Archive for the ‘exercise’ tag
MapMyFitness offers a suite of fitness apps that support an active lifestyle with tools to map routes, track activity, log food intake and connect with others for motivation. The company was founded in 2007 and has since grown to 15 million users, five distinct products (MapMyRun, MapMyRide etc…) and an MVP premium membership with advanced features. Over 300,000 thousand workouts are logged everyday.
The new look includes improved functionality that makes it easier to navigate around the app and access various features, a greater emphasis on social sharing, and a fresh design that unifies the various products. CEO and founder Robin Thurston said that the updates are the result of six months of research and analysis of user behavior and is the most extensive design update in the last three years.
“The biggest trend we have seen thus far is the amount of our community accessing our site through their mobile phones and tablets,” he said in a Q&A. “This was critical in our design process. Having a unified brand and design for is really important because users want a seamless experience when they work out. From day one, we recognized the importance of having an open platform where people can house all of their workout data, no matter what device they are using.”
The new navigation tool bar has three main components. There is Home, where your personal activity is documented; Improve, which has training plans and device integration; and Discover, which is the first phase of the Local pages which will help people find fitness options around them. These features are all easily accessible from the dashboard. Furthermore, MapMyFitness integrates with ‘hundreds’ of fitness devices and sensors and the sharing tools are enhanced so people can more easily engage their friends in their workouts.
Thurston said that MapMyFitness has made a strategic shift towards design over the last 18 months and hired a new creative team to build out the new look. The greatest challenge, he said, was finding the right team, but it paid off in a “cleaner,” “simpler,” and “more beautiful” site.
Quantified self devices, mobile technology, and activity trackers have had a powerful impact on people’s fitness habits. MapMyFitness is one of many in the fitness tracking space, including Runkeeper, Skimble, and Endomondo, and Thurston said that in the next five years, he expects this space will see “rapid change and disruption.” By listening to user feedback and continuing to iterate, Thurston seeks to remain competitive and even dominant in the sector. His goal is not only to encourage people to be more active, but to use technology to actually change outcomes.
MapMyFitness is based in Austin, Texas and has raised $18.5 million to date.
Commuting to work via bike is a great way to get exercise and save on gas money but if your office has a strict dress code it may seem like you can’t both ride a bike and wear a suit. If you’re willing to take a few minutes and pack a more formal change of clothing you can look sharp at the office and still bike commute. More »
The 2012 Olympic Games offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to put your company in the news spotlight.
Newsjacking is a term invented by David Meerman Scott. It means finding a way to insert your organization into a big news story. When you do that, you and your organization are as much a hot and happening story as the primary news event. Newsjacking is a real-time content marketing tactic that generates outsized results.
Because the August 2012 London Olympics are the biggest news story on the planet, effective newsjacking will make you a big deal, too.
You might think that only big companies would find a way to horn in on this quadrennial extravaganza. Not so!
A perfect newsjacking example is the newly invented Olympics exercise program created by the New York Sports Club. Their brilliant newsjacking struck me this morning on Fox. whose attractive and athletic correspondent, Anna Kooiman, actually went to one of their Manhattan clubs to demonstrate some of the Olympic exercises. The New York Sports Club got a good 5 minutes of fun exposure that buried dozens of their Big Apple competitors.
I’m sure they hired a PR firm to put them in front of the large Fox viewing audience. That may be vital in NYC, but probably not in your town.
For example, in our relatively small Southwest Florida market, your sports club could easily create the very same program and pitch one of our local stations directly. Our TV stations are hungry for fun, visual, engaging, and timely stories to fill the many hours of local news.
As the owner of a Naples Florida sports club, this single newsjacking effort would have put you miles ahead of your way too many competitors. You become the fun place to go. The place with the unique exercise programs. The place that everyone is talking about.
Newsjacking is a marvelous technique that, like so many content marketing components, requires lots of creativity but little or no cash.
Grab a look at this video that illustrates the power of newsjacking. I think you’ll be inspirted to invent some newsjacking stories of your own. If you move fast, you can go after an Olympic Gold in the individual newsjacking event.
Fidelity Investments, an early and major purchaser of Facebook stock, let go of 1.9 million shares during June alone, when the social network’s value on the public market sank as low as $25 per share.
Currently, the shares sit at $20.85 in after-hours trading. Facebook stock hit a new low today: $20.84, down $25 from where it sat just moments before its initial public offering started back in May.
Watching Facebook’s stock ticker over the past couple of months has been a grueling exercise for casual onlookers and a major disappointment for early investors. Fidelity, which includes a multitude of separate funds, bought large amounts of pre-IPO Facebook stock; as a result, we can’t really say whether or not any of the funds turned a profit.
Before May, it was not uncommon to see Facebook shares trading in the high thirties and mid-forties on sites such as SharesPost and SecondMarket. If Fidelity funds paid anywhere near those amounts, it’s highly likely they lost out when selling shares over the summer. Prices wavered in the low thirties at the end of May, sinking into the twenties in June.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Fidelity funds originally bought $200 million in Facebook stock early in 2011. In June alone, 21 Fidelity funds divested, dumping nearly 2 million shares onto the public market.
Fidelity wasn’t alone in its optimistic expectations of Facebook stock performance, however. Other analysts and investors predicted the stock price would wind up selling for between $50 and $60 per share.
And of course, many others are still hanging on to their Facebook stock. After all, just a few months after the company’s IPO, we’re all still very much at the beginning.
“This is an eight-year-old company,” pointed out Rebecca Lieb, an Altimeter Group analyst, in a recent interview. “When Google went public, they had only recently developed ad products. Facebook is at the beginning of mobile products, advertising products — and it hasn’t even started with commerce products.”
Fidelity is the third-largest mutual fund company in the United States. It’s privately held and counts more than 20 million individual and institutional investors among its clientele.
Here’s a sad little chart we made to show you Facebook’s performance over the past three months with a few other tech stocks thrown in for comparison:
Filed under: deals
"What gadgets/websites/apps do you all use to track your exercise or motivate you to exercise more?" [Ask The Commenters Roundup]
- What gadgets/websites/apps do you all use to track your exercise or motivate you to exercise more?
- Are there any tips out there that I can use to get through books more quickly?
- I am looking for a webapp similar to Evernote that offers notes check boxes, but that also allows for shared notes. Any ideas?
- Is if there is an aero-type theme for Chrome?
- Is there a free solution for transferring music (and other things) from iOS devices that is up-to-date?
- With Roku, it seems like we have to search every time to see if a show is ready – any ideas on how to automate that?
- Are there any apps, websites, or other resources that can help improve my golf game?
- I have Adobe Lightroom and use it for basic operations such as fixing red-eyes, but I’d like to learn more about the other options: fill light, recovery, etc. Any tips?
- I’m heading to New Zealand for a month at the beginning of September. Any tips or suggestions of places to visit, things to do, general knowledge, etc.?
- I’m a 32-year old elementary school teacher looking to switch careers; besides corporate training, what are some fields previous educators look into?
You can get fit doing all sorts of things, whether that means standard exercise or training for the zombie apocalypse. Fitness expert Roger Lawson demonstrates how escaping and combatting the undead can lead to a really great workout. More »
Designer Wells Riley had efficiency down to a science, until the Nike FuelBand completely changed his pattern of thinking. More »
For most of us, the minimum amount of exercise we need to get a day is about 30 minutes. If you find it hard to wedge in 30 minutes of continuous activity a day, the New York Times has good news: you can break your exercise up into short, 10-minute blocks, and still get the same health benefits. More »
If you’re anything like me, you’re already kind of fat and lazy and likely to just get fatter and lazier with time. You blame an intense work schedule, high cost of gym memberships, and lack of time for your gluttonous, slovenly existence. You secretly hate the squishy blob of flesh that you’ve become, but you say you have neither the time, energy, or money to do anything about it. And, well, you might be the target demographic for fitness provider Wello, which uses video chat to allow anyone to get personalized training sessions online.
Wello has launched a marketplace that connects personal trainers with potential clients, using two-way video chat to enable anyone to get training sessions at their convenience. All users need is a laptop, web connection, and webcam, and they can begin scheduling and taking personal fitness classes. People can workout at home, without having to travel or be embarrassed about people watching them struggle through a workout regimen. And since there’s another person on the other line, there’s no fear of quitting early.
The startup has a wide range of exercise disciplines to choose from, including yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and strength training. Once users determine what type of exercise they want to take part in, Wello can connect them with trainers who fit their personal schedule and exercise style, whether they prefer a more laid-back approach or need a drill sergeant-type personal motivator. Users can also choose between 25-, 40-, and 55-minute sessions, depending on how much time they have. Once booked, users will receive a link to log in to their one-on-one training session.
For personal trainers, the site provides a new revenue stream and can do away with the hassles that come from booking sessions through whatever gym they might work at. They can schedule sessions in their spare time, and since local gyms aren’t taking a cut, they’re likely making a lot more per session than they would have otherwise. They’re also open to a potentially wider customer base — Wello has recruited trainers from major cities, but also from less-populated areas where the potential customer base might be limited.
So far, Wello has signed up more than 150 trainers, and has a backlog of others to evaluate. The startup evaluates each fitness professional for certifications, then puts them through a training session and has them provide a session for a Wello employee, who evaluates them before adding them to the system.
Wello was founded by Ann Scott Plante and Leslie Silverglide, who met at Stanford Business School and bonded over their mutual love of fitness. Ann had previously worked for Bain & Company as a strategy consultant, while Leslie had founded MixtGreens, which she sold to Nestle’s investment arm. The two have been bootstrapping the startup, which now has six employees based in San Francisco. But now that it’s officially launched, the two are looking for a seed round of funding from outside investors.
Wello hits the ground running today, offering live personal training over two-way video to triathletes, couch potatoes, and everyone in between. The website gives users access to quality work outs anytime, anywhere by connecting them with verified fitness professionals. As long as there is a computer, an internet connection, and a little bit of space, exercise is possible.
On Wello, aspiring exercisers can find training options to suit every level, preference, and schedule. The database is searchable by activity type, trainer personality, time, and session length. Feel like circuit training with a drill sergeant for 25 high-intensity minutes? You got it. Or perhaps an hour of yoga with a zenned-out instructor is more your style. Workouts are customized and the trainers provide direct guidance, motivation, and feedback.
“It is a challenge for most people to find the time or motivation to go to the gym or on a run,” said founder Leslie Silverglide. “No-one does burpees on their own, you have to have someone there to make sure you do the things you know you should do, but don’t want to.”
Silverglide and her co-founder Ann Plante met in business school at Stanford. Both women were health buffs- Plante played tennis at Dartmouth and Silverglide was a gymnast and squash player before she started health food restaurant chain MixtGreens. As busy students, the friends struggled to fit fitness into their daily schedules. They tried gym memberships, exercise groups, and home videos, but nothing provided the degree of personal interaction, motivation, or flexibility they required.
After graduating with MBAs last June, Silverglide and Plante dedicated themselves to building a company that would make exercise accessible, personalized, and pleasant under all circumstances.
“All busy people can be time crunched, and this is a convenient way to get in a workout you wouldn’t otherwise be able to,” Plante said. “We have people on our platform looking to lose 100 pounds and we have marathon runners. We offer something for the traveling professional in a hotel room and to a new mom who wants to get back in shape. We make it easier for people to get and stay fit.”
Wello already has an impressive roster of personal trainers ready and willing to whip you into top form. Trainers create profiles detailing their credentials, areas of expertise, workout style, fees, and available appointment slots. Users search through the available options and book sessions that are right for them. Workouts last for 25, 40, or 55 minutes and there are no downloads, software, or special equipment required. Sessions cost an average of $40, far less than most personal training sessions. Some options are as low as $5, while big name trainers charging significantly more.
Wello has several celebrity spokespeople on board, including A-List trainer Michael George who has worked with Reese Witherspoon, and Olympic Cyclist Evelyn Stevens who conducts power yoga sessions from all over the world.
Wello is currently raising a seed round. The team is based in Palo Alto and consists of 6 people, including a trainer whose sole job it is to onboard fitness professionals. Ultimately, Silverglade and Plante would like to see Wello expand beyond exercise, connecting people via live, interactive video with experts on a wide range of health and wellness subjects, like nutrition and sports psychology.
Filed under: VentureBeat