Friday Link Love: Fitness Edition

It's been a big week here---first week of school, back to a routine after the summer, and I have a major deadline next week (not the book---that's due in November). And the 9/11 coverage is ramping up. Maybe I should share some wise thoughts about this milestone, but I don't have any.

So in the spirit of something completely different, in the spirit of "life moves on in profound and quotidian ways"... I decided to share a few health-related links that I am currently obsessed with.

Be good to your body. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. There, that's profound enough.

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MyFitnessPal is a website and smartphone app that lets you track your food and exercise. You set a basic lifestyle/activity level (from sedentary on up), a weight goal, and the app tells you how many calories to eat a day. Exercise, of course, bumps up the calories you can consume.

The barcode scanner is fun, and after a few weeks of use we have only found a small handful of items that aren't listed. The database even includes recipes from the Six O'Clock Scramble and Cooks Illustrated, our two most relied-upon recipe sources.

Side comment: I gushed about this app on Facebook this week, and a few friends chimed in: is it better than (random other app)? I actually don't know. Robert chose it and liked it so I jumped on board. This makes me a "satisficer," by the way. Satisficers look for something that meets their criteria, then they stop. This is in contrast to maximizers, who look at all the options to make sure they've found the very best item for their needs. So I have no idea whether it's the best app, just that it meets my needs.

Your random glimpse into human psychology...

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I started using one of the Couch to 5K apps in March, but once I 'graduated' (and made it up Mt. Washington) my motivation flagged. I'm planning another modest hike and will be running my first 5K in December, but I needed a new training buddy. RunKeeper has been around a while and I've found it easy and fun to use. I've already noticed my times and distances improving.

Oh! And here's one quirk about RunKeeper. For some reason, the RK app doesn't track weight, but the website does. The first time I finished and logged a run on my phone, it said I burned a certain number of calories. That seemed low to me compared to the C25K app and the treadmill, but whatever. I'm a slow runner. But later, after the run had been synced with the website, I happened to notice that the number of calories burned was much higher.

For some reason this tickled me. I imagined the little gremlins on the Internet going, "Oh wait, she's fat. Better bump up the calorie count!"

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And finally, for you runners of the cloth, the RunRevRun website has a lot of great info and inspiration. Also T-shirts!