want—even the wrappers are special to you!
          I hope these websites are helpful to you—I’d love to hear your feedback if you use any of them. Please email me at the address below with a topic you’d like to see in Staying Fit and I’ll do my best to get it in this column. Let’s keep moving together!
 
Dr. John A. Page is an associate pastor at Athens First UMC. Go to www.amazon.com for his book, “The Almighty in the Ordinary.” Email John at john.a.page@ngumc.net


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