Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New feature: Wednesdays on the Web

Hello Housewives! I am Lorene, and I am so happy to be starting out a new feature here on Housewife Eclectic. Before I get in to the specifics of what exactly this new feature is all about, here's a little bit about me:
My beautiful family!
I am married to a wonderful elementary school teacher who serenades me daily (often from the shower). We have a beautiful baby boy who is 6 months old and growing like a weed! I am formally trained as a technical writer (which is not as boring as you imagine!) and do some part-time writing and editing work from home. I post my own craft projects and recipes as Lu over at I am just Lu. I can't say that I'm a successful crafter or blogger, however, because I spend far more time searching for inspiration and projects than I do actually executing the projects...

My obsession with searching the web is why I am here today on Housewife Eclectic. Wednesdays on the Web each week will highlight just a few of the thousands of wonderful *free* resources available online, as well as occasionally discuss other web-related topics. If there is a topic you would like me to research and discuss or a type of resource you've been wondering about, please let me know! Leave me a comment or drop me an email using the email in my profile.

I am currently training to run the Wasatch Back, a 188.2 mile relay race, so today's web resources are all fitness related., a personal favorite, harnesses the power of Google Maps to allow you to map, save, and share your routes for running, walking, cycling, and even swimming. Mapped routes show distance and elevation change as well as route notes, including information about route surfaces (sidewalk, gravel, smooth, rough) and the surroundings (high traffic, low traffic, residential). You can also connect with friends, either by searching for specific friends or by using FacebookConnect to log in to the site, to see their training and routes. Training schedules are available with paying membership, but all other features are available with the *free* membership.

ActiveTrainer offers many of the same functions as, including training logs and stored routes. Training schedules are, sadly for freebie seekers like me, only available to paying members, but ActiveTrainer has 8 tools in addition to the Route Creator, each of which help you either track or calculate figures important to your training. Try out the Heart Rate Calculator, Race Planner, or, my favorite, the Hydration Calculator with your free membership.

My Pyramid Tracker by the USDA allows you to track your diet and exercise. Your foods are automatically divided into the USDA-defined food groups, which are more familiar to most of us than the protein, carbohydrate, and fat groups that some online diet trackers use. Plus, it's always good to brush up on your food pyramid. :)

The Daily Plate is a diet and weight loss journal that helps you track your diet and exercise as well as your weight and goals. The Daily Plate seems to be the best of both worlds, combining route tracking with calorie counting, but I can't report much more than that because I just discovered the site myself. :) One unique feature that I love and will spend more time exploring the recipe database: member-submitted recipes that include nutrition facts.

What resources, online or off, do you use to help with your fitness goals?
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