The above photo, thank you Flickr Creative Commons, is not me though I am doing the Crossfit workout which is what he’s doing. Part of Crossfit and many other effective workouts is charting progress. For my weight loss, the most important part of helping me achieve my goals is also tracking progress. Setting some goals and tracking your progress really helps to stay focused and on task! To that end I’m going to share with you some mobile apps that I’ve been using which help me do just that. I’m on he Android platform so that’s what we’ll be looking at today. For all of these you can find an iPhone version or alternative. I’ve posted screenshots of what each app looks like on your phone below my brief descriptions of what it is and why I use it.
First up is Endomondo. Endomondo offers versions for multiple mobile platforms and both free and a paid “Pro” version. What It Does: Endomondo is most adept at tracking your runs, cycling, hikes or anything you may be doing where you’re moving from one palace to the next. It does this by using the GPS radio in your phone to track and chart your progress. It can track your speed, elevation, distance and time and record that information to a map which shows your route and the previously mentioned data in a nice graph. I really like that it also has a very feature rich web interface which allows you to enter more than just the kinds of workouts which chart distance and speed. You can record free weight workout info and just about any other workout you can think of. In addition to that they’ve added a social element to it by allowing you to challenge friends who are also using the service as well as post your workouts to your Facebook profile (be mindful though that your results will also show a google map of the route you run regularly).
The next app I’m using is Libra Weight Loss (http://www.facebook.com/LibraWM). This app very simply allows me to chart my pound loss via line graph. The feature I really love, being the neurotic guy I am, is that the app will tell me how long its going to take to reach my weight loss goal by using the data I input as I weigh myself weekly. You fall off the wagon and that goal looms further in the distance, but if you stick to it, you get to see your projected “D” Day (D for dropped all this weight) coming at you sooner and sooner. Great motivation to stay the course! It also shows BMI info and a few other relevant stats and figures. Your charted weight loss overtime can be zoomed in on so you can look at a snapshot or the big picture. Given my current rate of weight loss, I’m on track to reach my goal of 210lbs by September 29th! w00t!!1
Next up is Every Trail. This app tracks and charts your outdoor off-road adventures and so much more. Want to go for a hike but are unfamiliar with the area? Fire up your phone’s GPS and use it to check out trail suggestions in your area. You can see those trails on a map along with any photos that other users have taken along the way. You’ll also be able to see elevation, distance and other information. There are both paid and free versions as well and a web portal which is feature rich and very interactive.
Many people want some motivating tunes to listen to while they sweat off the weight and though the built-in media player on my Android phone does a great job of this, I wanted something a little more robust so I use WinAmp for Android. Many of you may be familiar with the popular music player for Windows and now you can have that same great piece of software on your Android phone. Though the software has some great features like the ability to stream internet radio, I chose to use it mainly for the great widget it comes with. The widget allows me to close the app and just have the basic controls and interface I need during my workout. I can play, pause,forward and reverse, shuffle, play all and more from the tiny widget which is a much needed efficiency when I’m focusing more on my work out.
Last, and I know some folk may not see this as an “app” but I also use twitter and Facebook. Not for tracking or charting but for motivoational support and accountability. I post status updates about my achievement and failures and my awesome community of family and friends are there to cheer me on or help push past sticking points.