Got back to running today after a couple of weeks off. The last time I ran was on June 11th. So I figured I would get back to it. I already have 65 miles I have to work off from the donations to my Miles for Jennifer campaign. Figured a 5K would be good to get back into the swing of things.
When I run I get all tech’d out. I’m a bit of a gadget freak. I will try most gadgets and apps to see how they can fit into my workout plan. When I go out either biking or running I have several items that I take with me. First of all I have my iPhone/Apple Watch combo. This is the “hub” of my gadget wheel so to say. Almost everything I do either connects or runs on these two things. So lets get a rundown of what I use.
- Quadlock arm band/bike mount. I use the entire Quadlock system to mount my phone where ever I need to. I have the arm band for when I run. The bike mount when I ride. And the car mount for when I’m driving. This has been one of the best buys I’ve ever made. In fact the arm band is getting a bit tattered because I use it so much.
- Plantronic Bluetooth headphone. Being able to go out cord free is a must. Plus it is sweat/water-resistant so it holds up well when my big head starts sweating or it starts to rain. It sounds great and I can even take phone calls if I need to while out running or biking.
- Polar H7 heart rate monitor. The Apple Watch has a heart rate monitor also but I like the fact the H7 samples your heart rate more times per second so I get a little better reading when I’m working out. It fits well around my chest and is super easy to pair to either my iPhone or my Apple Watch.
- Fitbit Flex. Yes. I still wear my Fitbit even though I have an Apple Watch. I wear it because I like to join the challenges with my friends. And I’m pretty sure it will be a cold day in hell before Fitbit reads steps from an Apple Watch. Plus I got it super cheap a couple of years ago when my employer had a wellness partnership with Fitbit to purchase them at a discount.
- Pokemon Go Plus. Ok this might seem odd to wear while working out. But if you play Pokemon Go then you will understand. I wear it so that I can hatch eggs. And since I run a lot usually I can hatch a lot of eggs. I can only use it though when I take my iPhone with me. If I go out with my Apple Watch only then it has to stay at home also. I found the best way to keep it happy is to run the app on my phone, turn it upside down and lock it into my arm band. That way it’s still the foreground app and has the screen dimmed to reduce battery drain. Then I start my running app on my Apple Watch (series 2) which has GPS so I can still track my workout without it interfering too much with the game.
I have used many apps while working out also and have settled on a handful that seem to work well. The ones I use also allow me to cross-post the workout so I can keep up with friends on different platforms. It’s a lot of work but I enjoy being able to connect with a lot of different people. And it’s foolish to think they will all use the same app. Here are a few apps that I currently use.
- MyFitnessPal. This is my go to app for food logging. I used Weight Watchers for about 90 days when I started losing weight and didn’t care for it. So I tried MFP and loved its simplicity and massive food database. I have many people on there I consider my friends now and we all encourage each other to keep staying the course to lose weight.
- LoseIT. This is a new food logging app for me. It’s food data base pales in comparison to MFP but it has one killer feature that no one else has yet I have found. It fully integrates with iHealth. So it uses the calories burned calculated from the Apple Watch to update your CICO. Other companies need to get this feature, and fast!
- MotiFIT suite of apps (MotiFIT Run, MotiFIT Ride, MotiFIT). These all have really nice UI when it comes to reading your heart rate along with your workout stats. It also integrates nicely with the Apple Watch and will automatically export your workout to Strava. Once in Strava I can go to the website and export the .GPX file to other platforms like Runkeeper, MapMyRun, ect. This gives me the option to keep up with all my friends online no matter what app they use. The biggest downfall of the workout app on the Apple Watch. No .GPX support
- STRONG. This is the best weight lifting app I have found. It allows me to set up my workout routines on my iPhone and sync it with my Apple Watch. When I go to the gym I can leave my phone in the locker and use my watch to guide me though my workout. It even has a built-in timer between sets. This app alone has made my time in the gym more effective. Pair my headphones and heart rate monitor to my Apple Watch and I’m set for the gym.
I have tried many other gadgets and apps but these are the ones that have remained in my toolbox for the majority of my weight loss journey. If it was not for each and every one of them doing what they do well, I might not be as successful as I have been. I started this whole journey asking my husband for the Apple Watch. After using it I wanted to see if I could use technology to help me lose weight instead of relying on fad diets, ect. I’m living proof that is does indeed work. But this isn’t the end of the road for me. I will continue to use these tools to help me become more fit so I can hopefully, one day, compete in and complete an Iron Man race.