Friday, May 14, 2010

Get Fit With Your Phone's Apps

I only recently joined the technology revolution by finally trading in my old school, very basic cell phone for an iPhone. And let's just say I didn't completely do it willingly--I needed my current phone to die before I bit the bullet. But in exploring all the new features I've been missing out on for years--from the simplest perk like text messages that don't take ages to type to the ease of internet at my fingertips--I continue to remember the phrase Apple's grilled into my head: "There’s an app for that." 

How many times have you heard that phrase when it comes to iPhones and iPod Touchs, and now even with Androids, BlackBerrys, Palm PREs and smartphones? Making dinner reservations, there's an app. Identifying a song you like, there's an app. Scheduling a yoga class, there's an app. Access to my local yoga studio's schedule is only the start of the fitness-focused apps. From class schedules to mileage trackers, you'll be hard-pressed to not find an app to keep you on top of your workout. Add one—or all—of these fitness-focused apps to your phone and you’ll never feel like your workout has to suffer when you can’t make it to a training session.

Go Swim. You can’t make it to swim practice and want some drills to improve your stroke. You can’t remember what drill your coach suggested you practice—you know its name but not how to do it. Sound familiar? Enlist the help from this free iPhone app that features a comprehensive library of more than 50 drills illustrated in photos and videos. Go Swim doesn’t just offer drills, you can also stay on top of all your swimming news while interacting with other athletes on the Fan Wall. Free, available in the iTunes store.

CardioTrainer + Racing. If you’ve heard of the Virtual Training Partner available on Garmin Forerunners, Android users can get the benefits of that program on their phones. That means: This app challenges you to beat your old times by offering a virtual race simulator that include a voice shouting into your ear to tell you how ahead or behind you are from your target. CardioTrainer is free on its own, $2.99 with the Racing component, available in Android Market.

iMapMyRun/iMapMyRide. Want to repeat that training ride you did last week with the triathlon group? How about following the 5K route you’ll see at your next triathlon or the 13.1 miles of the Rock ‘n’ Roll half? This free iPhone app uses your phone’s GPS technology to map your routes, which you can then share with friends and workout partners. Plus track your speed, pace, distance covered and more on your next ride or run, and use it with and for more personalization. Free, available in the iTunes store.

FitDeck. You’re training on your own today and desperately need some ideas to keep you from doing the same routine for core work, stretching or strength training. You need FitDeck, which works on most mobile devices, to spit out slides that will guide you through a workout. And you can’t use the excuse you skipped because you didn’t have weights or resistance bands: It has exercises categorized as upper, lower, middle and full body that you can do anywhere. $9.99, available at

Lose It. You’ve learned that what you eat is just as important as how hard you train when it comes to reaching your athletic goals. So keep tabs on your calorie intake—and outtake at a spin session or road run—with this free iPhone app. That’s Fit (link: called it a “glorified calorie counter” but its food database is helpful to make sure you’re refueling properly after training. Free, available at the iTunes store.

These are only five app suggestions for your phone and smart device. There are tons more to download either via your favorite fitness website (i.e. Women’s Health magazine and Shape magazine) or at your phone’s online store. Just search fitness and you’ll unlock the possibilities—and your training will thank you.

Photo grabbed from Robert Scoble at flickr.

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