It’s time to shape up. Here are some of the best iPhone apps for fitness enthusiasts.
Running is undoubtedly one of the most accessible ways to get fit. It’s as primitive an exercise as they come, gives effective results quickly and, as a wealth of recent literature has alleged, it is what we, as humans, are programmed to do. While for our long-gone ancestors it was a means of survival, for us it’s a great leisure pursuit, and a flexible one too. And your iPhone or iPod is there to do more than simply provide the motivating soundtrack. Fitness iPhone apps can really help you monitor your daily exercise and fitness endeavors.
If you’re new to running or looking to pick it back up after a lengthy layoff, Get Running gives you realistic targets to hit in your first training sessions and a progress path to show how far you’ve come. Pushing you to three workouts a week and building up to combinations of running and walking, the original Couch 25k will have you knocking off a half hour run in no time, and has studio-recorded coaches prompting you throughout the run.
10K runner is not quite as polished but will double up your distance and offer plenty of motivational awards along the way. You’ll need to keep track of your runs so that you can keep an eye on your progress.
My Run Stats or Runner’s Log are simple and straightforward ways to record the times and distance of each training session. Choosing between them is really a matter of the add-on perks, such as whether you want to export your stats to Excel or keep track of the number of miles on your trainers.
Two of the biggest sports heavyweights, Nike and Adidas both offer very handy performance-improving apps. Nike+ GPS uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to map out your route although the GPS itself can be quite sensitive at times. Likewise, Adidas miCoach can often bark at you to speed up if the GPS is faltering a little, such as in wooded or heavily built-up areas. A cute little addition to Nike’s set up is that a double tap on the home button will switch your music to your chosen “power tune”, a motivational anthem to give you that push when you feel yourself flagging.
Both set ups also come with the optional chip that goes into the footwear, though with devices offering GPS, these are increasingly unnecessary. Perhaps Adidas’ main selling point, to justify its much higher price, can be the football or basketball add-ons, which can rack up your stats while you play a sport in which you definitely wouldn’t want to also be carrying your iPhone around.