2014 is the year we decided to be a fitter person, and before you get confused, it ‘wasn’t a new ‘year’s resolution. It was a general goal for us to live a healthier and fitter lifestyle, with the added benefits of losing weight and being more toned. .
“When you notice improvement in anything you are more likely to continue with it than if you were to stay the same,” Patrick said. “Take before and after shots at least one month apart, measure your waist and arms and weigh yourself. You will notice a much greater difference in your appearance with a one month separation then a one day separation.”
So one of the many ways we started to monitor our success (or lack thereof – especially when we were on holidays last month) was by using fitness apps. After a lot of research into apps that track and chart your progress, to ones who track your running/walking progress with GPS, to ones that also have fitness workouts included, here in our favourite fitness apps.
General Fitness apps:
Having recently received a Microsoft Surface Pro2 to take with us from home to travels (and the upcoming Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia), we are using the computer more and more (especially with its fast boot time). Bing Health & Fitness has become our go-to app for a complete combination of fitness, health and nutrition-tracking features that synchronizes across my other Windows8 devices.
Like most other (good) fitness apps, Bing Health & Fitness allows you to use GPS to record your time, distance, pace and calories burned while you walk, run, bike and do other activities. It also allows you to set your daily calorie goal, record what you eat and get nutritional information for over 300,000 foods. There are hundreds of different workouts and exercises with step-by-step instructions, photos and video. Oh and you can also use the self-diagonosis tool called the Interactive Symptom Checker to find out the possible health conditions you may have.
Best part? The app is free on any Windows 8.1 device.
If you haven’t heard of Fitbit, you may be living in an non-fitness bubble. It’s the new craze for fitness newbies thanks to its ability to sync with a tracking bracelet (aka Fitbit Flex and Fitbit Force) you wear all day (and of course comes in a range of colours). The bracelet generates biometric data from your daily activities to measure how many clarories you have burnt from your daily activities. The app on it’s own allows you to log your weight, enter your glucose levels and latest blood pressure readings and track your calorie intake.
I love the idea of this app so much – because you pay up with actual cash if you don’t make your fitness goals for the week. How does it work? Well you make a commitment to work out a certain number of times a week, then choose the amount of money you are willing to risk if you don’t reach your goal. If you don’t achieve your goal? Your credit card gets charged. Achieve your goal? You get paid! Simple as that. Of course you do have to be honest with yourself about working out.
For the runners, walkers and cyclists:
- Cyclemeter GPS
Getting fit from riding a bike is not a new thing, after all Spin classes have been a popular weightloss option for many people for years. Cyclemeter GPS is a feature-rich stat-tracking app for cyclists built specifically for iPhones and iPads. It tracks, maps and records your rides and compiles all of the data it collects into easy-to-read graphs and tables. It even gives you the option to specify what kind of bike-riding you’re doing, whether it’s a race, you’re going for distance or you’re just pedalling your heart out at the gym. The best part is that it also tracks other activities like running and walking, as well as interfaces with a wide range of third-party sensors like heart rate monitors to give you even more information about your activities.
- Nike+ Running
A popular running app, Nike+ Running does everything a run tracker app should, with the added bonus of adding friends so you can see how you stack up with how many times you run and KM’s you have done. Tracking not only the time you run in a trail, it also tracks time you have done on the treadmill.
Our Microsoft Surface Pro was provided to us as part of the Microsoft Connections Program.