Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GUEST POST: Jarred Harris-- a layman's take on fitness apps!

This is a guest post by Jared Harris, an upstart in the online writing world looking to share his knowledge about fitness, tech, and how the two cultures intertwine.


Let’s be honest: some of us are walking around with humongous smartphones in our pockets, purses, and attached to our hips. Our devices are already large enough, but then, some of us add even more weight to them when we buy those shock-resistant OtterBox cases. Sometimes, I feel like carrying my phone is a workout in itself—the mental anguish of keeping up with it and the physical exertion of having to carry it. If I’m at the gym, I often leave my phone in the locker room, or if I’m going
on a run, I leave my phone at the house on the kitchen table (everyone, for safety reasons, I do not recommend leaving your phone at home, especially if you’re going on a late evening jog).
However, there are plenty of occasions when having your phone on you can elevate your workouts and push you harder. There’s no denying that when it comes to working out in this digital age, smartphone apps have revolutionized and encouraged health and fitness. So, I want to share some of my favorite apps—the ones that I lean on when I don’t have a workout partner or a personal trainer, and I need to set some clear goals and boundaries for myself. 

Oreo likes the "Swatting Skills" app to improve his ability to beat up on the dogs.

Noom - This was the app that help me put my entire workout agenda into perspective. It’s not totally dedicated to the workout part, as it gives a significant amount of attention to food intake and meal planning. It’s important that you understand how the foods you’re eating are either working with or against your workout plans. Also, Noom has a “coach” feature. I don’t know about you all, but when I see or hear the word coach, it puts my butt in gear. Sorry, I had some pretty no-nonsense sports coaches in high school. Anyhow, this is a more casual app that helps you just as much as it makes you hustle.
I don’t use it as much anymore, but as you can tell from this article on Re/code, the app is gaining popularity and even more investors. 

Couch-to-5K - This one also has a coach, and will measure your pace as you’re training for your first or next 5K. I like this one because as you’re jogging, the coach is constantly chiming in with tips and encouragement. The only drawback is that you have to keep your phone from locking if you want to hear the coach at each interval, but I’ve found that its built-in GPS is a good enough feature to forgive the silent coach. 

RunKeeper - I’ve conquered the 5K and the half-marathon. Now, I’m training for the big kahuna: 26.2 miles. So far, my reliable companion has been RunKeeper, and with its built-in sharing feature, I have been able to post my progress on all of my social media accounts. Yes, in a way, I’m bragging to my friends, but it has also helped me build a support system for the coveted goal of completing a marathon. This app will work on any platform, but what excites me most is that Verizon Wireless announced that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will come with a built-in heart monitor, which I can’t wait to put to use in tandem with RunKeeper. 

Zeel - You would have figured that I would have listed this one first, right? What’s more awesome than a massage app? In case you’re unfamiliar with the app, I should warn you that it will NOT turn your smartphone into your personal masseuse. It will, however, link you to experts and practitioners that will help you with your massage techniques and let you book appointments with alternative healthcare providers. 

Zombies, Run 2! - Hey, if you’re not jamming to your workout playlist, there’s another way to enjoy yourself while you run—escaping zombies! What else will make you high-tail it? This is an app I usually load up during the last leg of one of my three-mile jogs. I prefer a light sprint during the last 400-800 meters of my runs, and this is perfect for the upshift. So far, I’ve only used the updated version of this app a handful of times. It’s not the most sophisticated app in the world, but I do agree with Lifehacker when they say that the new interface is a lot more attractive than the first Zombies, Run. 

Thanks for the article, Jared!  

Do you have a fitness app you love?  Questions?  Comments?  Post 'em here! 


  1. Nice and informative tips you have shared about how to became fit with the help of App. As we are working with the Personal Trainer. Thanks for sharing this knowledgeable post.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely try those apps.

    Fitness trainer