Tracking your fitness.
The reason we spend hours in the gym is so that we can make progress towards a specific goal. But the only true way to know we are making progress is if we are tracking the results and subsequently our achievements. The best way to do that these days is through an app. Here are our top tips for using apps and the best ones out there.
There are 4 main areas that the health and fitness apps cover- tracking of cardio, tracking of weights, tracking of food and tracking of your healthy lifestyle. The main point to be aware of is, that although the technology is good, it is still a way off being 100% accurate. But it does act as a very good guide and is more effective at keeping you to your goal than not tracking your progress.
There are lots of apps out that there you can use to track your cardiovascular output. You can use them to track running, walking and cycling as well as fixed machines like the rower and elliptical. They vary greatly in accuracy of distance but offer a good guide and are a good way of becoming competitive with yourself. The most popular are Strava (specifically for cycling), Nike and Runkeeper.
Again along the same idea there are countless apps now available to track your weights, reps and sets whilst in the gym. The website bodybuilding.com has an app body space that allows you to track all of this as well as download celebrity workouts. Another lesser known app that is quite good is Gym Buddy which will also allow you to see your previous weights from the last time you did that lift. All of these are great for keeping you on track and making sure you are constantly trying to move more weight.
There is one app that stands head and shoulders clear of the rest and is now the go to app for tracking all of your food. My Fitness Pal is a great app that allows you to manually enter your daily calorie intake and you can even scan pre existing products for ease. On its database it also has a large number of high street chain meals already inputed for you. Alongside this you can select your daily targets for calorie intake and for each specific macronutrient (fat, protein, carbohydrate).
There are a large number of apps that will record various details about your lifestyle such as sleep trackers, blood pressure, alcohol intake and stress levels. Again its the idea of accountability that makes these apps appealing. By having to record something it will make you think twice about the impact things are having upon your daily lifestyle. But again, as with the majority of the apps, still be wary about the accuracy of thing like sleep trackers.
Relatively new and still trying to find its place is the Apple Health App. Like all things new it has had its teething problems and there are still questions about its accuracy. But the ideas have a solid foundation and I fully expect it to grow and develop over the next few years. Health and lifestyle choices are becoming even more important in our modern world and Apple is looking to find a way to simplify and aid its consumers. Through the apple watch alongside the app you can monitor your heart rate, daily activity levels, daily steps and how much time you have spent sat down. These are all great tools to help the user to make small lifestyle changes that could have major benefits.
It is since I have bought an Apple watch that I have moved over to using their app. I used to always use Runkeeper to track my runs and cycling, but now I use the activity app through my Apple watch. I find it to be just as accurate and so much easier as all I need is my watch. It also has the added benefit of recording my heart rate. This then syncs in nicely with My Fitness Pal where I track all my food. Using My Fitness Pal is a great way, I find, to keep myself accountable. On numerous occasions I have been in a supermarket or high street food chain and I have changed my order or walked out after scanning it on My Fitness Pal. I think being aware of our intake, how many calories are in it and what effect that has on our daily goal is massively important. Finally I use Gym Buddy to track all of my weights sessions. This is a great way to make sure I progress week on week and I am always striving to lift heavier. I have found it to be as good as any of the other apps that do a similar thing and its very easy to use. All of these combined give me a much better idea of how I am progressing then not tracking anything at all. Give it a go!
If you have any questions about how to incorporate tracking in your lifestyle then get in touch through http://jdpfitness.wpengine.com.