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Sweating with help from your smartphone

July 05, 2013|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE | crystal.schelle@herald-mail.com
  • Apps help those wanting to get fit to keep track of their progress, play games and actually win some prizes
Crystal Schelle

I’ve been on my own weight loss journey this past year and have been closing in on 60 pounds on my way to my goal.

Traditionally, to help motivate me I’ve always used a simple hanging calendar and put a check on each day that I either go to the gym or do some activity that causes me to break a sweat.

But I’m also a person who likes to be plugged in and I have a weird love for all things apps on my iPhone.

I’ve found several free apps that have help to motivate me, keep me in my social circles and just help track my progress. Here are just a few that have helped to keep motivate me:

 EveryMove. This app helps you to keep track of your activity by putting in the activity, the time and duration. You can choose from a large selection of activities. The only downside is it’s hard to plug in the 30-minute circuit workout out that my  gym offers, instead you need to kind of guess how you want to file your workout. The great thing about this app is that you can earn free stuff such as jewelry, gift certificates and DVD rentals. And because experts tell you that getting friends and family involved helps to motivate, the app allows you to build a network. You can tag others who are working out with you or you send someone a “Way to go!” And you can tag your activity on Facebook.

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 StepTrace. This app basically works like a pedometer, but with a map. Hit record and it traces the amount of steps you take. It’s fun to reflect on how many steps you actually did take in a week or it sometimes shows you that you’ve been on your rear a little too long.

 MyFitness Pal. This app allows you to sign in using your Facebook account, again promoting the social networking aspect. The app has a diary where you can log in your food and exercise. You can plug in your weight each time you get on the scale, which allows you to graph your progress over the weeks and months. A Friends section connects you with others by sending messages to your pals, or reminding you when your friend hasn’t logged in for a few weeks and to send her a message because “She might need some encouragement.” One great thing I like about this app is it can connect you to other apps, such as EveryMove. 

FitnessGames and Charity by Striiv. I’m still just learning how to use this app, but it’s been a lot of fun. The app motivates you through games. With each step you can climb a building, start a race, keep track of your steps for charity or build a magical island that has been powered by the steps. It might be silly, but if it motivates you there’ll be no more laughing when you look into the mirror. 


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