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Google wants to make it easier for you to get healthy in the new year

Google wants to make it easier for you to get healthy in the new year
© Sharaf Maksumov | Dreamstime.com

It's almost time. You've got your New Year's resolutions ready and you've never been this motivated to achieve a healthier you.

OK, maybe you were just as motivated last year ... and probably the year before that. Fine, it's been 10 years straight. But hey, you're a busy person.

The past doesn't matter, you convince yourself, because 2019 is going to be different. And even though the desire usually fizzles about five days into January every year, Google wants to help you stay on track this time. Wait, Google?

Get Fit With Google

In the final days of December, the focus on your New Year's resolutions is unwavering. A week later, it's a distant memory. Enter Google Fit and their #GetFitWithGoogle campaign. They not only want to make it easier for you to get healthy, but actually have fun doing it.

So Google has a challenge for you - well, a 30-day challenge to be exact. Sign up through the Google Fit app now and starting on Jan. 1, you'll start earning Heart Points from various physical activities. You get Heart Points for activities that - you guessed it - really get your heart pumping. It works like this:

  • One point is earned for each minute of moderate activity. So if you're walking your dog, walk faster to score more points. An hour on the bike will get you 60 points.
  • Get double points for intense activities like running, kickboxing, skiing, snowboarding or even shoveling snow.
  • Get as many points as you can, all while Google cheers you on.

Note: They can be activities you log, but many will be automatically tracked, such as walks, runs or bike ride.+

Google Fit challenge

And speaking of motivation, Google Fit has teamed up with 36 influencers from nine countries to show participants how they earn Heart Points. To see how they and others are doing, follow #GetFitWithGoogle on Instagram and YouTube. That's how you can also share your own tips.

Bonus: 5 health tests you can take online

And hitting 150 Heart Points per week meets the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s physical activity recommendations. They're shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and increase overall mental well-being.

There will be new challenges each month.

How you can sign up

If you have an Android smartphone, download the Google Fit app (find it by clicking or tapping here). Information about the challenge should show up right as you open the app. Tap "Learn More," then tap "Sign Me Up."

Google Fit challenge signup

It's trickier to sign up if you have an iPhone because you'll need a Wear OS Watch (not an Apple Watch). First, you'll need to download the Google Fit app from the Google Play Store on your watch, then download the Wear OS app via the App Store on your iPhone (find more info by tapping or clicking here).

What about privacy concerns?

Just like any other Google service, data is collected and stored with Google Fit. So it knows when you work out and everywhere you've been along the way. It also keeps record of your heart rate and other sensor date.

If you're already using Google Fit, you can delete the data through the app. Just tap Profile, then the settings gear icon at the top right. Tap Manage Your Data, and it'll take you to a page where you can delete individual records, or clear out everything at once. More information on Google Fit settings can be found here

Be mindful of any other apps connected to Google Fit. Those might also have your Google Fit data, so you'll need to delete that information directly through each connected app.

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