Pact app pays you to exercise and eat right

Need a little extra incentive to stick to your New Year's resolution? You know, the one about eating less and exercising more?

Perhaps you've heard of GymPact, an app that rewards you for hitting the gym on a regular basis and charges you a fee if you don't. Just in time for the new year, GymPact is now Pact, and it now applies its payment/penalty system to dietary goals as well.

The app (Android|iOS) offers three different kinds of "pacts": food, gym, and veggie. The food pact requires you to log your daily … Read more

Take scheduled mini-exercise breaks with FitBolt

I keep hand exercisers on my desk and barbells under it. But how often do I use these exercise instruments in a given week? Somewhere between "seldom" and "never." Luckily, I work from home and have a young, energetic dog, and a small, fence-less yard. One of the many things I enjoy about my dog is her insistence on going outside multiple times a day for walks in the park.

If your job requires you to spend long stretches at a desk and you don't have a dog in the office to get you out … Read more

Fitwall creates custom workouts using tech

Ready for a random confession? I'm addicted to Zumba.

I admit this embarrassing fact to help build the case for workout trends that may be written off as fitness fads. I'm well aware that I look ridiculous trying to duplicate my Zumba instructor's fancy footwork and complicated cumbia steps. Still, I show up at every class because it's fun, and more importantly, it doesn't bore me. I can't say the same for putting in time on the treadmill, which is why I was interested in trying Fitwall.

This new workout has its fair share … Read more

Charity Miles turns your workout into a charitable donation

Need some extra motivation to get off the couch and lace up the ol' running shoes? If losing weight and improving your health won't do the trick, how about helping those in need?

Charity Miles is a free app (Android|iOS) that donates money to charity based on your physical activity: walking, biking, or running. In other words, instead of merely exercising for yourself, now you're exercising for others.

The app is a basic distance monitor that relies on your phone's GPS to track your mileage. You simply choose from the three possible activities, then swipe to … Read more

CamelBak's new Google Glass app aims to keep you hydrated

Let's face it: At first blush, CamelBak seems like pretty old tech. The company, which kick-started the hands-free hydration industry when it came onto the scene in 1989, is all about bottles and backpacks. Very 1980s indeed.

But the hydration innovator clearly likes to push the envelope (remember its UV-C light purification bottle?) and is doing so once again with the launch of an app for Google Glass called Thirst (not to be confused with the Thirst news aggregator).

The app is essentially three-pronged. Taking current local weather conditions into account, it delivers hydration tips, reminders, and alerts. Plus, if you're on the trail or at the gym and can't get enough of how wonderfully hydrated you are, you can also take and upload pics via Google Glass to the app's microsite for, presumably, bragging purposes.… Read more

Get an O!Snap Headphone Holder for $7.49

True story. Recently my wife was working in the kitchen, listening to music on her iPhone. Every so often I'd hear, oh, let's call it an "excited utterance." When I asked what was wrong, she cried that her "stupid headphones" kept getting snagged on things.

"Aha!" I said. "I have just the thing." Then I ran to get her the O!Snap Headphone Holder I was evaluating for this very post. Presto: problem solved, wife happy, life good.

This handy little gizmo normally sells for $14.99, but as part … Read more

Get a SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8GB MP3 player for $19.99

Is there still a place in the world for the lowly MP3 player? Absolutely there is. It's a great companion for the gym, the hiking trail, the 5K you're training for, and so on.

And for 20 bucks? How can you go wrong? Today only, and while supplies last, DealFisher has the refurbished SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ 8GB MP3 player for $19.99, shipped. I'm not sure I've ever seen this particular player priced this low.

Indeed, this is not the tiny Sansa Clip you often see selling in this price range, but rather the more robust (… Read more

Fit Radio streams up-tempo tunes to motivate your workout

The more I run, the more I realize my regular playlist isn't cutting it. Even with some 150 hand-picked songs, I get bored hearing the same ones over and over. And although they're among my favorite power-pop tunes, they're quite diverse when it comes to tempo. I need songs of at least 128 beats per minute (bpm) to keep me running strong.

Enter Fit Radio, a free app (Android|iOS|Web) that streams up-tempo playlists designed to amp up your workout. It's like Songza for sprinters, or maybe Pandora for bike peddlers.

The app is divided … Read more

Study: What motivates people to exercise? Money

A new study out of Stanford University and the University of Michigan suggests that some people appear more motivated by money than their own health.

Researchers followed a group of people insured by Blue Care Network, which -- rather controversially -- developed an incentives program that allowed its obese members to choose between paying as much as 20 percent more for health insurance or exercising. In real dollars, that added up to as much as $2,000 extra a year. (Those unable to walk due to medical reasons were exempt with a doc's note.)

Those who wanted to pay … Read more

Feet-on with Zombies, Run! 2 jogging game

Out of steam? Can't bring yourself to finish that last mile? Maybe a zombie horde breathing down your neck will give you the adrenaline boost you need.

That's the idea behind Zombies, Run! 2 (Android | iOS), which bills itself as an "immersive running game and audio adventure" for your smartphone.

It works like this: Before you start your run, you load the app, choose a mission, put in your earbuds, and then hit the road. Along the way, you're treated to audio segments that gradually reveal the story of Abel Township and the zombie apocalypse … Read more