Fitness apps can be key tool in keeping motivation strong


Did you all see Christy’s recent post about her love of  gadgets and how they motivate her to keep moving? Let me just say, I can relate, sisters! I feel the same way about health and fitness apps.  In honor of my six month anniversary of being a proud owner of my very first smartphone, I thought I’d share which ones I have come to find I cannot live without.  When I purchased the phone last summer, I never thought it would become a key tool on my health and fitness journey, something that I could use to work toward my benefit. Granted, I became addicted to the thing in very short order and still am,  but that is a post for another time.

Here’s a brief run down of my top 5 lately. Some are super popular but maybe others are new to you. If you are looking to switch things up, give them a try! (All of these are free on the iPhone and most have options to upgrade with a paid version).

Striiv – You know that game Farmville that was popular on Facebook? I never played it because I thought I would become addicted to it. Striiv combines my love of games with my love of walking and wearing a pedometer all day long. It encourages you to get moving more throughout the day by giving you personalized challenges to meet, such as “200 steps in the next 15 minutes.”  You just keep your phone in your pocket or purse or on a waistband clip and off you go. There is a game within the app, called “MyLand” in which you  earn coins and ‘energy’ to purchase plants, animals and buildings on an island called “MyLand.”  The app also tracks your weight, miles and calories burned with charts and graphs to see your progress throughout the day, and it syncs with MyFitnessPal! You can also form a team with your friends for a little friendly competition which always gets me motivated. There is a chat feature so you can encourage them or egg them on and a real-time display that shows when they are actually walking about. The app also tells you when you’ve walked the equivalent of the Golden Gate bridge and when you’ve walked enough to burn off a cupcake or s soda.  Ever since I started using this app a week ago, I am up out of my seat at work all the time now. I still wear a FitBit, but the game component to this has gotten me moving in a significant way.

RipDeck Lite– A workout generator modeled on a deck of cards. I have used this mainly in my office when my colleagues are out to lunch. It is a great way to get in a workout in a short period of time. You go through a ‘deck’ of cards with that tap of the screen. Two of clubs? That’s two squats. Four of hearts= 4 jumping jacks. Each suit is a different exercise and the number of repetitions is based on rank. With the cards always “shuffling” you never know what is coming next. All while a timer is going.Your goal is to finish the entire deck in the shortest time possible.You can also choose your level of difficulty.

GymBoss Interval Timer – You pick your intervals, how many and how long and hit start and off you go. Great for interval runs, sprints  or  Tabata-style workouts. You can customize so that each interval alerts you by various sounds and different colors on the screen. No need to keep track of the time yourself.

Waterlogged This app tracks your water intake for the day and allows you to set up reminders to drink up. And you can see your progress throughout the day as you aim for a personalized water intake goal.

RunKeeper – I could not write about my love for fitness apps without mentioning this one which I have come to think of as a trusty ol’ reliable friend.  This  GPS -based device keeps track of your pace/mileage/distance and more, all in an easy-to-read format. I love the audio cues that tell you your pace and distance. I love that it has pre-loaded training programs ranging from “Running4 Fat Loss” to half marathon and marathon training. I love that you can set up alerts reminding you at designated time. that it is time to get your run in. I love that it records your history so you can visually see your progress over time and how your pace and distance are improving. You can use it with your own music playing in the background. And there is a pause feature that lets you temporarily stop your workout when that neighbor of yours pulls over to say hello. And I also love that you can change your activity, so that when you are taking a walk, you are tracking a walk and if you are hiking, you are tracking hiking, or cycling, or time on the elliptical, whatever the case may be.

I have to confess that there have been times I have found myself spending too much time researching fitness apps online, reading reviews, etc., all the while when I could have been out the door getting some miles in. Don’t let this happen to you. I do occasionally leave everything behind and just GO! DO! Remember, with all our fancy technology, it is still YOU that drives yourself to achieve your goals.

What are your favorite apps these days? Come on, ladies! Share ’em for when I need some new gadgets to explore!

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