There's An App For That

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Exercise & Diet Apps

Over the years, I have found some fun and useful apps to help with exercise and managing my diet. When I was 46, I was going through a difficult time and thought it would be therapeutic to take up running. Boy was I right.

So how does someone who has never run for exercise before learn to run. I used an app (it was actually a podcast), went to a local track and the rest is history. I am still running 11 years later. The podcast is called Couch To 5K. It made everything so simple that the only way I wouldn't succeed was to just not do it. Over the next few years, I became an avid runner, eventually competing in 5Ks. Now, I mostly do trail runs in the summer.

Couch To 5K is still useful, but dated. I now use an app called Run Keeper and it is an app that I use on my iPhone. I have used it since 2010 to track most of my runs, hikes, walks, etc. Not all my runs have been recorded due to messing up when hitting the start button or not having my phone when I ran, but those that have been recorded add up to 1,500 miles. Run Keeper tracks, my speed, elevation, and has GPS to show exactly where I ran. The basic app is free. There is an amped up version you can get for a small cost but I have not found that I need it; maybe I will give it a try. 

Food apps are another story. I have tried many different apps for tracking how much and what I eat. My favorite is MyFitnessPal. It has a social aspect that I do not use but for the more extroverted person it is probably fun. It tracks everything you want it to like weight, calories, macros, nutritional data, it provides diet tips, recipes, and more. I have used MyFitnessPal for at least six years. You can get in on your desktop and phone and they sync. I highly recommend it and it is also free.

There are many exercise, nutrition, and fitness apps available. Many are free and others cost only a few dollars. When I was in my late 30s, I was at my all-time highest weight. I needed to lose 20 lbs. I joined the online weight watchers program and used their app on my phone. I lost 10 pounds in one month. This was my first attempt at dieting and I was so impressed with how easy this app made losing weight. I lost the second10 pounds at a nice pace over the next six months. This slow pace gave me a fighting chance of keeping the weight off and so far, I have. I have never had to lose more than 3 or 4 pounds since. This app costs a little but was cheaper than a lot of gimmicks out there. 

As I see it today, apps and podcasts can be of help if you want to improve your health. Try a bunch of them. Figure out what works for you and go for it. My philosophy has always been to start slow and test the waters. I put my toe in, then my foot and then, before I know it, I am all the way in and happy I made the decision to at least try. 

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That's it for this week! Thanks for stopping by!