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Pregnancy Nutrition Tips You Should Know

We already know just how important it is for us to be well nourished throughout our pregnancy. These nutritional tips are easy to implement and are highly beneficial so why not implement them today?

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Just One Apple a Day Will Keep Asthma Away

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Who hasn’t heard this before? But what many are unaware of is that the research shows that eating just one apple a day throughout your pregnancy will actually reduce your child’s risk of developing asthma when he/she is older. One of the studies learned that when mothers ate apples regularly throughout their pregnancy these children had far less wheezing and other asthmatic symptoms.

Eat a Banana to Reduce Swelling

Edema is common with pregnancy. However, the potassium that is in bananas can actually help to reduce your swollen feet and legs. So why not go ape and start eating plenty of bananas.

If You Want a Happy Baby Eat Chocolate

In 2004, Finland scientists found that eating just a small amount of chocolate regularly throughout your pregnancy led to having a happier baby. The study questioned 300 women who ate chocolate throughout their pregnancy and they reported happier babies than their counterparts. However, this doesn’t give you an excuse to eat chocolate excessively. Remember just a tiny bit daily will satisfy your chocolate cravings and keep your baby happy. It’s a win-win.

Skimmed Milk Equals Whole Milk

If you have always drank skimmed milk and the thought of drinking the fatter, richer whole milk doesn’t sit well with you, there is some great news – Skim milk has as much calcium as whole milk it just doesn’t have the same fat content. So you can drink with the worry of calories and enjoy all of the benefits.

Coal and Mud Cravings Mean More Iron is Needed

If you have strange cravings to eat coal or mud, it means your likely need more iron. Visit your OB or midwife to be tested for anemia. You can increase your consumption of foods that contain iron or if you’re really depleted you may be given an iron supplement.

Woman who are pregnant commonly stress and worry about whether they are eating right. A healthy diet is a great start. These simple tips are a great way to add to your nutrition and they will benefit both you and your baby.

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Pregnancy Nutrition During Your Third Trimester

If you are moving into the final stretch of your pregnancy, the third trimester, for many women this feels like the longest phase of the pregnancy. After all, this is a stage that is increasingly awkward, there’s plenty of growth, it’s a busy time, you are preparing your birth plan, and there can be physical symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation that increase.

Nutrient needs are at the highest demand, as your baby triples its weight and size. Protein is needed for growth, iron for blood and cells, and the brain requires optimal nutrition to complete the developmental stage.

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Zinc and magnesium are key during the third trimester. Increasing your zinc positively affects the cell division and DNA production. Most women are deficient in zinc even before they become pregnant. The RDA is 3 mg of Zinc daily for a pregnant woman. Good sources of Zinc include meat and oysters have the highest amount of Zinc of all foods. Zinc can also be found in plants and grains.

Magnesium is also very important, not only to the development of healthy bones and muscles, but also to the development of over 300 bodily enzymes that need Magnesium in order to function properly. While we many not normally need that much Magnesium the RDA for a pregnant woman is 320 mg. In studies, high levels of magnesium are linked to preventing premature birth and a lower risk of a slow growing fetus. Some foods that are high in magnesium include whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, seafood, and leafy green vegetables.

During your third trimester you will grow the most – in fact, you will put on an average of one pound per week as the baby grows and gets bigger. That’s about 12 pounds in the last trimester. If you’ve been eating a healthy diet all along and your weight, gain is on track that’s terrific!

Right now, your baby is converting the food you eat into nutrition it can use to provide for that rapid growth spurt as the end nears. Right now small meals more often is a better to help to keep your digestion optimal. You should also be eating foods that are high in fat content, which will keep things moving smoothly.

It’s not much longer now before you will have your baby in your arms so spend the next few months making sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients it needs – before long you’ll be many pounds lighter.

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What is Raw Foodism?

Alternative diets, like raw foodism,  have been present since time began. Today, when human beings have a greater understanding of the environment and their own bodies, there are several alternative diets that have been embraced on a worldwide basis.

Raw foodism, better known as Rawism or the Raw Food Diet, is just one of the many alternate diets around today. It has grown in popularity because of the great health benefits it is said that one can derive from eating in this way.

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The raw food diet arises from the concept that fruit and vegetables, when eaten in their raw state, are more beneficial for the human being. Some individuals believe that the food eaten in its raw state is more beneficial to the human body as well as making them more energetic. Therefore, the people who follow a raw food diet will largely eat uncooked food. These individuals also eat unprocessed food or organic foods.

Usually eighty per cent of the raw food diet is commonly consumed its natural state. It’s a popular misconception that everything you eat on a raw food diet must be totally raw. Most experts who support the raw food diet say that you can get all the benefits of the raw food diet from eating eighty per cent of your diet in the raw state.

Benefits:

Apart from the benefits like energizing the body, there are several benefits that are attributed to raw foods. For example, having a raw food diet is claimed to work wonders for health conditions like diabetes and skin diseases. A raw food diet is also known to be instrumental in helping individuals achieve that ‘glow’, which is basically a healthy skin. Raw food diets are also known to help people in good digestion. Raw food diets are also known to be instrumental in the weight loss of an individual. Raw food diets have a lesser quantity of sodium. Also, they are high in potassium and fibers, which add to the health of an individual.

Side Effects:

Just as the raw food diet has advantages, there are some disadvantages of a raw food diet. However, these raw food diets may cause the individuals to have a detoxification-like feeling if their previous diet was quite heavy in caffeine, meat and sugar. Also, some individuals may face side effects like nausea, cravings for the food and headaches. Also, individuals who have a risk of anemia, osteoporosis, and pregnant women should not adhere to a raw food diet. Also, there are chances of some nutritional deficiencies in calcium, proteins and iron.

There are several recipes for raw food. These recipes can be easily found on the various websites that cater to raw food and individuals who follow the raw food diet. A simple search on any search engine will give you the links to all the major websites that cater to the raw food diet and have the recipes for the same.

If you are thinking of trying a raw food diet, break yourself in gently, gradually increasing the proportions of your diet comprised of raw foods. If you try to do it all at once it will be too much of a change for you and you will almost certainly give up and return to your old eating habits. That would be a real shame as then you will never realize the great health benefits that you can get from following a raw food diet.

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Top 10 Low Calorie Foods that Taste Great

While a low calorie cake remains a fantasy, there are many low calorie foods that actually taste great. Therefore, if you craving to eat something delicious but you cannot afford to take any calories.

Check out below for a list of the top 10 low calorie foods that taste great.

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  1. Cabbage
    Cabbage is loved for its ability to prevent heart disease and cancer and it is also ranked as the top foods that can aid in weight loss. This is because it has extremely low calorie count.

A great way to eat cabbage is to make cabbage soup which is filling and has lower calories than other soups.

  1. Eggs
    Eggs are classified as complete protein foods because they contain all the essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. When digested, the amino acids activate the release of hormones in the gut that suppress one’s appetite. Also, eggs contain less calories.

You can add vegetables to spice them up and boost the fiber content.

  1. Apples
    Apples contain plenty of antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They are also part of the low calorie foods and they make a great snack preventing you from eating junk food.

  2. Brocolli
    This is not only a low calories food but also cancer fighting and it is packed with phytonutrients, fiber and proteins which are all key to maintaining proper weight.

  3. Kale
    Kale is packed with minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins, fiber and proteins and are a perfect snacking alternative that is low in calories. You can bake kale chips in different flavors which is a better alternative to potato chips.

  4. Mushrooms                                                                                                                                                                          No matter the type mushroom you choose, chances are it is low in calories so you do not have to worry no matter how you choose to cook them.

  5. Watermelon
    Besides being naturally sweet, watermelon is low in calories. It also contain antioxidants which are beneficial to the body in many ways and it has been proven to boost metabolism which in turn aids in weight loss.

  6. Cauliflower
    Cauliflower is one of the lowest ranking in terms of calorie count. It also has many other health benefits including enhancing the function of the body’s digestive and cardiovascular system and being an anti-inflammatory food.

  7. Cucumber
    Cucumbers are loaded with water and they are low in calories which explains why they make a great adornment in salads. You can eat it to your satisfaction without worrying about exceeding the maximum calorie intake.

  8. Tomatoes
    Besides being one of the healthiest foods, tomatoes are low in calories and they contain lycopene, a pigments that helps to prevent cancer and heart diseases. Due their low calorie count, tomatoes make a great weight loss food.

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Nutrition Guidelines for a Healthy Pregnancy

In order to ensure all pregnant women know what is needed to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, in terms of nutrition, there have been some excellent pregnancy nutrition guidelines established. When you are pregnant, you only need an additional 300 calories per day.

You should make sure that these are not empty calories, and that they are in fact nutritious calories. Let’s have a look at some of those guidelines.

healthy pregnancy

Protein

During the time you are pregnant, for your baby to grow healthy; you need to have approx. 60 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein keeps your uterus, breasts, and placenta healthy, it produces adequate amniotic fluid and it increases the volume of blood.

Calcium

Doctors recommend a calcium intake during pregnancy to range between 1200 to 1500 mg a day. Calcium is vital for your baby’s bones, teeth, heart, and muscles to develop. If you aren’t taking in enough calcium, your baby will draw from your own calcium reserves, which means you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Milk and milk-based products are good sources of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, there are lactose free milk products.

Iron

Iron is very important in hemoglobin production for both you and your fetus. In the last trimester, your baby will take your body’s iron reserves to ensure it is not anemic during the first six months of life. You also lose some blood during the delivery process. These are all reasons why it is so important to increase your iron intake.

While your body only needs 27 mgs of iron per day, you actually have to take 60 mg to get that 27 mg because not all iron is absorbed. If you are anemic, you should take an iron supplement. Vitamin C enriched foods will help you with your iron absorption. Foods like oranges, grapefruits, and tomato juice work well. Avoid taking your iron and calcium supplements and/or foods at the same time since calcium interferes with iron absorption.

Vitamins

The recommended increase in vitamins is 25 to 50 percent. Your folic acid need doubles to 400 micro-grams per day. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc will help to ensure you get adequate vitamins.

Your physician will instruct you about any other nutritional needs he/she feels you may need in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

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Choosing The Right Exercise For You

The type of exercise you do all depends on you and what you like to do. What you hate doing, paying membership fees, and whether or not to buy equipment are all things you need to consider as well as answer.

If you choose something that you don’t like to do, you aren’t going to keep doing it for a long period of time. Give it some thought – if you don’t like jogging, you aren’t going to get up at 6 AM and go running. If you can’t find something you like to do, choose something you hate the least, which will normally be walking.

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Walking is great exercise, as it suits all levels of fitness. Anyone can start a walking program at any time, it’s normally the intensity and duration that differs. Walking is also a social exercise, as it isn’t difficult to find a training partner to chat with while you exercise. Walking with a partner will also make time go by faster.

No matter what exercise you choose, you should start at a low level of intensity and build it up over a period of weeks, which is essential to the longevity of your exercise program. If you start off too hard, you could end up with an injury which will require time off to get over.

If you are really in bad shape, you should start off by walking for 10 minutes each day. Then, increase it by 5 minutes every 2 weeks. To make things more interesting, you should try walking a different course every few days. You can also roster a different friend to walk with you each day of the week.

If walking isn’t your thing, then you may want to try a fitness center. They have loads of variety and normally have trainers on hand to answer any questions you may have. When you choose a fitness center, make sure that they give good service.

If they aren’t willing to treat you well before you join, then they certainly won’t after you join. You should also make sure that the equipment they use is well taken care of. It’s easy to find out, as all you have to do is listen to the machines. If they squeak a lot or make noise, then chances are they aren’t being taken care of.

If you still aren’t sure what you should do, then you should look into golf or tennis. Both are good social activities in most areas, and you can even meet new friends. Tennis is great for fitness although it isn’t for someone who is just starting out. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, then golf may be the best activity for you.

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Nutrition for a Healthy Mom and Baby

Being pregnant should be a joyous time for the soon-to-be mom and their baby, but for many it’s a scary time with preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, toxemia, and other conditions. While you may not be able to avoid having a problem during your pregnancy, there are some nutritional things you can do to reduce your risk.

Let’s have a look at some of those eating strategies.

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  • You should never be shy about dairy products because as a mother to be you need at least 4 servings or 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily. You also need at least 4000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 per day.

  • Iron is very important during pregnancy. You need to get at least 27 mg a day. You can increase your iron by taking an iron supplement. In fact, your doctor may instruct you to do so. The top 10 foods for iron are:

  • Artichokes
  •  Beans, chick peas, lentils and soybeans
  •  Dark, leafy greens (ie spinach, collards)
  •  Dried fruit (ie prunes, raisins)
  •  Egg yolks
  •  Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  •  Liver
  •  Mollusks (ie clams, oysters, scallops)
  •  Red meat
  •  Turkey or chicken giblets

Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily. Vitamin C helps to fight off infection and keep you healthy. Some good sources of Vitamin C include:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Leafy Greens

You likely will have huge cravings but at the same time, you should decrease your fat intake so that it is no more than 30 percent of your total daily calorie intake. Make sure to read labels.

Omega 3s are important for the development of your baby’s vision and brain.

Easy on the mayo or cheese limiting your cholesterol to 300 mg a day.

Protein develops every cell of your baby. You need to eat 80 to 100 grams of protein a day. If you find that the smell of meat makes you sick, keep in mind that you can get your protein from drinking a whey protein shake.

Being pregnant isn’t easy and eating healthy can be a real challenge. Some days you’ll feel fantastic, while other days the idea of eating is the farthest thing from your mind. A healthy weight gain is generally 25 to 35 pounds. However, if you are underweight, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds and if you are overweight, you should gain15 to 25 pounds.

When your nutrient intake isn’t the best it could be, you increase your risk of developing pregnancy related conditions such as preeclampsia, pregnancy hypertension, toxemia, and HELLP syndrome.

 

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How To Choose A Perfect Fitness Tracker For Yourself

When buying a fitness tracker, or any product for that matter, it is important to identify what works best for you not just in terms of functionality but personal style as well. The market is flooded with many fitness tracking gadgets that differ in pricing and model among many other things.

What are some of the things to consider when buying a lifestyle tracker so that you get maximum value for money?

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Extra functionality

Yes, a product that offers extra benefits is definitely a great buy. There are fitness trackers that have incorporated the latest technology to improve their ability to collect and present data. The newer brands of trackers have some additional capabilities like having built-in heartbeat rate monitors, a lot of sensors and also smartphone notifications. They are sort of hybrids between smartwatches and fitness trackers. You should also take note of the software of accompanying application, battery life and the ability to synchronize data with your phone or the web.

Design

Since these gadgets are wearable, choose one that compliments your personal style. What’s your favorite color? Are you looking for a small screen or a large one? These trackers come in different designs and for you to have some personal attachment to them it is necessary that you choose something that suits your personal style. It’s similar to having a favorite car, clothe or even toy. The more you feel that it is a reflection of you the more you get attached to it. Trackers can also act as great fashion pieces and if you are a fashion forward person, you can use them to make a fashion statement.

Durability

Of course you don’t expect to buy something that will break down or get damaged within a very short time after purchase so it is necessary that you go for quality. Buying a fitness tracker that is durable will ensure that you enjoy its benefits for a long time and truly get good value for money. You can determine the durability of your tracker by checking the quality of material used to manufacture it. Some fitness tracking devices are also waterproof which makes them suitable for those who enjoy swimming or water sports.

Your age, weight and height

Because fitness trackers use algorithms to process data and relay information, choosing a gadget that matches your physical and biological features is one way of ensuring that you get accurate results. Buy a fitness tracker that is meant for somebody of your age, weight and height since that improves the accuracy of the data gathered and statistics presented.

Warranty

Products, more especially tech-gadgets, can malfunction at will even without your intervention. Buying a fitness tracking device that has a warranty ensures that you don’t suffer any losses in case it stops working within a year from the time of purchase. It’s a way of safeguarding your investment so that you get value for money.

These are some of the important factors that can help you purchase the best fitness tracker that will serve its purpose and motivate you towards achieving your fitness goals.

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Make Whole Food Vitamins Part of Your Pregnancy Diet

When it comes to nutrition during pregnancy, pregnant women should think about adding whole food vitamins to their diet. This type of vitamin supplement is extracted from natural sources rather than being chemically engineered. That makes these a better choice during pregnancy and after childbirth as well.

Why Mothers-to-be Need to Take Vitamin Supplements as Part of Pregnancy Nutrition

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There’s no question – the human body is amazing and has an incredible ability to get what it needs through resources nature has to offer. When we eat a healthy diet, we can extract the right balance of vitamins, fats, minerals, and energy sources to keep the body running optimally. During pregnancy, we must be even more vigilant to ensure we get the nutrients that the fetus requires to develop both mentally and physically into a healthy term baby.

Unfortunately, many of us aren’t eating a healthy well balanced diet and in no other time has the need for specialized pregnancy nutrition been necessary. There are a number of reasons why there has been such a change in the way we eat, which includes convenience, low cost, and availability of processed foods. Adding whole food vitamins makes it easier to ensure some of those essential compounds that are missing from processed foods are received by mother and baby on a daily basis. That’s important for the development of the child and the mother’s overall health.

Why Whole Food Vitamins are Better
Whole food vitamins don’t use synthesized compounds. Rather, they use sources that can be found in nature. This type of vitamin is better assimilated by the body. Sure the best way to get the nutrients we need is by eating healthy – lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.; however, most of us are not able to maintain that on a daily basis. This is even more important when you are pregnant, and so whole food vitamins do a better job of filling that void.

The body can easily recognize these natural compounds and use them compared to synthetic vitamins where as much as 90% pass through never being used by the body. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to take these if you are only going to get 10% value. Instead, by making the whole food vitamins part of your daily nutrition you can be sure the baby and you are getting the maximum nutritional value.

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3 Tips for Losing Weight Healthily

Losing excess weight not only makes you look and feel good, but also significantly reduces your risk of getting diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart attack and high blood pressure. There are numerous crash diets and over the top workout programs sold online that promise to help you lose weight fast, but most of them don’t work in the long term.

If you’ve tried any of them and failed, don’t give up just yet. There are numerous steps you can take to develop a healthy relationship with food and attain lasting weight loss. Here are 3 tips for losing weight healthily:

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 Introduce Changes Gradually

Our bodies use the foods we eat for energy. When you eat more food than your body requires for daily activities, the excess energy is stored as fat. The more food you eat, the more fat your body stores and the more weight you’ll gain. To lose weight in a healthy way, it is very important that you gradually change your eating habits.
Making small changes here and there can make a big difference in the long run. So, if you are used to eating unhealthy foods, try cutting them out slowly and replacing them with healthier alternatives (vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meat). Swap snacks like biscuits, candy bars or potato chips for fruits such as an apple to ensure you remain fuller for longer.

Reduce Your Calorie Intake

Other than introducing healthier foods to your diet, you also need to limit the amount of food you eat to lose weight. A good starting point is cutting down on foods that have added sugar and refined carbohydrates like white bread, energy drinks and white rice among others. Aim to eat at least 300-500 calories less everyday, and you’ll be able to lose between 1-2 pounds per week. This may seem a bit slow, but it is more realistic and sustainable. Eat smaller portions of the foods you usually enjoy, and you’ll be able to lose weight for sure.

Increase Your Activity Level

Every time you exercise more than you usually do, but maintain your calorie intake, you’ll burn calories and fat. There are many physical activities you can do to increase your level of activity even if you don’t like going to the gym. This can be anything from using the stairs at work instead of the lift, watching your favorite TV programs while jogging on a tread mill or using a stationary bicycle, swimming, or taking longer walks than you usually do.

The key to long-term weight loss is to eat less calories than your body needs, do physical activities that you enjoy regularly and make lifestyle changes that contribute to your overall health. Always remember that every extra step you take in the right direction brings you closer to achieving your weight loss goal.

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10 Reasons Why Fad Diets Suck

A Fad diet is a conventional diet that promises people fast results through simple methods. These diets are very tempting given that losing weight is a challenge to many people with most of them having a misconception that they can lose weight overnight. The fact is fad diets are all hype and may cause you, even more, harm than good.Below Are 10 Reasons why Fad Diets Suck:

Unnecessary food restrictions — Fad diets that promise quick weight loss will usually instruct you to eat more of one food type and restrict yourself from eating another food type. This could lead to an unbalanced diet. To address that, fad diets will usually recommend many supplements, but then again, many supplements might cause nutritional deficiencies.

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Against the fat level as recommended by the government — Fad diets does not follow government recommendations for fat concentrations in the diet. Most fad diets will recommend high fat and low carb diet, which is not good for your health when taken long term. You will indeed lose weight but taking so much fat could lead to heart disease.

Failure to address the root cause of weight gain — The reason that fad diets are considered bad is that these diets do not address the root cause of the weight gain. You regain back the weight you lost at the end of the day!

Expensive — Some fad diets require people to take pills and drink potions which can be costly.

Anti-exercises — Any diet that promises you weight loss without counting your calories or doing exercise is a fad diet. These diets do not encourage weight loss patients to incorporate exercises into their programs.

Elimination of healthy foods — Usually, fad diets ask people to eliminate certain food groups from their diet because they are bad. Some of the foods are carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential fatty acids.

Short term results — Fad diets are just a temporary solution and will not make any permanent change to your figure and eating habits. In a few weeks time, you will regain all the weight as you will fall back to your old eating habits.

Extremely unhealthy — The short-term weight loss effects followed by weight gain is extremely unhealthy and may cause many diseases such as high blood pressure or coronary heart disease.

Not motivating — They will make you feel bad and guilty whenever you break the overly restrictive diet. After a few days of following the diet and restricting yourself of certain foods, you will start craving and start being bored and sad about your diet.

Unbalanced diet — Many fad diets do not give you a balanced intake of fruits and vegetables, which is important to keep yourself healthy.

Conclusion Diet and Exercise

Irrespective of how good the fad diet advertisement is, don’t fall for these diets, they will not help you in the long term. The only way to achieve weight loss is to eat moderately, eat a balanced diet, exercise, etc.

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What Is A Fitness Tracker?

Technological advancement has given rise to many smart applications that not only improve efficiency
but also make tracking and monitoring of different activities easier. It’s always important to monitor
your progress as far as your health and fitness regimen is concerned. A fitness tracker is therefore that
application or device used in tracking and monitoring fitness goals.

It measures metrics such as distance run or walked, rate of heartbeat, calories consumed and sometimes even the quality of your sleep. Most of these tracking devices are wirelessly synchronized to a smartphone or computer for the purposes of regular data tracking and reporting.

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In many cases, people have fitness goals or targets, whether monthly or on a daily basis, that they hope
to achieve. Monitoring the progress of your fitness regimen can be a challenge especially if you are not a
certified fitness trainer or health practitioner. Fitness tracking devices give you the capability to monitor
your progress and determine how far you are from meeting your targets, or if indeed you achieved or
exceeded them.

Most of them are wearable and can also serve as regular digital watches. Some people wear them as accessories because of their fashion forward designs. These devices have become so main stream that some firms have decided to use them in encouraging consumers to live healthily.

The electronic fitness trackers are basically an advanced version of pedometers. Apart from counting
steps, they also use accelerometers to determine distance covered, graph general physical activity and
calculate calorie usage. In some cases they also keep track of and graph quality of sleep and heart rate.

As you go about your fitness routines, there are various activities that you engage in such as walking,
running, swimming, jogging, bike rides and normal house chores. It is important that you stay true to
your goals and monitor your progress because that is the only way you’ll be able to achieve your
objectives.

A fitness tracker is an ideal way to easily monitor your activity with great accuracy. You can imagine it to
be an electronic finger on your pulse, measuring your vitals on a regular basis. These trackers have made
use of the latest technology to enable fitness enthusiasts monitor their activities and keep track of their
progress. Most people spend so much time on their smartphones or tablets which is why fitness trackers
are synchronized with these devices for report displays.

Trackers can also be connected to social media apps like Facebook but one has to be careful since there are some instances when private information has ended up in the internet and public domain. There are different trackers available in the market and people can therefore make buying decisions based on prices, functionality and personal style.

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