Apps for Activity Tracking

jawboneMeet my new toy – the Jawbone Up activity tracker.

As activity trackers go, this is one of the basic ones. It tracks your movement and your sleep. But that’s still something. The analytics include a log of the longest time you’re active and idle and it tells you your sleep patterns too.

My husband got one through work, but wasn’t interested. As it was going spare, I took it up. You download an app for it, pair it with the device and away you go. Walk walk, walk…

So far, I’ve only done a couple of other forms of exercise while wearing it – a Joe Wicks work-out I found on YouTube, which it recorded, and some body weight exercises that don’t seem to register unless you count the steps you move while performing them.

You can log your other exercise and the app claims if you do this, the app will learn to recognise things. That might be interesting for a class such as spin, for example.

Anyway, it is interesting wearing a tracker and it does compel you to move more. I’m a bit competitive with myself so I’m always aiming to achieve high step figures. My average is about 14,500 steps a day so far. The app my daily step count puts me in the highest percentage of users – and in the top 10 percent for my age.

Go me…

We’ve been lucky in Scotland this winter so far, in that it has been fairly dry. If wet, windy weather comes along, tallying up those steps might not be as easy.

Do you use an activity tracker? Has it changed your behaviour and do you find it useful?

Apps for Health and Fitness

A few steps to go today to hit that 10,000 steps goal.
A few steps to go today to hit that 10,000 steps goal.

What apps do you use to help you with your diabetes? There are specialised apps you can use (free and paid for) created for diabetics and other general health apps that are useful.

I’m a bit of an app nerd. Gathering data on yourself is fascinating. And it can be very revealing. Here are the apps I use:


This is primarily a food diary that allows you to track macros, micros and calorie counts. You can also use it to look up carbohydrate values. It is useful because the database of food it has is huge. If you mainly eat unprocessed, home-made food it will require more work, but you can enter recipes and it will give you a calorie/carb count for them. Ignore the silly numbers (1,200 calories!) they suggest and customise your numbers to suit.


Created especially for diabetics (and run by them too), this app allows you to log blood sugar levels, how much insulin you take, exercise, how you feel and more. I use it intermittently as inputting all the information can get tedious. If you forget to log for a day or so, it’s difficult to remember. Some blood testing meters can be connected, which would make logging easier.

Thanks to mysugr, I worked out how to fine tune how much insulin I need to cover food (it varies depending on the time of day) and the best time for me to take my bolus insulin.


Pacer is a pedometer. My main form of exercise is walking and it’s great to know that I can achieve the recommended 10,000 steps relatively easily. It also tells you the distance you walk or run every day and you can use it to see weight loss goals. Be warned: this app drains your battery quickly.

All the above apps are free – though you can upgrade to premium versions. The free versions give enough information for this not to be necessary.

If you are in the slightest OCD, an app will encourage such behaviour so check yourself if you get uptight when you’re in an area where there no coverage or wi-fi… When that absence is too upsetting, step away from the app for a while.

What apps do you use for your health?