Tech Talk

Tech Talk: Fitness Apps

I admire people who are dedicated to their health and maintain a regular workout plan. My husband is in that group. He uses Strava (strava.com) to track his rides and runs and is motivated to achieve a KOM (King of the Mountain) or PR (personal record). I, on the other hand, hate to sweat and have yet to find anything that motivates me long enough to create a habit. I figure I’m not alone in this, so I researched apps to help me on my journey to get in shape.

There are three key things I want in an app: the ability to customize my workout, listen to music while being coached through exercises, and integrate with other fitness apps. SWORKIT (sworkit.com) meets these requirements and more. You can use the app on your mobile device, tablet or desktop. Based on your fitness goals, it guides you to select a workout plan to help you achieve them. It has a variety of options, from cardio to yoga. The app even allows you to cut specific exercises from your workout, change their order or add new ones. You can listen to an iTunes or Spotify playlist while working out, and since it tracks your workouts, it connects with Google Fit, MyFitnessPal and Strava to give you credit for walks, runs and rides!

Another app I explored is BodBot. It has many great features, including customizing your workout and integrating with Google Fit and Fitbit. The coaching isn’t as good as SWORKIT, although unlike SWORKIT, this app shows you areas of your body you don’t want to put strain on and asks if you are fatigued. This feature allows the user to track what muscles hurt—a great feature for those of us new to all of this!

>> Other options: If you are an Apple watch owner, Activity is a built-in tracker that encourages you to move, exercise and burn calories. I am a Fitbit Blaze owner and have used Fitbit for years to track my activity, food and water intake, and weight. The Fitbit Coach app has a full set of workout programs, but the customization is limited. My running friends love MapMyRun (mapmyrun.com) and Runtastic (runtastic.com) as alternatives to Strava.

I’m sitting here eating a cookie while writing this, but now, I have a better way to get in shape. There are great apps available to remind me to exercise; now, I just have to get in the habit of actually doing it! I would love to hear about your favorite workout apps or what you use to stay motivated.

Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and CEO of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency delivering smart digital solutions. Follow Spry Digital on Twitter (@sprydigital), Facebook (facebook.com/sprydigital), Instagram (@sprydigital) or LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/spry-digital-llc).

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