There’s a new app in town. Backed by the #0to60 Campaign, the app, which goes by the same name, is a collaborative effort between the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and the National Foundation on Fitness. The #0to60App is aimed at individuals of all ages, and its goal is to motivate you to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and healthy eating.
Teaming up with the campaign are first lady Michelle Obama and Funny Or Die Star Nick Offerman, collaborators on the “History of Exercise” video that is featured front and center on the website and app. The video shows the crazy ways that Americans have attempted to shed pounds over the last several decades. With YOU in mind, the website and app offer tools to get you personally motivated, with content from major leaders in physical activity, nutrition, and sports. TV celebrity chef Rachel Ray, among others, is one of the recipe content contributors.
It’s interesting to note that a study published in JAMA in September, 2016 suggests that fitness tracker devices, for the most part, ** don’t inspire more physical activity and may actually work against your goals, especially weight loss**. How so? It seems that when we track our physical activity, it may nudge us to indulge more or to eat more because we “think” we’ve exercised so we can eat more. In most cases, this calorie intake adds up to more than the exercise invoked to justify it, undermining the weight loss efforts. You take a Zumba class and sweat, so you grab a pizza or a few glasses of wine. Another issue is the goals you set or those that are recommended by the devices or apps, especially when it comes to dieting. If you constantly “miss the mark,” you may just decide to abandon your exercise efforts, adopting an all or nothing attitude. Results from the JAMA study were pretty surprising, given the expectation that a tracker providing measurable, objective data would support a commitment to healthy habits and aid weight loss efforts.
So how does the #0to60 app and website actually inspire and motivate, contrary to what the JAMA study might have learned about fitness tracker devices?
When you go to 0to60fitness.com, you’re prompted to sign up for email updates and to download the app on your mobile device. The app allows you to:
- View healthy lifestyle tips that are age-focused
- See a database of recipes
- Follow (free) workout videos or flow charts with exercise photos
- Access a vast amount of content on programs, resources, and research
- Sign up for challenges
- Support school participation
- Share your tips and progress on social media
- Have free access to celebrity workouts and celebrity chef recipes
For many people, cost is a barrier to getting healthier. The variety of workout videos that are free and require “just your body weight,” break through this impediment to becoming more fit. I found tips on hiking and yoga, doctor-guided beginner fitness regimens, and even breathing techniques for stress reduction. This library of videos is robust, with offerings for all ages. The website resources page is particularly focused on kids, providing a large cache of ideas and tools for parents and teachers.
I downloaded and opened the #0to60App and found a larger cache of guided fitness programs and cooking ideas (recipes for veggie burgers and grilled fish tacos with peach salsa were spot on), tips for healthy shopping, and more. The resources include “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl,” with a large collection of recipes, and a “Play 60 Challenge” from the American Heart Association and National Football League. It’s obvious that many independent foundations and groups have allowed their content to be aggregated on this app for easy access. The SuperTracker from ChooseMyPlate.gov offers an interactive food, physical activity, and weight tracking experience. I assume the database will continue to grow (I hope so).
There also is a My Journey tool for saving content preferences, accessing favorites, and keeping track of any diet and fitness efforts. You simply create an account with an email and password. I tried this tool and it did keep a record and easy access to content, video and recipes that I want to refer to again. It also acts as a portal to any trackers I engage with.
I like the overall breadth of this app in terms of the enormous numbers of tools and information. There is something for everyone here, particularly if you’re a beginner or trying to get motivated to start working out or change your diet. It’s not necessarily a tool for someone already immersed in fitness and nutrition, though there’s always something new you can learn. Some other observations:
- I think this is a good website/app for sourcing reliable information on diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
- I like the wide age range it targets.
- I think the app and website are excellent resources for parents and schools.
- I think it may be hard for someone to simply go to the website or use the app if they don’t already have a set goal or program framework. The online resources go in so many different directions that it can be overwhelming as a starting point for a lifestyle change.
- You may find this app tedious or tiresome after a while, and be challenged through this app alone to remain focused on reaching goals.
- It’s hard to tell if content is constantly monitored and updated, which is crucial for keeping up-to-date. That also is crucial in order to keep people engaged.
- There’s no downside if you sign up and use the website and the #0to60App for informational support. Just realize that the commitment to lose weight or get healthier may require other tools and support.
The bottom line is that use of a device or journal to track and inspire lifestyle habits seems to work for some individuals but is not necessarily a tool that will work for everyone. Still, it’s worth a try if you like accountability and objective information.
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Amy Hendel, also known as The HealthGal, is a Physician Assistant, nutritionist and fitness expert.As a health media personality, she's been reporting and blogging on lifestyle issues and health news for over 20 years. Author of The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, her website offers daily health reports, links to her blogs, and a library of lifestyle video segments.