Gadgets are here to make our lives easier, and when we think of typical gadget-users, the last thing to spring to mind is the image of a sporty, active character, but that’s well and truly all over now!
First of all, it’s easy to search for fitness-dedicated apps on the Android Market, some popular examples include Calorie Counter, My Tracks, Cardio-Trainer etc... But I am going to concentrate on how you can use your existing hardware and apps to keep track of your health, fitness, and general lifestyle without Fitness-Dedicated apps.
Here are a few tips, food for thought if you will, to get the most out of your android phone and genuinely associate gadgetry with a healthy lifestyle.
Tip #1: Seeing is believing! – the simplest way to track your progress with your phone would be to use your camera, before starting a new routine, take some ‘Before’ pictures, don’t look at them again until you feel comfortable in taking your ‘After’ pictures. Remember, ‘Before’ and ‘After’ pictures don’t have to be pictures of your body in a mirror reflection! Use your imagination – Take pictures of your meal ideas, portion sizes, your bathroom scales, sporting events etc... All this ties in with the next paragraph.
Tip #2: Don’t go it alone! – The best thing about smartphones today is that they all promote social networking, announcing your change of lifestyle, weight-loss progress and organising sporting events has never been easier or more effective. With literally a few taps of a touch screen you can upload pictures and video to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and various other hosting/social networking websites. There really is no better feeling than reading the congratulating comments on your new slim figure or your local five-a-side football teams win...
Tip #3: Clever Navigating! – One of my favourite features of the Google suite, all available free on the Android Market, is the Maps package. The Google Maps ensemble consists of many components including Navigation, Google Places, Google Earth and the core Maps program, the possibilities of these components are endless. Have you recently started cycling to work recently? Use Maps to plan your route, calculate the distance and make a note of your times. Don’t forget the most common feature of Google Maps too – finding your nearest gym, football ground or Weight Watchers Club is as easy tapping the magnifying glass icon in the corner of your screen, from there you don’t just find locations, you are aided with the ability to sort locations based on distance, navigation routes, review recommendations and all sorts of other categories.
Tip #4: Let music set your pace! – In many studies it has been proven that listening to music increases your potential in the gym, listening to music relaxes you, regulates your heart beat and entertains you whilst you exercise, and any form of entertainment distracts you from any strenuous activity. Use your phones built-in music player and you’ll find cardio sessions more enjoyable, I have found on my ‘Warm down’ sessions on the exercise bikes made easier with Angry Birds too!
Tip #5: Routine Routine Routine!!! – The most effective way of retaining an active lifestyle is to keep a routine, setting specific days/times for regular activities and sticking to it, after a month or so you’ll automatically find yourself doing what once felt like a real pain to keep up. Guess what? Your Android phone has built into it an alarm clock with multiple alarms, a full calendar with schedule/reminder alerts and a social calendar which links up to Facebook and other social networking sites, so no excuses!!
These five tips are not an exhaustive list of the possibilities, and as a self confessed gym-phobic I am using my android phone to create an active new routine for myself – If any of you have any suggestions yourself for how your stock-apps can help you with your lifestyle feel free to comment!