If you’re like me, you find yourself sitting at a computer for hours on end as a means to make a living. Unfortunately, for many of us this sedentary computer lifestyle is taking its toll on our health. What if however, we could use technology as tool for better health? There are many options becoming available via the web and by apps that are available in both Apple and Android flavors. One comprehensive nutrition and fitness website that is changing lives is called SparkPeople and can be found at www.sparkpeople.com.
SparkPeople has been around since 2001 and was originally designed to be a goal setting website. They quickly evolved into a nutrition and fitness website. Since 2005 their resources have been completely free for everyone to use however, they are ad driven. That being said, it is one of the most comprehensive websites I have seen for weight loss and fitness. It is designed to build communities and offers many resources from meal planning to exercise planning.
Fitness and nutrition goals, like budgeting, is often more successful when they are tracked on a regular basis. SparkPeople provides many tracking tools. They are easy to use , but I must say you have to be vigilant and willing to take the time put the information down. I found the information I tracked to be very useful however, I am horribly undisciplined and got discouraged trying to use the tracking tools. It’s really one of those things I believe that for people who like to track their fitness goals, then you can’t beat SparkPeople’s tools.
If you click on the “Track My Food” link, it will take you to a place where you can input your meals. For instance, in their search bar I started to type in “Quaker Oat Squares”, which is what I had for breakfast. Notice in the picture below, that it already had that listed so all I had to do was choose it.
Once I picked my food, it asked me how many servings I had and calculated the calories under my “Breakfast” heading. See image below for the example.
SparkPeople will also track your workouts and tally the calories burned for you. It even has a workout generator if you’re not creative with your workouts or simply have no clue where to begin. They have an extensive workout library where you can see examples of how to do the workouts correctly. See below for an example. Notice how it is broken out by beginner and advanced.
SparkTeams help you build a sense of community with people from all walks of life. For instance, if you live in California, you will probably find a community based on your state. Maybe you struggle with depression, there is a SparkTeam for that. Like I said, it really is a comprehensive tool. The only negative to me is that it is just so much information to take in. I would recommend taking it a little at a time and use the “Getting Started” tools to guide you.
If you’re looking to lose weight, find a better workout program, or get in a better frame of mind, SparkPeople is well worth a look.