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Smartphone Fitness Apps

Whether you are a year-round athlete, a “Thanksgiving to just after New Years” workout buff, or a “maybe I should start exercising” individual, you can use your smartphone to help you stay — or get — motivated.

I usually listen to music when I run, but sometimes I listen to an audible book or to an interesting interview on NPR. The better the beat, the story, or the interview, the longer I exercise and the more i enjoy it.

But smartphones — and their many available fitness apps — can do more to help you with your exercise program than just play background audio.

To name a few…

  • There is a Zombie app that tells you when you are being chased by zombies and “encourages” you to walk/run faster to elude them.
  • There is a “Running of the Bulls in Pamplona” app that “suggests” you increase your speed until you are out of danger.
  • There is an app where you simulate the gears of a race car engine and “shift gears” as you walk/run around your route.
  • There are step-counting, mileage-tracking, and pulse rate-recording apps.
  • There are fitness apps that demonstrate specific yoga, balance, cardio, weight lifting, and dance routines.
  • There are calorie counting apps for diet and exercise information.

Fitness apps exist for everyone. You just have to find the one (or more) that is right for you and get moving.

Here are some helpful hints for using your smartphone as part of your workout:

  • Get comfortable earbuds for listening on the go
  • If the earbuds are not wireless, thread the cord from the phone to your ears through a layer of clothing so it does not hang loose or bounce as you move.
  • Some fitness apps drain your phone’s battery at a much faster rate than usual.
  • Create specific playlists of music for your exercise time: perhaps upbeat dance music for walking, running, and cardio, and slower-paced music for yoga and resistance training.
  • Read the description of the app from the developer, as well any reviews from independent sources, to get a complete picture of the app’s features.
  • Check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.

In May, PC Magazine posted a slideshow article of its “15 Best Fitness Apps” (click link below to read the article). You can find these and many other fitness apps in your phone’s app store.

Enjoy your workout!

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