Technology, trying to make you fitter…..so there.
Is it me, or has the consumer tech market moved to a kind of, fitness phase at the moment? Phones, smart watches, and lord knows how many apps are now geared toward you’re getting fit, and in to shape. So much so that the iPhone 5s has a completely separate chip, in addition to the A7 that’s in there, for the sole reason of tracking your movement and for fitness purposes. Google have optimized Android’s newest OS, Android 4.4 to be used as a pedometer, and whilst there aren’t a huge amount of pedometer type apps out there, you can be assured they are on their way!
Included in this current swathe of fitness devices and applications, is a new kind of fitness device, the….bracelet.
All of a sudden calorie counting, step counting, heart rate monitoring bracelets seem to be all the rage. If not a bracelet, then a dongle or adapter that attaches’ itself to your shoe, or wrist, or a part of your body or clothing, which will then send information to either the internet, or the your phone to an app, and then the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the improvement of ones body, and health and overall well-being, and actually since using a fitness app on my phone, I have done a lot more exercise than I would normally. This is due to a combination of things; like the challenge to beat my past times and records, and the fact I can see a visual representation of my progress. These are things that help me, and I really hate doing exercise, but I use them whilst walking the dog, and I’m encouraged to walk further to beat previous times, and I know the dog appreciates it too, with her boundless energy, she is never sated.
Whats my Point?
Good question, I don’t want to be one of those websites that uses the whole ‘New Year, New You’ thing, but if you feel like doing a bit of exercise, and you find it difficult, maybe the following three apps will help you out. No pressure, and hey, if you don’t like them, you can always delete them, and take solace in that bit of exercise did a bit of good.
Free – Available on Android and iOS
To start you off easy, Moves is a simple pedometer app that runs in the background on your device. All you need to is put your phone in your bag or in a pocket on your person, and let the accelerometer do the rest. At the end of the day, you can see how many steps you have taken, where you have been and you’ll be told when you beat your steps record. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll go slightly out of your way in order to beat your last record.
Free & Paid – Available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone
Endomondo is a GPS tracking app that is available in a fairly fully featured free version, and a more fully featured paid version. The excellent thing about this app, is that whilst you can view all of your stats on your mobile, the accompanying website provides calories, heartbeat, weather, altitude, fastest speed, and the route you took shown on Google maps. In addition it supports a huge number of activities from walking, running, skiing, cycling, mountain biking, cycling for transport, and skating. A seriously great app that you can use for everything.
£2.99 – £5.99 – Available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone (Price depends on platform)
If you’re serious about losing some weight and want an incredibly interactive storyline to be a part of at the same time, this app is for you. Simply plug your earphones in, and press start. A story will start where there is a helicopter crash and you’re the only survivor, you grab a radio and local camp guides you back to them, so the radio guy is actually talking to you. The first run in approx 30 minutes to set the scene, but you can change the time that you exercise for later ‘missions’.
You start running, and the app takes your average speed as the baseline speed, and then, then you hear whispers of groans, slowly getting louder. Zombies are coming! You need to run faster in order to outrun the zombies, if they get within 100 metres you start getting a count down. Let me tell you now, running at night whilst listening to this is pretty creepy, and you REALLY start to run when the zombies start after you.
It’s a hugely clever way to incorporate interval training into a story driven running app. As you run you also pick up supplies, such as food, medicine, and clothes. At the end of the run, the app actually has a base camp where you can allocate your resources. You can also use this app for cycling, or walking, but its at its best when you’re running.