Primal Workout Gear, Organic Produce Delivery and More Stuff That Made Us Healthier in 2012

The editors of Diets in Review share their picks for the 7 apps, gadgets and services that made staying fit and healthy easier this past year

Here are the seven things that deserved to be called innovative, fresh, and mold-breaking in 2012.

Primal 7

After the inventor of Primal 7 had a body-breaking injury that surgery and rehab couldn't repair, he fashioned a rubber band and nylon truck straps to a tree to create a suspension training tool that has him walking again and in the best shape of his life. Whether for rehab, home or gym fitness, weight loss, or sports training, Primal 7 is the most impressive training tool we've seen in a long time. Attach the Primal 7 system to a wall, above a door frame, or any other sturdy structure and almost effortlessly do squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, and more. Consider replacing your entire home gym with this all-in-one system that takes up no more space than that above your door and costs $299.

Instagram as a Food Journaling Tool

Loved and hated for its promotion of "food porn," Instagram effortlessly lets you share photos of what you’re eating and craving, and even how and where you’re working out. As far as crowd-sourced accountability goes, Instagram is one of the best tools out there. It's accessible on your smart phone, free, and allows for instant feedback. You'll think twice about ordering fried chicken when you have to answer to your followers.


It's social, it's techy, and it really works. Retrofit turned one in 2012 and is doing more to help people lose weight for the long term than a lot of its older competitors. Here’s how it works: Customers commit to a full year, choose to lose 10 or 15 percent of their weight, and get assigned a dedicated team with an exercise physiologist, dietitian, and behavior coach. Customers get weekly Skype calls with their team, FitBits and Withings WiFi scales to upload your progress to your team. It's not cheap, though. The monthly price tag is $259.

Charity Miles

Running for a cause is nothing new, but in 2012 Charity Miles made giving back for runners even more effortless. Using the app, a user selects a charity, chooses an activity like running or cycling, then starts earning money for the cause with each mile. The program is backed by a sponsorship pool, so all a user has to do is log the miles. Runners and walkers earn 25 cents a mile and bikers earn 10 cents a mile. Post your progress on Facebook so others can join and expand the sponsorship pool.

Quest Bars

Most protein bars are heavy in carbs, sugars and syrups, but Quest bars skip these ingredients entirely. They’re gluten free, rich in fiber, and come in about a dozen flavors like lemon cream pie, cinnamon roll, PBJ, and chocolate brownie. With no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, there is more of the satisfying and muscle-repairing protein that you need. Price is standard at about $2 per bar.

Sworkit App

The Sworkit App provides a quick, randomized circuit training workout that can be customized. Whether you have five minutes or an hour, want a yoga sequence or upper body training, the app tells you exactly what to do. It's like a personal trainer, guiding you each step of the way so you can concentrate on the moves instead of the counts. The pro version of the app is just 99 cents.

Organic Produce Delivery Services

Companies like Green Bean Delivery services in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and Big Organic Garden services in Georgia are making it easy to have organic, local produce delivered to your door. There's more transparency than in standard grocery buys, and you may be more apt to try something new thanks to the surprises you may find in your box. It's like CSA on wheels. Cost will vary by service, but they tend to run $20-$50 per week.

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