Phones are having bigger and bigger impacts on individuals’ lives. There is so much they are capable of doing, like waking you up in the morning, helping you navigate to new places, playing your music collection, connecting you with your friends and with vast sources of knowledge, and documenting your life.
One thing we’re seeing more and more of in the mobile app world recently is apps that are written to motivate their users. These include budgeting apps, time management apps, and fitness apps. Fitness apps in particular are interesting because of the breadth of features they can provide for users.
Some users want a whole package that acts as an exercise coach or a running coach. Others just want simple features that will have some sort of impact on fitness. Let’s examine some of the features that phone apps for fitness are seeing in 2016.
One feature is as simple as finding good music for running. If you can find the tempo at which you like to jog or run, you might want to find music that lets you jog in time with the music. Some apps will feel the beat of your running and create playlists for you that play at your running tempo, so you don’t have to manage any of that personally. This is a great feature for anyone who likes to listen to varieties of music while they jog.
Some apps let you track caloric intake, of course. Whether they make you feel good about eating well or they make you feel badly about making poor eating decisions, they exist to have a positive impact on your eating habits. You can set goals for how much or how little you want to do, and you will be evaluated on these goals. Often, these apps will track and graph your weight loss and gain for you. Having such a convenient, easily accessible visual of exactly how much progress you have been making can be a great motivator. Tracking food intake can also be very useful when you are trying to identify which foods are causing stomach problems.
Some apps will act as a running coach. They can show you the path you took during a run and keep you updated aurally on how far you have travelled and your current pace. Often, these apps will notify you through the app or with an email when you haven’t been keeping up on your running schedule. This nagging is perhaps a little obnoxious, but it can have a great impact on getting you into shape.
Apps that show maps of your run can also turn this into a social feature. Some apps will let you see which paths to take in your area, letting you search for certain distances that you want to run and showing search results that are convenient for you. If you want to upload a particularly useful route you use, you are free to do that, sharing your discovery with everyone else in your community, with these apps.
With Bluetooth-enabled fitness trackers becoming more popular, a lot of spy apps for cell phones are able to measure useful things about you without much work. Some apps will track your heart rate while you exercise or while you are resting, and they can provide this information visually on a graph. This is great for visualizing long-term improvement in cardiovascular health, and it can also help you set effective workouts that push you enough but never too much.
If you want to become more fit, you should consider how much your phone can help you with this endeavor. There is a great psychological impact of being able to see progress visually and share it with friends.