A Fitness Plan Based On Your Genes

Screenshot from DNAFit.com.

Screenshot from DNAFit.com.

DNAFit creates customized fitness and nutrition plans based on your genetic code in order to “unlock the secrets to your body.” After analyzing your specific genes, DNAFit creates ideal training and diet plans to help you maximize your fitness potential.

DNAFit works in accordance with 23andMe, a company that can analyze your DNA from a cotton swab, to evaluate specific genetic markers that impact your workout and recovery times as well as your ability to digest and metabolize certain foods. Their genetic analysis looks for things like respiratory capability, blood vessel growth, muscle contraction, regulation of fat, and fat absorption.

DNAFit then analyzes your genetic data and provides a personal fitness report and plan about your power and endurance capabilities, risk of injury, and speed of recovery. In the report, the company suggests what type of training suits you best and how long you need to recover based on your genetic code. It also informs you of your injury risk based on the makeup of your soft tissues.

Similarly, DNAFit’s diet plan provides information about your obesity risk, the impact of carbohydrates and saturated fat on your ability to lose weight, and your risk of lactose and gluten intolerance. Their diet plan also has an option for personalized recipes based on your genetic code.

Reviews for DNAFit online are positive with some citing that knowing their genetic predisposition to certain workouts and foods has helped them to lose weight and live a healthier life.

I can see how knowing your genetic disposition to certain injuries and recovery times could be helpful to ensure you’re making the most of you workouts. However, I’m not as sure whether their diet plan is as valuable, since so many universal guidelines and meal planners exist already. Additionally, even if you are predisposed to superb absorption of carbs and saturated fats, does that really mean you’re all of sudden going to start eating more of them? I assume not as they’re still best in moderation.

DNAFit works in accordance with 23andMe, which is a drawback to those in the U.S. In 2013, the FDA stopped 23andMe from marketing their health-related genetic tests to customers in the U.S., and only recently allowed the company to sell one over-the-counter test that screens whether you have carrier gene for a rare genetic disorder. Currently, DNAFit is unauthorized to sell any of their tests in the U.S. You can learn more about the debate on direct-to-consumer genetic testing at The New England Journal of Medicine.

Our friends in the U.K. can buy DNAFit through their website or 23andMe. The tests don’t come cheap though. If ordered from their website, their base fitness test costs £99 and their base diet report costs £159. The tests can also be ordered from a 23andMe online account for £49 with instant results and analyzation.

Related Reading
Moov Is A Personal Trainer Disguised As A Wearable
Tangram Is Bringing The Jump Rope Into The 21st Century
Prevent Running Injuries With These High-Tech Inserts

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Moov Is a Personal Trainer Disguised As A Wearable

Mood used as a cardio boxing coach.

Moov monitors your fitness and suggests how to improve.

It’s another #WearablesWednesday from Crunch Theory. Today I’m talking about Moov, the fitness tracker extraordinaire that puts other exercise wearables to shame.

Moov is a wearable that brands itself as a personal fitness trainer. The wearable, which is beautifully designed, can be worn around the wrist, ankle, or placed on shoes depending on your activity.

Moov is waterproof and can be used while swimming.

Moov is can be used while swimming.

Moov not only monitors your activity through common exercises like running, cardio boxing, and swimming, but it also offers suggestions to improve your fitness level and technique. For example, it can correct a golf swing or a running stride for optimal performance.

The fitness tracker was crowd funded over a year ago but is back in the headlines this week for adding a seven-minute workout feature. Like its other exercise apps, the seven-minute workout adjusts to what you can do, and then provides opportunities for you to level up as you increase your skill.

In honor of the new release, Moov is currently discounted on their website and on Amazon.

Most of the reviews on Amazon praise the wearable; one user even calls it “life changing.” With 4.5 stars, it outshines its direct competitors like the Fitbit Charge or Misfit Shine. Although one major drawback is that it does not feature sleep tracking.

 What do you think of Moov? Share in the comments below!

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Want to stay up-to-date with latest health/tech trends? Follow us to get emails when new posts get published, then follow Crunch Theory on Facebook and Twitter.

Tangram Is Bringing the Jump Rope Into The 21st Century

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Image courtesy of Tangram Factory.

Smart Rope is much more than just a jump rope. It is a high-tech fitness device that displays your workout quality before your eyes, suggests workouts based on your previous activity, and counts calories burned based on your BMI.

The rope, which was created by design-inspired company Tangram Factory in Seoul, South Korea, is part of an initiative to bring data into your workout. The goal of the rope is to use data to inspire and fuel your fitness routine rather than just passively measure your activity.

Smart Rope is the first fitness technology from Tangram Factory, which hopes to expand it’s Smart Gym line with other data-displaying workout gear.

The jump rope goes live on Kickstarter on February 25, but you can learn more from on Smart Rope’s website.

Must Reads
Button May Define the Future of Health Apps
The Desk Accessory That Lets You Surf At Work
Group Exercise Classes Just Got Better Thanks To These Three Start-Ups

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Want to stay up-to-date with latest health/tech trends? Get emails when new posts get published, then follow Crunch Theory on Facebook and Twitter.

Button May Define the Future of Health Apps

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Image courtesy of Button.

Just imagine. You log the donut you ate for breakfast in MyFitnessPal, and, based on your calorie-heavy breakfast, Moves lets you know to increase your usual pace on your lunchtime walk. Then, when you pass Footlocker, a notification pops up saying that the sensors in your shoes read that you’ve been putting too much pressure on your feet, and you should consider buying an insert. At the end of the day, all of the information about your activity  is already logged in your Misfit app, so you can rest easy.

Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it may not be too far off from reality thanks to a new app experience called Button. Button deep links apps, essentially letting the apps on your phone share important information with each other, to provide you with a better user experience.

When apps get smarter by using already gathered data, it helps your phone provide a more complete picture of your wellness state. Eventually, the connections may allow your phone to suggest health tips, improving your lifestyle.

Button is currently focused on delivery and ride share services with partners such as Drizly, Resy, Uber, and Glamsquad. But it does not seem like that much of a stretch for the partnerships to soon expand into health applications.

Must reads:
Apps are Just as Accurate as Wearables, According to a New Study
Three Services That Help You Eat Healthy When Dining In
Why Manage Your Own Social Life When an App Can Do it For You?

The Desk Accessory That Lets You Surf at Work

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Gif from the Level’s Indiegogo campaign page.

The Level is a standing desk accessory that keeps you in motion while you work. FluidStance, the company behind the product, wanted to create a platform that encouraged fluid movement while standing, thus the Level was born.

The deck allows you to move naturally while working, increasing your range of movement and heart rate.  Like a treadmill desk, the Level moves in three directions to mimic the range of motion of walking, but it’s small enough to store when you want to sit or just stand.

The Level is in the midst of its Indiegogo campaign. It’s raised over 400% of its original goal with almost two weeks remaining. You can pre-order the Level for $289 on the site.

Must reads:
High and Low Tech Ways to Stay Healthy at Work
A Desk That Helps You Avoid an Early Death
Group Exercise Classes Just Got Better Thanks to These Three Startups

Group Exercise Classes Just Got Better Thanks to These Three Start-Ups

Image courtesy of Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

Image courtesy of Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

Editor’s note: As of April 23, 2015, Classpass has acquired fitmob.

If you want to begin a consistent fitness habit, joining a group exercise class is the way to go. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, group exercise classes provide an easy way to get into a fitness routine and add variety to prevent boredom. Class members are also more likely to stick to a routine because it’s harder to skip when other people will know you’re absent. Plus, group exercise classes are often safer due instructor guidance and warm-ups and cool-downs built in to the program.

So what if you want to reap all the benefits of group exercise classes but don’t want to lock yourself into one gym or studio? Here are three start-ups that allow you to do just that.

  1. ClassPass, which raised another round of funding this week, allows you to attend all the group exercise classes your heart desires for $99/month. Currently, the service  is available in 25 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. ClassPass is focused on studios and not gyms, so if you’re also wanting to hit the gym along with taking group classes, this may not be the subscription for you.
    • Pros: ClassPass has a lot of variety. According to a San Francisco reviewer, you can take classes in everything from pilates and crossfit to surfset and ariel. It also allows you to attend as many classes you can fit in a month and has a large number of studios it partners with.
    • Cons: If you really like a studio, you can only attend up to three times in one month. The most popular classes fill up quickly. For first-time visits to a new studio, you need to arrive early to sign paperwork and releases.
  1. fitmob (yes it’s all lowercase even at the beginning of a sentence) is a mix between all-access to studios and gyms, leaning more toward studios. The service is currently available in six cities: Austin, Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Like ClassPass, it’s available for one monthly price that is not listed on their website.
    • Pros: Unlike the other services, fitmob has exclusive classes for its members. According to Yelp reviews for the San Francisco fitmob, the trainers are great and the number of workout locations are plentiful.
    • Cons: Reviews on Yelp for San Francisco fitmob are generally positive, but a few cite the company for customer service issues, and one user recommends just using ClassPass instead.
  1. Gymfinite is an up-and-comer in the group exercise subscription model. Although it’s currently only based in Denver, I recommend keeping your eye on this one because it provides access to classes and open gym time. Gymfinite has a two-tier subscription model. For $99/month, users can attend up to eight classes, while the unlimited pass is $199/month.
    • Pros: The big advantage to Gymfinite is that it offers open gym time, which can help add variety to routines in addition to just attending classes.  The higher-priced subscription also allows you to attend as many classes as you’d like each month.
    • Cons: The biggest cons are that the service is currently only available in one city, and it’s pricier than the others.

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Like this article? Follow this blog and then check out a wearable the yoga mat that can replace your teacher.

A Desk That Helps You Avoid an Early Death

It’s #FitnessFriday here at Crunch Theory, and there’s two pieces of news in the fitness-tech world that you should know about from this week.

  1. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sitting for too long can be deleterious to your health, regardless of whether or not you exercise. That’s right folks, even if you work out an hour or so every morning but proceed to sit for the rest of the day, you still have an increased your chances for an early death, cancer, and diabetes. Lucky for you, the desk in step #2 has a way to help keep you strong and healthy.
  1. Stir released the second version of their automated sitting/standing desk, Sitr Kinectic Desk. With a built-in touchscreen to respond to your personal input and goals, the M1 Kinetic Desk will let you know when it’s time to sit and stand to optimize your productivity and health. The desk uses a breathe-imitating mechanism to gently move up and down when it’s time to switch from sitting to standing or vice versa. Plus, it syncs with your Fitbit for a better, interconnected fitness experience. The newer M1 version of the desk is pricey at $2,990, but with a boasted 90% customer satisfaction, it could be a worthwhile purchase.

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Like this article? Follow this blog and then check out a yoga that can replace your teacher.

The Yoga Mat That Can Replace Your Teacher

More than 20 million people practice yoga in the U.S. today, and with the plethora of tools available for home practice sans an instructor, it is not inconceivable that these yogis are not always doing poses properly. And while yoga is generally a great workout for the body and mind, when done improperly, it can lead to bodily harm. The technology company SmartMat, however, wants to help home practicers and even those in classes nail proper technique every time.

SmartMat is a portable yoga mat that can analyze your posture in real time, providing feedback to help you become a better yogi and prevent injury. When you first use SmartMat, it walks you through a routine, analyzing your body type and movement, so that every time you use the mat it’s a new, customized experience. It also suggests incremental changes as you learn to help you build your practice over time and keep you coming back to the mat. Upon completion of a yoga practice, the mat gives you a numerical score based on how close you came to your personal ‘perfect’ practice.

Like most fitness gadgets these days, SmartMat has an app that syncs with your phone or tablet, enabling you to track your progress over time. However, it goes one step further by also allowing you to browse from free and purchasable classes on their SmartMat Marketplace.

SmartMat ships July 2015 and costs $447, but if you pre-order now, you can get it for $297.

Can’t wait to get started on a home practice? I’m in the middle of a 30 day challenge from Yoga with Adrienne, and I highly recommend it. Get started here.

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Like this article? Follow this blog and then check out high- and low-tech ways to stay health at work.

Feature image courtesy of Colin Tsoi.

Prevent Running Injuries with these High-Tech Inserts

ReTiSense, an Indian-based company, has created a smart shoe insert that can map strain put on feet from running and give real-time suggestions to help prevent injuries, like runner’s knee. The insert, called Stridalyzer, uses sensors that are activated with pressure to map the stress you are putting on your feet and knees.

For example, if the inserts sense you are putting too much pressure on the outside of your foot, the accompanying app will tell you in real-time that you are supernating. That way, you are able to correct your running form before an injury happens.

Stridalyzer just completed its Kickstarter campaign and hopes to be ready-for-shipment by running season this Spring. And if you have particularly sweaty feet, not to worry, because Stridalyzer inserts are water resistant.

Wearables – Now You Can Try ‘Em Before You Buy ‘Em

Image courtesy of Lumoid.com

Image courtesy of Lumoid.com

Yes, you read that headline right. You can now try the latest wearables before you buy them to make sure you’re getting the right one for you thanks to Lumoid.

Lumoid, a website that previously offered a similar service for photography and video gear, is expanding their rentable gear to wearables. Currently, the site breaks down wearables into three categories: sleep tracking, fitness, and stay connected. That way, you can try the latest devices almost risk free to see if they’ll actually fit into your lifestyle.

It is important to note though that Lumoid’s service is not entirely free. You can request up to five wearables for seven days to try them out. However, if you choose not to purchase at least one of the five, then you’ll be charged a $20 fee.

Still, $20 is a heck of a lot better than sinking hundreds of dollars into a wearable and wishing you had gotten another kind. Or, even worse, spending money on the latest gadget just to realize that, like most people, you aren’t quite committed to wearing something all the time.