I can hardly believe that I’m writing this blog… let alone that I have favourite “apps”!
I am one of those people that always snickered when people texted, hated carrying a cel phone with me and relied on a pad and pen to keep notes. I had a cel phone that I rarely carried with me with which I had never sent a text message. It was the old style flip phone that, basically, made calls and received calls. Well, that all changed this past Christmas when my wife decided it was time for me to upgrade and she gave me a Samsung Galaxy 2S phone with “Android” techonology. Wow!
Was I impressed? Actually no, I was annoyed. And stressed! The thought of learning how to use it and having to read this big manual was really freaking me out. And what if I turned into one of “those” people, constantly looking into my hands tweeting about life instead of actually enjoying it? After much eye-rolling, my 11 year old daughter walked me through it and several months later, I’m like a pro using this incredibly powerful tool for all kinds of things.
Besides making calls, texting, receiving emails, reading the daily news and playing games, I’ve really, really enjoyed finding and using a variey of fitness applications offered for free by the Android system.
My 3 favourites are;
I use Run Keeper for my weekly mountain bike rides. It measures your distance, your pace, your calories burned and your time. You can set it to announce out loud where you are (I keep it in the pocket of my Camel Back water pack and look forward to updates every so often). Run Keeper also maps out your ride (or run) using a GPS system and will provide a synopsis for you to archive if you’d like. There are multiple settings for things like running, cycling, hiking, skiing etc… Super easy to use.
Here is a screen shot of a Run Keeper activity log;
2- Tabata Timer
When I’m short on time, or I just want to push the intensity higher in my cardio training, without increasing duration, I love doing Tabata drills.
Choose an endurance exercise like squat jumps, jumping jacks, burpees or even high knee running on the spot. Perform the exercise for 20 hard seconds of effort, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Repeat 8 times for a 4 minute “Tabata”.
The Tabata Timer APP times out the work and the rest and signals the start/ finish with either a whistle or a horn as it counts them down for you. You just set it up to count as many repeats as you like…. and then you get to it. Simple.
3- Workout Trainer by Skimble
I have to create workout plans for clients every single day, so when I do my own workouts, it’s sometimes fun to let someone else (like this app) do it for me.
Workout Trainer by Skimble offers a selection of workouts for different bodyparts or for strength, endurance or core training. The total time for the workout is given as well as the intensity level. You can preview exercises and then choose to “Do Workout” if you’re ready to go. I found it great for times when I train at home with no equipment.
As I get to know my phone better and appreciate all of it’s features, I’m sure that I’ll find more “favourite” fitness apps. When I do, I’ll share them with you!
Ernie Schramayr- All Canadian Fitness