August 4, 2014
Ah summer. The heat, the beach, the road trips, the food. If you aren’t careful, summer can take a toll on your well-intentioned exercise and health goals. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Add a few apps to that little smartphone in your pocket and you’ll keep moving all summer long.
Here are five apps to consider in making the best of your summer activities:
Zombies, Run! - Six to Start
Think Mario Brothers meets your next workout. Zombie Run is one of the more successful mobile fitness apps to incorporate gaming into your exercise routine. Their tagline says it all: “You tie your shoes, put on your headphones, take your first steps outside. You’ve barely covered 100 yards when you hear them. They must be close – and the only thing you can do is RUN.” If you need a little motivation to keep you running, try Zombie Run.
Most of us have tried keeping a food journal, but what if it could be easier? What if we could take a picture of our food instead? Well, technology may not be able to detect the number of calories in your meal from Red Lobster, but with Meal Snap you can keep a picture log of what you eat, offering a nice compromise between doing nothing and keeping a full food journal.
Digifit is one of my favorite mobile fitness apps, offering an engaging fitness experience using your mobile phone and heart-rate monitor. No more guessing what your ideal heart rate zone may be—Digifit keeps track during the session and over time. Want to show your personal trainer what you’ve done while on vacation? Show them your Digifit history complete with distance, time, heart rate and more. Try one of their four apps: Digifit iCardio, iRunner, iBiker or Spinner.
With more than 65 million users, MyFitnessPal has become one of the most popular mobile fitness apps, providing access to the world’s largest nutrition and calorie database with more than 4 million foods and counting. I’ve seen my own best results when using MyFitnessPal and sharing my fitness and food tracking journey with my Facebook and Twitter friends. This app also integrates my FitBit step data for a full picture of my daily physical activity.
Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to hit the gym during the summer months. What if you could make a little cash while working out by challenging your friends to live a healthier lifestyle as well? You can with Dietbet. Challenge your friends or join a featured group to lose 4 percent of your body weight over four weeks. Everyone who loses the 4 percent splits the pot. Not a bad way to stay motivated while on vacation knowing if you don’t hit the gym, Aunt Betty might beat you!
Ted Vickey, M.S., is the Senior Consultant - Fitness Technology for ACE. He’s been an ACE Certified Personal Trainer since 1992 and has been called “one of the most connected men in fitness.” He currently serves as Senior Advisor for Disruptive Health Technologies at the Canyon Ranch Institute and is a member of the Board of Directors for FIT-C. He holds a BS in exercise science from Penn State and a MS in international business with an emphasis on entrepreneurship from the University of Limerick. After serving as the Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations and building a successful corporate fitness management company, Ted decided to live his bucket list and move to Ireland to golf and begin work on a doctorate degree in technology and fitness from National University of Ireland at Galway. His Ph.D. in Engineering with research in physical activity, social networking and mobile technology is expected in 2014.