As a finance and economics nerd who also likes to work out, I’m a little bit obsessed with the numbers and analytics available today – especially in the simplicity of an app on your phone. I’ve probably downloaded close to 20 apps in my history of smartphone days (a little over a year), but here are the ones I’ve kept and use on an almost daily basis:
If you run or cycle AT ALL, Strava is an absolute must. Originally created for non-competitive users, Strava lets you track your miles via GPS to log distance, elevation, speed, calories burned, etc. Then, by creating or completing existing “segments,” you can see how fast you compare with other users. Strava has become so popular, however, that obtaining KOM/QOMs is a feat boasted among even competitive racers. Strava also provides some accountability to keeping up with a training schedule and seeing how many miles you ran or rode per week. I’m pretty much obsessed with Strava and use it any time I put on a pair of running shoes or get on my bike.
GymPact is another goodie, although most people are skeptical because it does involve money. Basically, GymPact makes you “promise” to work out a certain number of days (1-7) for a particular week, and if you keep your pact, you get money! The flip side, however, is that if you miss a day – you are charged a fee. And yes, the fee definitely outweighs the money you get for completing a pact. Don’t sign up for GymPact thinking you are going to make lots of money – the point is to motivate you to work out EVEN when you don’t want to. I can’t tell you how many Sunday evenings, when I still need one more workout to avoid being charged a $5 fee, when I go for a run when otherwise I WOULDN’T have. And of course… after you work out, you feel great. Sometimes you just need that extra bit of motivation! To date, I have logged 116 workouts!!! :O
The only reason RunKeeper is on this list is because it syncs with GymPact… Otherwise, honestly, I prefer Strava.
CharityMiles is a totally cool app. For every mile you run/walk/bike (Bikers earn 10¢ a mile and walkers and runners earn 25¢ a mile), a sponsor donates money to a charity of your choice! Some of the options include the Wounded Warrior Project, Feeding America, Autism Speaks, and more! This is hands-down the EASIEST way for you to help out others in need, just by pushing start on your phone! I love it and especially use it on all of my long bike rides!
This is my latest addition to my fitness app collection, and actually what inspired this post. Moves actually pretty much reduces the need for any other fitness app… it tracks everything you do in one feed. Personally, I like my other apps to much to give them up just yet, and I mostly use Moves as a way to track my steps. Yes… the girl who runs and bikes and Crossfits has recently taken up walking as an additional form of exercise. Why? Pretty much, I was (silently) making fun of my coworkers who used walking 10,000 steps as a daily fitness goal. Walking, to me, was completely inefficient and definitely not a form of exercise. Well, my company had a fitness challenge where we had to wear pedometers all day. Turns out I normally only walk about 3000-4000 steps per day. I decided to try for 10,000 and IT WAS ACTUALLY HARD. Not in the out-of-breath kind of hard, but I realized that in my day-to-day activities, I was not very active! So now.. I try to hit 10,000 steps per day by taking walking breaks at work and taking my dog Sky on extra long walks. And Moves is the best app I have found to do that, it is like a pedometer you don’t have to wear or start or stop. It just tracks it all! Another side note on that… since I have started walking more throughout the day, I have found that taking breaks and getting some fresh air every couple hours really helps me concentrate.
So I kind of got on a rant on that last one, but there you have it! My personally-recommended fitness apps 🙂 Please comment with any apps not on my list that you can’t live without!