Thursday, December 5, 2013

exercise? there's an app for that

Between Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas Eve, I usually hit my workout slump. It’s why one of my four goals before 2014 is to keep up my exercise schedule. Because, baby, it’s cold outside and I’d rather stay in my warm bed than head out in freezing weather for a morning run.

So I am all for anything to make exercising easier – even if it’s a phone application. Here are the three exercise apps I use on a regular basis {plus a fun one I just started using} that make my workouts easier and can help you, too.

1. Nike Plus GPS


{I kept wondering why the one on the left was a different shape than the one on the right, but then I realized I had an iPhone 4 when I ran my half.}

I have been using this app for over a year now. Before this one, I used Map My Run, but the GPS wasn’t as strong and would often quit in the middle of my run. On the other hand, Nike Plus keeps up with all my runs, my average pace and more. It tells me when I reach certain milestones like best mile time or longest run.

My favorite part of this application is a new social feature, which lets you connect with friends and compete with number of miles ran each month. The highly competitive part of me loves this feature, even if my only friends on the app are people I rarely talk to, I still have to outrun them. If you’d like to be my friend and compete with me on Nike Plus, leave a comment or send me an email and we’ll connect!

2. Charity Miles


Have you ever competed in a run for charity? You get pledges for each mile and raise money for a certain cause you are passionate about? Well, now you can do that every time you go for a run with Charity Miles. Before you head out on your favorite route, you choose which organization you would like to support, and then simply hit start.

Every mile you run raises $0.25 for the organization, and every mile you bike raises $0.10. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you hit the impact button, you see that a simple three-mile run provides 10 meals for people participating in the World Food Programme. If you are the type of person who needs every type of motivation possible to put your running shoes on, this is the app for you. Get up and get going - not only can you burn calories, but you can provide someone dinner.

3. GymBoss


When I’m not running, I’m usually doing strength training and interval workouts. This used to be extremely difficult and I would avoid any workouts with time limits because I didn’t have a workout watch or a clock nearby. And, if I tried to time intervals on my phone, it would go black in the middle of my workout or I would stop every ten seconds to turn and look at the phone to see how much time had passed.

With GymBoss, you can customize intervals to your specific needs. If you need 7 rounds of 1:00 intervals with 0:30 rest, you can do it. During the workout, the phone never goes black. But it doesn’t matter, because the application will make a beeping sound to let you know the interval is over. You can also categorize and name each interval circuit for optimal organization. So, when I was trying out this Insanity workout, I just took two minutes to set up the circuit and got to work.

Bonus: Zombie, Run!


When I decided to write this post, I was curious about what new apps had been created for fitness junkies. I get bored with my routines pretty quickly, so I am always looking for new, creative ways to jazz up my workout. Zombie, Run! was one of the first apps I found, and I was immediately intrigued. My husband and I currently have an obsession with Walking Dead and all things zombie, so this was right up my alley.

Zombie, Run! is basically a story backdrop for your run. You hit play and you’re transported to this apocalyptic town. You’re a runner getting supplies in the zombie lands to help your town survive. Each run has a particular mission, and at any time you can hear zombies breathing down your neck encouraging you to run even faster. Along the way you pick up supplies and build up your town in the application. The best part is that it doesn’t really matter how fast you run, it will work with any pace.

The app also integrates playlists from your phone into the story line. I suggest uploading music other than Ben Rector. As much as I love his new album, songs like “Beautiful” and “I Like You” really just don’t make sense when zombies are chasing after you.

What applications do you use to make your workout better/easier/more efficient?


  1. I really ought to try these. When I start running... one day... Zombie run sounds fun!

  2. I just read your post on cheating & winning on my lunch break! Good thing these GPS apps weren't in place during that 10 mile xc run/coffee break.

    But, yes, Zombie, Run! makes things so much more interesting. You kind of want to run so you can find out what happens next in the story.

  3. I always hit the holiday workout slump, too. You're not alone!

    I'm not much of a runner but I love circuit training, so I'll definitely check out GymBoss. Thanks for the tips!

  4. GymBoss has made my strength/interval workouts that much easier - AND it's free, so that makes it that much better!

  5. I've never heard of Runtastic. And I even did this big search of Running apps when I wrote this post. Maybe if you upgraded you'd be more motivated to run. ;)