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RunKeeper May Be My New Favorite App, Demotivated Walkers Unite!

Posted by on March 7, 2013 at 9:17 am
Plenty of stats to keep you informed on what's going down during your walk/runs.

Plenty of stats keep you informed on what’s going on during your exercises.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am big, fat, and lazy. At the tail end of my retail career, I walked two miles each way to and from work on top of almost ten miles in store, so you can see I got plenty of walkin’ on. Of course, in the two and a half years of call center work that followed, I dematerialized into a pile of human-like goo and grew to a terrible size. Merely scaling the stairs to get into my building would cause me to start huffing and puffing, to say nothing of those in worse condition than I who had been with the company for a decade-plus. Well, with my new job here at FleshEatingZipper, I knew I wanted to change that and I’ve enlisted RunKeeper to help me get back into shape.

Now, I have friends that use RunKeeper and, to be honest, it was a little demotivating to see them go on runs (not walks) that dwarf what I could do even in my peak physical condition. I was never much of a runner anyway, I was always a fan of endurance walks: ten miles in the hot sun, so forth. But don’t let the name fool you, the app has plenty in store to help even the most helpless like myself. This comes in a few key components:

Choosing your fitness plan. RunKeeper gives you a variety of schedules and goals to fit what you want to accomplish, from simply burning weight (something I’m on now) all the way up to training for 5Ks and marathons, each plan prescribes a variety of workouts and places them on a calendar for you. You’re not locked to times, but I found that while adjusting to a new 7AM wakeup time (yes, FEZ employees are up early!) getting in a nice, healthy walk before work was a good wake-up call.

Doing the exercises. With Spotify running in the background, I told RunKeeper to start the activity. You don’t even need to be in an activity, you can simply start walking and RunKeeper will keep track of whatever you do end up with. In a very clever move, the app will talk over whatever music you have playing, rather than interrupt it. You can customize the stats it gives you, but being reminded how far into your session you are is fantastic. In more complex exercises, it will notify you, step by step, what to do in a soothing female voice.

Finishing up. You could be keeping track in real-time, but that seems anti-thetical to the act of exercising, or in the case of running, pretty dangerous. Regardless, RunKeeper knows exactly what you’re doing, so on top of how long you’ve been out, it knows how far you’ve gone and how hard you’re working. It also uses this data to motivate you when you set a new record mile on top of aggregating your info.

I’d long thought of purchasing a treadmill, but with enough terrain and some outdoor preparation, why would you need one when RunKeeper is readily available? I didn’t think I could walk for half an hour straight, but RunKeeper told me I had to, so I did. I look forward to updating you with my progress, so let me know if you’ve been using this app in the comments below!

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