Getting in shape one app at a time
I’ve recently completed a Bachelors degree in Software Engineering and the past few months have been grueling. With the work load I had, along with a dissertation, I found myself exercising less and eating convenient (unhealthy) food more. I now face the problem of not being able to fit into my only suit for graduation day, and unable to afford a gym membership. This gave me the idea of using my Galaxy Nexus as a personal trainer.What I did was challenge myself to fit back into my suit by commencement — July 17th. I’m looking at using a combination of apps such as ones to track my runs through GPS and others to track calorie intake or calculate body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI). I’ll record my progress and give an update half way through with some mini reviews of the apps I’ve been using. Finally, the plan is to finish with an update and a decision on if you really need that gym membership or if your smartphone, some apps, and the great outdoors will suffice.The apps I’m planning on using are:EndomondoRunKeeperAdidas MiCoachMyFitnessPalFitBitAccurate Body Fat CalculatorBMI CalculatorZombies, Run! Endomondo, RunKeeper and MiCoach are all exercise trackers including GPS tracking for running or cycling so it will be good to compare the three. MyFitnessPal and FitBit are weight and calorie trackers and the two calculators are pretty self-explanatory. The most interesting of the lot though is “Zombies, Run!” as it involves a game and story to help motivate you to go running. One cool feature is that it plays a radio broadcast in between the songs in your music playlist alerting you of the zombie outbreak. It’s currently out on iOS but is due on Android on the 14th June so I’ll begin using it in the second half of the challenge. I’m also using a Tune Belt armband for getting a good GPS signal while out running.So I guess I best give you some vital statistics on myself so you can compare them to the end results, here they are:Height: 6ftWeight: 209lbs (95KG)Waist: 39.75 inches (measured around navel)Chest: 40 inchesNeck: 15.5 inchesBody fat: 25.10%BMI: 28.4If any readers out there have any suggestions for other fitness apps they’ve used and found useful or ones that are a little bit quirky like “Zombies, Run!” then let me know in the comments. Feel free to leave some feedback on the experiment, including what has and hasn’t worked for you as well.