Body & Fitness

Five ways to stay healthy this summer

We've found the best free tools to help you trim down, shape-up and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

The number of Kiwis searching for ‘diet’ on Google has spiked in recent weeks, a sure sign that summer is nearly here. But you don’t need to spend a fortune on a nutritionist or personal trainer to see great weight-loss and health results. We asked Google’s Amanda Jordan to share the best free online tools to help you become healthier and feel more refreshed this summer.

Five ways to stay healthy this summer

Switch the gym for your living room

Don’t fancy paying to work out? Or pumping weights in front of a crowd? The evolution of YouTube means you can easily shape-up at home – with some of the world’s top fitness gurus at your fingertips. Try Blogilates, a lively and lighthearted approach to yoga and fitness instruction, or for a local expert, give Pilates NZ a go. While Steady Health gives detailed fitness instructions and covers a range of health topics.

Image: Alana Landsberry/

Five ways to stay healthy this summer

Ditch four wheels for two

Google Maps doesn’t just give driving directions, it also calculates the best cycling route between home and work or any other places, along with useful information such as how high the hills are going to be so you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Google Maps also shows all the cycling paths in your area if you feel like going off road.

Image: Paul Suesse/

Five ways to stay healthy this summer

Make healthy choices

Compare nutritional information for a range of food and drink options on the go with Google’s new comparison feature. Just type ‘compare’ and then the two items, and the search engine will serve up all you need to know to pick the healthiest option.  The results can be surprising – did you know a glass of lemonade has more sugar than cola?  Neither did we!

Image: Rob Shaw/

Five ways to stay healthy this summer

Get your own PA

Stay on top of important meetings and birthdays with the Google App, which acts like a personal assistant. This free, handy tool checks ahead for heavy traffic and will even tell you to leave early for appointments if traffic is bad. It can also remind you to pick up milk when you’re driving past the dairy, remember where you parked your car, and wake you up at your stop if you fall asleep on the bus.


Five ways to stay healthy this summer

Stick with the routine

It’s one thing to make a resolution and another to stick to it. Go one step further than writing down your goals by loading your exercise and meal plans into an online calendar and set yourself reminders. Google Calendar and other online calendars can push reminders to your email or phone so you have no excuse to skip that gym session.

Image: Yianni Aspradakis/

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