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Smartphone Apps and Physical Activity

September 4, 2014 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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I’m a big fan of how much technology has advanced in supporting me to live healthy and maintain my physical activity levels. For example, with my smartphone I talk, text, email, and run software applications, called “apps”. Although there are a lot of physical activity related apps that exist; here’s a quick breakdown of some of the different types I like to use.

  • Tracking apps: These apps use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to measure a distance, such as the distance of your run. This is great for cross-country running or geocaching.
  • Reporting apps: Think of this category as an activity journal. You enter the activity you did, its length, and intensity. Based on your body type information (height, weight, etc.) it provides you an estimated energy expenditure.
  • Knowledge apps: Need to know the name of a muscle or bone? How about the number of kilometers in a marathon? These apps are great for reference or you can always call us at PAL and we’ll let you know.
  • Way-finding apps. Say you’re visiting a new city and want to find a gym or good running trail, this is for you. Even better, some guidebook apps accept feedback/reviews, so you know where the good spots are. 

There are also other ways to use technology to your ‘active’ advantage!!

    • Use it to listen to music and keep motivated through your workout
    • If you’re on a tight schedule today, the timer is a great tool to get you back before it’s too late
    • Connect a friend to come workout with you, the more the merrier

Next time you hear someone say technology isn’t useful in keeping active, whip-out your smartphone and show them how you’re using your apps to a healthy advantage!

Related Blogs

How Technology is Affecting Physical Activity

Recommended Resources

Bring Back Play Mobile App
American College of Sports Medicine: How a Smartphone Can Benefit Your Health

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