We look at Time's 50 Best Websites for 2010 with a focus on Health & Fitness -- and throw out a couple nominees that we think should have made this year's list.
One of the great lists released each year is Time’s 50 Best Websites. No matter what your interests are, you are guaranteed to find at least a couple gems each year. As we take a look at this year’s list, we turn our attention toward the top picks for Health & Fitness, and throw out a couple nominees that we think should have made the list.
Keas: Founded by the former head of Google Health, Keas’ mission is to “help you understand what your health data means and how you can use it to be as healthy as possible.” There are several different features here for users to help users improve their health in any number of aspects, from lowering cholesterol, setting tips and reminders for medications, or improving blood pressure. So go ahead, sign up and tell your friends and family. Wellness experts have taken the time to set up this site so that users can easily understand the type of health data they are looking to record, set goals to improve their health, and learn the ways in which they can maintain a new, healthier self. But hurry while it’s free and still in beta form; that might not be the case as the site evolves.
Mayo Clinic: As Time mentions, many consumers often turn to Google before heading to the doctor’s office. And many times, they’ll find the type of reliable information they are looking for, but there are also times when they’ll find less-than-credible information dispersed throughout the Internet. There’s no such risk in going to the Mayo Clinic, which has evolved into a true encyclopedic index of disease states. The site also boasts a symptom checker and users can be assured that the content on the Mayo Clinic’s website is medically accurate and reliable because the site is run by an editorial staff of MDs.
Walk Jog Run: Ask any runner if they’ve ever been stuck in a rut when it comes to the trails they frequent and you’ll likely get the same response: yes. With Walk Jog Run, problem solved. By taking advantage of Google Maps information, this program allows anyone to go in, type in an address, and instantly get information for all the user-generated running routes in that area. What’s more, users will have access to all kinds of info, such as distance or amount of calories that will be burned, to select the route that’s right for them. Even better, Walk Jog Run has rolled out a mobile application for the iPhone, making it easier than ever for runners to throw their shoes in the car and find a route just about anywhere they happen to end up.
Exercise TV: Coming up with excuses not to work out is getting harder and harder thanks to websites like Exercise TV. This nifty site claims that over 100 new free workout videos are uploaded every month, making it easy to find a routine for just about any kind of workout. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. For those of you who are tech savvy, you could easily connect a laptop to your TV and stream the videos on a bigger screen. So what are you waiting for? Cancel that gym membership, pocket the $50/month, and start your own routine right from your home.
Fit by Fun: The goal of this website it to “provide a unique exercise program, with an emphasis on entertaining yet effective classes.” How is it accomplished exactly? Well, through the use of cartoon characters, upbeat music, and a “community feel.” Users will see “classmates” on the site (i.e., others who are using it at the same time). Be forewarned: Though many exercise routines and features are free, there are also a lot of paid features on this site.
It’s clear that Time’s 2010 installment of the best health and fitness websites of the Web revolves around the social aspect. All of the websites above contain some element of social networking, whether it’s sharing a running route, uploading your own exercise routine to share with others, or simply sharing health progress via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It all makes sense; when social media elements are incorporated into a website that has a positive message or goal behind it, big things can happen. Health is one of those categories that stands to gain the most from utilizing the power of mass amounts of people coming together for a cause, whether that is to share information about a disease state, lend support, or encourage healthy habits.
So, there must be more than just 5 health and fitness websites that are worthy of a mention, right? Right. And let’s throw out the window all the websites that are already well-known, such as WebMD.com or the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog. Here are two favorites of ours that could have made Time’s list for consumer-centric health and wellness information.
RightHealth: This website puts all the pertinent information in front of the consumer, including the hottest and latest health news, and categories and condition centers for top health topics such as ADHD, Diabetes, and Arthritis. Consumers will also find educational videos, links to top health blogs, and can easily start a discussion right on the website or via Facebook.
Discovery Health: The same people behind the Discovery Channel have teamed up to put together this resourceful website, which provides consumers with educational videos, message boards, and much more. Adults and children alike will find interesting features here from quizzes to help learn about the human body to resource centers covering everything from skin care to sexual health.