Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...oh wait, wrong post. Oops!
Hi, my name is Bari and I normally post over at livelaughrunbreathe. I'm a 40 year old mom to teenaged twins (a girl & a boy), and I work full time as a Speech-Language Pathologist for a public school system. In the past 10 or 11 years; I’ve lost 50 pounds, gained 30 of it back, and then spent the past year re-losing said 30 pounds by taking up running. What, you may ask, am I doing over at Monica Wants It? Well, Monica put a call out on twitter a while back looking for guest bloggers. I asked what her readers could possibly want from me. She thought since I love my iPhone so much and often tweet from apps I've used for running or weight loss, I might have a nugget or two of wisdom to share. Plus, you Verizon folks will get to enjoy the awesomeness that is iPhone too! So here I am.
Now before I get started on my favorite things, I should state that the opinions here are strictly my own. I have purchased my phone and downloaded these apps with my own cash and haven't been compensated by Apple or AT&T in any way (but how cool would that be?). Also, I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. Before you get started on a weight loss or fitness program, you should consult someone who really knows what they're talking about. Now, without further ado, a few of my favorite things!
- My iPhone! I have a 3GS because I couldn’t be patient enough to wait 6 months for the iphone4 to come out. Now I hear the 3GS is super cheap – like under 50 bucks! My only complaint is the battery life drains REALLYFAST if you are running multiple apps. It lasted for my 1/2 marathon, but just barely. From what I’ve read, the iPhone4’s battery may be a bit better. Now, if you don’t have the iPhone, either stop reading, because the rest of this post will just seem silly, or go out and get yourself one. I’ll wait…
OK, are you still with me? Sweet! Let’s continue…
- Extra battery case. Because these apps tend to drain the battery quite rapidly, I have an extra battery case like this one. It works very well without adding a lot of weight or bulk to your phone. I actually bought this before a vacation to Disney World and my phone managed to survive tweeting, face booking, picture taking, etc, etc all day in the park.
- Electric Miles: This is the app for the DailyMile website. If you are not already on DailyMile, I strongly suggest you sign up. It is essentially a social networking site for posting your fitness activities. You get lots of friends encouraging you by commenting on your workouts or calling you out if you haven’t posted in awhile. The app, Electric Miles, allows you to post and comment from your phone, without having to go out to the site. It’s super easy to use and if you have your Daily Mile account set to auto post to twitter and Facebook, the app will do that as well.
- iMapMyRun: As the app states, “Everything you need from couch potato to marathoner.” I have the “free” version of the app, and other than the occasional ad, it is does everything I want it to do. The app lets you use your phone’s GPS to track distance, time, pace, splits (I’ve never figured out how to access this-maybe it’s in the paid version), map routes as you run them and gives you voice feedback along the way. The app works whether you are running, walking, biking, hiking, whatever. When you log a workout, it has selections for the gym, sports, etc. but I have never used these features. I’ve only used it for running, biking, and walking. From what I can tell, the GPS is quite accurate, but like any GPS device, weather conditions will affect the accuracy of the mapping. One nice benefit to this app is the ability to edit the workout after it’s been recorded. I frequently use this feature to adjust the time (since the 30 seconds putting the phone in and out of my pocket and waiting for traffic will change my pace so much - LOL). I’ve also used it to fix the distance if clouds or snow have goofed up the GPS. You can multitask with other apps, take pictures, tweet, etc and the app keeps recording. When you are done (or even during your workout if you’ve selected that feature) you can tweet or Facebook your workout. You can also access your account online.
- RunKeeper Pro: I will admit I am much less familiar with this app as I just downloaded it in January because it was free (normally it is $9.99). I’ve only used it once on a very snowy, cloudy 2 mile run. The GPS was off .2 at the 1 mile mark but by the time I got home, was only off by .05. Pretty good considering the weather. I liked that I could start my iPod from RunKeeper and I did stop and take a photo while the app was running without the app stopping. I was also able to view the mile splits after the workout was completed. I don’t know if you can use other apps while it’s running, but I really haven’t played with it that much. Like MapMyRun, you can send your workouts to Twitter or Facebook and you have an online account that tracks your progress.
- Livestrong/daily plate: This awesome little app allows you to track your daily calories, figure out how many calories you burn with various activities, track your weight and more, all for $2.99! There are over 620,000 foods listed, including many common brands, plus countless fitness activities. Online, there is a support community plus the ability to generate your own recipes (and calculate their nutrition info). When I was actively working to lose weight, I used this app religiously.
- C210k and C25k: For anyone interested in starting a running or run/walk program, I highly recommend the couch to 5k and couch to 10k programs. There are several apps for both running programs. Some have their own music in the background, others allow you to use your own playlists or receive the audio cues without music. Some also have social network settings as well.
So, there you go! Everything (not really, who am I kidding?) you need to know to get started using that iPhone and Get Moving! Hopefully you learned of a new app or are interested in learning even more. Thank you to Monica for giving me the opportunity to share!
Thank you Bari! You should definitely check out Bari’s blog over at http://www.livelaughrunbreathe.com/ Bari is such a wonderful twipal (twitter + pal) and she is a running maven. She inspires me to be great, and I thank her again for taking the time to compile THIS awesome list of apps. Now, I know you’re probably anxious to go download them all, but before you do that leave a comment for a chance to win some cute floral earrings to wear as you workout!