Getting Fit On your PhonePosted: July 5, 2016 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
Smartphones have become an additional appendage for a large majority of Americans. Leaving the house, many would rather forget their wallet at home than be caught for a few hours without their phone in hand. Most of this seeming-addiction comes from the constant connectivity that our phones offer us, leaving us connected to family, friends and even to our work around the clock, 365 days in a year.
The constant connection to our phones might not be the best social development ever made, but it also might not be the worst. When you are trying to lose weight, you can start putting your phone to work for you. There are many fitness apps that can help you track your goals, connect with others who are trying to lose weight, and even motivate you to go out and exercise.
The Best Fitness Apps
There is a fitness app out there for absolutely everyone. From the hardcore marathon trainer to the trick-me-into-exercising gamer. The latest iteration of fitness-inspiration is the viral app Pokémon Go, which uses augmented reality to allow gamers to find Pokémon in “real life” by wandering around their neighborhood as an avatar keeps up on their digital map. In this new game, you can earn badges and actually incubate Pokémon by walking certain distances. Within just 24 hours of downloading the game, people who consider themselves non-exercisers reported walking 6 miles in a single day, all in an effort to “catch ‘em all.”
What makes this a great model for a fitness app? Fitness apps are designed to make working out a bit more interesting, and they track your progress. Motivation to get outside and walk, medals when you hit certain movement goals—the Pokémon Go app is a fitness app in all but name.
Of course, you don’t need to be into building your digital Pokedex to take advantage of your smartphone in helping you get fit. While the Pokémon Go app is a fitness app disguised as a clever game, similar to the Zombie Run app which allows you to collect points by running away from zombies on your running route, there are other apps that are a lot more straightforward and fitness minded.
Here are a few popular fitness apps worth exploring:
- Charity Miles: This app helps you raise money for charity with every mile. Companies sponsor the app, donating doesn’t cost you a dime. You walk a mile, and a charity of your choice gets funded. That simple.
- Map My Run: This app helps you create great walking and running routes, track your time and progress along that route, and connect with other people who are runners or walkers in your area.
- Fitnet: If walking or running aren’t your thing, then an app like fitnet can help you fit in smaller workouts—most between five and seven minutes—all using the camera on your phone to track how well you are following along with the instructions, giving you your very own personal trainer in your pocket.
Your phone can be a great motivational factor in helping you improve your personal fitness. If you are just getting started with exercise, check in with your medical weight loss doctor for tips and guidance on staying safe while working out.