“How to sync all your fitness activities with Google Fit - The Verge” plus 2 more

“How to sync all your fitness activities with Google Fit - The Verge” plus 2 more


How to sync all your fitness activities with Google Fit - The Verge

Posted: 11 Aug 2019 06:00 AM PDT

There are many excellent fitness tracking apps, but the best ones tend to focus on a particular type of exercise, such as running, cycling, or yoga. If you're the kind of person who likes to workout in a variety of ways, but you want all your fitness data in one place, Google Fit is a good solution.

Here are some directions on how to sync some of the more popular apps with Google Fit, including Runkeeper, Strava, Runtastic, MapMyFitness, Mindbody, and Headspace. We've also included directions for syncing Life Fitness exercise equipment. These instructions cover those of you using Android phones or watches running Wear OS — we'll have a separate guide soon for pairing with iOS's Health app.

If you use a different app, you'll first have to find out if that app is compatible with Google Fit. You can check out this list in the Play Store — it's not comprehensive, but it does cover popular fitness tracking apps that span most types of exercises.

Runkeeper

  • Open Runkeeper and select Settings from the hamburger menu.
  • Scroll down and find "Apps, Services and Devices."
  • Select Google Fit and the Google account you want it associated with.
  • Confirm permissions to finish pairing the two apps.

After you sync the two apps, Runkeeper will send Google Fit all the workout data that isn't manually added. Note that any workouts that were logged before pairing the apps will not be sent to Google Fit.

Strava

  • Open the hamburger menu and hit "Settings."
  • Under Account, tap "Link Other Services."
  • Tap "Google Fit" and grant access.

Syncing Strava to Google Fit allows the app to automatically send your distance, speed, and calories burned to Google Fit after a workout. If you use Strava to track workouts on machines like the Peloton bike and treadmill, this app will also send that exercise data to Google Fit.

Runtastic

  • Open Runtastic and go to your profile.
  • Tap the gear icon for settings and click "Partner Accounts."
  • Select "Synchronize to Google Fit" to select your Google account and confirm the permissions.

This allows the app to send your workout data automatically each time you complete an exercise. If you delete a workout through Runtastic, it will also delete the data from Google Fit.

MapMyFitness

MapMyFitness has an variety of fitness tracking apps that focus on specific workouts, such as MapMyHike, MapMyRide, MapMyWalk, and MyFitnessPal. But all the apps pair the same way, which makes it easy to get all your exercise data synced over to Google Fit.

  • Open the MapMy app you want to pair.
  • Select the hamburger menu to find "Settings"
  • Scroll down and find "Google Fit." Toggle it on and confirm permissions.

Mindbody

Mindbody is an app that lets you book workout classes at a variety of fitness studios and keep track of your class schedules. While it's not a traditional workout tracking app like Runtastic and Strava, it might be helpful to keep your workout classes logged in Google Fit on days you decide to try a new activity, like yoga, pilates, or boxing.

  • Open your profile and tap "Settings."
  • Scroll and find the "Integrations" menu.
  • Select "Google Fit" and confirm the permissions.

LFconnect

If you use Life Fitness equipment in a gym or at home, you'll find that some of the newer machines offer integration with Google Fit, allowing you to track your exercise data straight from the app.

  • Open the app and find "Settings."
  • Under "Fitness Apps," find "Google Fit" and toggle on to confirm permissions.

Headspace

Mental exercise is still an exercise, and Google Fit can also track this activity if you use apps like Headspace to get in a moment of zen. After pairing the two apps, your meditations will show up under the Journal tool on Google Fit along with other exercise and sleep activities.

  • Open Headspace and click on your username on the right side.
  • Click the gear icon for "Settings."
  • Tap "Google Fit" and toggle on to confirm permissions.

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How To Be Happy: 20 Ways To Be Happier Today - Forbes

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 05:32 AM PDT

Photo credit: Getty

Getty

"How can I get happy?"

It's one of the most popular questions on Google with more than 6 billion search results. If you want to know how to be happy, you're not alone.

Here are 20 tips for how to be happy and lead a happier life that I call "The Lemonade Life":

1. Gratitude

As I explain in my new book, The Lemonade Life, the practice of gratitude is one of the most important strategies for how to be happy. Gratitude is focusing on what you have instead of what you don't. Gratitude is about celebrating your life and being thankful for the joy you experience. Gratitude is associated with positivity, increased well-being and improved health.

2. Gratitude journal

The practice of gratitude can be expressed in many ways. The secret of how to be happy can start with a gratitude journal. With a gratitude journal, you can spend 10-15 minutes each day writing the things for which you are thankful. It can be your family and friends, the experience you enjoyed earlier that day, or anything else that makes you feel grounded. When we express thankfulness for the joys in life, we increase happiness. Make sure to take time to reflect on your writings to experience the full joy and experience of gratitude.

3. Celebrate you

You are worth celebrating. You don't have to wait for birthdays or holidays to celebrate. Build your self-confidence by recognizing and embracing your greatness. Congratulate yourself for your achievements – even the small ones. Use small wins to generate momentum. You will find it's one of the smartest ways to be happy.

4. Focus on your strengths

It's human nature to focus on your weaknesses, but as I explain in The Lemonade Life, focus your time and energy on your strengths. No one is perfect. Spending time trying to build up every weakness will only lead to frustration. It's an impossible task to be good at everything. Instead, focus on your core strengths and direct them toward seizing opportunities. This is one of the most effective ways for how to be happy. You will feel more accomplished, more balanced and less frustrated.

5. Look for the good in things

It's easy to see the bad and the downside. Instead, focus on the positive. Look for the silver linings, which are the good things in life. The best books on happiness recommend cultivating positive thoughts: the more you look for the good things, the less stress and negative thinking you can experience.

6. Do it with kindness

Work can be demanding. Life can be demanding. In the race to "get it done," it can be easier to rush. However, there's always time to do it with kindness. Treat people respectfully. Empathy at home, at work and in life is essential to understand others and understand the human condition.

7. Meditation

If you want to know how to be happy, meditation is a good place to start. Spend 10-30 minutes each morning meditating and you'll notice an improvement in well-being and a healthier life perspective. Meditation relaxes you and helps you connect with the mind, body and spirit. You can incorporate gratitude in your meditation, listen to soft music or think positive thoughts. Meditation is also associated with lower stress.

8. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which can help create a state of euphoria. Research shows that a 15-minute jog can help reduce depression. Spending time exercising –particularly in nature – can not only improve heart health, but also mental health, happiness and well-being.

9. Eliminate roadblocks

Roadblocks are obstacles that stand between where you are today and where you want to be. A negative environment and negative people are two examples of roadblocks that limit your potential. The first step to more happiness is to identify the roadblocks in your life. The second step is to find paths around, over and through the roadblocks in your life. You may not be able to eliminate every roadblock, but you can work to minimize the threat.

10. Choose your friends wisely

Find friends who lift you up, not who tear you down. Their positive or negative energy will directly impact the person you become.

11. Have a core set of values

We also know what it means to have good values. To find happiness, list your values on a piece of paper. Visualizing is a good start, but it will help solidify your set of values when you record them. A core set of values is a great way for how to be happy because it reminds you of the principles and ideals to which you subscribe.

12. Find your life purpose

Why are you here? How do you create impact? When you know your life purpose, you will know how to be happy because you have a life worth living because you understand why you do what you do. You have direction. You have grounding. You have something you are working toward or someone you are working to inspire.

13. Build social connections

Many people want to know how to be happy alone. While being happy alone is important, you will increase happiness through valuable social connections. The more we interact with people, understand people and help others, the more well-being we experience in our lives. We are all connected, and life is about helping others and giving to others. You will not only boost their happiness, but also your own.

14. Be accountable

Everyone knows the blame game. It's them, not you. Right? Wrong. Accountability starts with you. Want to know how to be happy? Take responsibility. When you own your successes and mistakes, you will lift a burden in your life and enjoy more happiness and freedom.

15. Understand your feelings

Spend time understanding why you're experiencing a certain feeling. When you can properly assess what makes you happy or sad, and understand the why behind that particular feeling, you will have more clarity for how to be happy. You will be more in control of your feelings and emotions and be on a clearer path toward self-understanding.

16. Embrace empathy

Emotional intelligence is such an important component of being happy. Understanding others is essential to thrive in life and at work. Embrace empathy in everything you do. Understand others. Embrace your imperfect self. Showing more self-understanding and understanding others helps you connect with humanity. Understand their background, perspective and circumstances and you will feel more connected to yourself and to others. It's a smart way how to live a happy life.

17. Believe that you have the power to change your life

This is more than positive thinking. This is embracing a fundamental truth that happiness is a possibility in your life. Once you accept that principle, you have opened your mind to the possibility of change. You have started on a path to accept more happiness in your life.

18. Practice happiness

You can practice happiness daily. Find things that make you happy and repeat them daily. Develop positive habits. Identify the things that make you unhappy, and work toward eliminating them from your life. It's a project of separation, and when you master it, it's a helpful strategy for how to be happy.

19. Declutter

A happy mind and a happy home go together. Declutter your personal space and free your mind. Eliminate things you don't need. Clutter means disorganization and it can be an impediment to accomplishment and well-being. When we declutter, we bring order to our lives. In place of clutter, decorate your personal space with things that make you happy. Surround yourself with happiness and it will bring more organization, order and happiness to your life.

20. Have an open mind

An open mind is a pathway to possibility. Be open to new people, places and experiences. When you are flexible and open to change, your happiness can increase. You can increase social connections, find more joy and feel more a part of a greater community.

Conclusion

Want to know how to be happy? Follow these 20 principles for a happier life. It's closer than you think.

Google will start surfacing individual podcast episodes in search results - The Verge

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 06:00 AM PDT

Google is taking the next step in making podcasts easier to find. The company will now surface individual podcast episodes in search results, so if someone searches for a show about a niche topic or an interview with a specific person, Google will show them potential podcast episodes that fit their query. The company will also soon allow people to ask Google Assistant to play podcasts about specific topics, and it'll find episodes to play.

For now, people have to search using the word "podcast," so if you want to find a show that talks about golden retrievers, you'll have to search "podcasts about golden retrievers" or "golden retriever podcast." Once you choose one to listen to, it'll open in Google Podcasts' web app. The same command structure applies to Google Assistant, so users will have to say, "Hey Google, play a podcast about golden retrievers."

Eventually, Google says it'll support third-party playback, which is important for podcasts that are exclusive to certain platforms. (The publishers will have to define where they want the show to play themselves if it's a third party.) It'll also eventually drop the "podcast" search term requirement. It hasn't said when the Assistant functionality will roll out.

To pull off the search indexing, Google is automatically transcribing all the podcast episodes it finds. (Android Police noted this happening earlier this year.) Podcasters who publish with an RSS Feed will have their shows automatically indexed, similar to how websites are populated on Google search today. The company has already indexed over 2 million shows. Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Google Podcasts product manager, tells The Verge that Google will take certain signals into account when determining what shows to surface first, like how many people listen to a show or whether the show comes from a publisher that has "a lot of authority."

Image: Google

"There's so many more high-quality, varied podcasts than there used to be," Reneau-Wedeen tells The Verge. "We've seen the problem move from what it was like to browse the Internet in the early- to mid-90s, where you knew all the websites you might want to visit, to the problem that we have in the 2000s on the Internet, where you need a search engine to really help you to discover and find all the content that might be useful or entertaining to you."

This new functionality could fundamentally change how people find new shows because podcasts have lacked discovery tools. Right now, people typically find podcasts through friends or other shows, but they also likely have a hard time finding shows about specific topics because there's no easy way to search by topic. Google including episodes in search clearly changes that.

However, what it could also change is how podcasters react to having their shows as searchable entities. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of titling webpages or altering URLs to make them more Google-friendly with commonly searched terms. It's a well-established practice for websites that could make its way over to podcasts. Podcasters might start to change their episode titles, write their episode descriptions differently, or rely on flashier cover art to stand out.

This might not outwardly be a bad thing, but it could have negative side effects if podcast creators eventually rely on formulaic approaches to titles and descriptions that, prior to the new Google search feature, were places where they more openly expressed a show's identity.

Reneau-Wedeen says the team is thinking about how search terms could be abused and is going to rely on Google's web spam team to detect when people are trying to game the algorithm. "As podcasts become more ubiquitous, as more people try them out, there will be similar efforts to game the system, and that's something that we'll have to deal with," he says. He also says the podcast team will rely on the Google search team to help surface authentic, authoritative podcast episodes if misinformation ends up becoming an issue for the podcast searches.

So yes, while podcast episodes in search could be huge for podcasters and give them unprecedented exposure to listeners, it could also come with risks to shows' creativity. Presumably, podcasts that aren't as popular or indexed as highly will also have a lower chance of ever being found at all.

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