Getting Fit via Phone Apps? Seriously?

Smartphone. Black Smartphone, blue screen with icons.

Recently, I conducted an ergonomic evaluation for a woman who was struggling with back, hand, neck and shoulder pain from her work set up.  During the course of the evaluation, while giving a demonstration of good and bad sitting postures, a funny beep came from her computer.

“Oh that’s my Posture Tracker!  It lets me know when I’m slouching!”

“An APP that can see when you’re slouching?   No way!”

“Waaaay!”

Lo and behold, I went home, visited the App store and there it was!   (The App is called Posturetrack) What really caught my eye though, were the suggested apps at the bottom of the page letting me know what other Apps customers bought.   Apps like Drink More Water, Daily Yoga, Too Much Coffee and there was even an App to remind you to breathe!!!  (Breathing Zone)

So, what did I do?   I downloaded them of course (except for the coffee app, since I’m wholly dependent on my green juices now – much more energizing than coffee ever will be) and began to check them out.

The first one was the Breathing Zone.  Breathing?  Really?   The concept is to take time out of our busy hectic lives and well, breathe!  There’s a groovy graphic, options for a voice literally saying “breathe in”……”breathe out”……”breathe in”……”breathe out”…. “continue breathing according to the guide” – and you can even set the rate at which you want to breathe by setting the BPM (breaths per minute) and breathe to the sound of ocean waves, singing bowls and even a choir!  I was never so excited to breathe – until I actually used the App.  And what I found was that I didn’t like having to follow a prompt to breathe.  In fact, I found it annoying and at one point I even found myself HOLDING my breath because I was getting too anxious about my breathing.   So, that one clearly didn’t make the cut.

However, the next App that I tried I love!  It’s so simple and does the trick!  It’s called More Water and lo and behold, my water intake has increased!  All you do is record each glass or  bottle of water you drink and it lets you know how many more you have to drink for the day.  Unobtrusive, easy to use and my average for this week (according to the handy dandy water graph) is 3.5 glasses per day which is almost double from my usual daily hydration efforts!

The Thankfulfor App, was ok.  Cute.  Basically you post what you are thankful for….but the truth is that especially since the breast cancer(next month I’ll be 5 years out!), that has become a daily practice and let me tell you – just waking up in the morning and thinking of one, (just one) thing that you are thankful for is a game changer!

A few Apps later, I thought I hit the jackpot with Healthy Habits.  Boy did this one look promising.  It basically had reminders for everything!  Walking more, stretching more, mini and full workouts, abs to envy (that’s a quote), taking my vitamins (all of them!), tracking weight, cooking healthy meals, chair squats, unplugging, breathing, flossing, cleaning up my house (!) by way of the 10-minute clean up, building arm strength, cardio, getting to bed by 10:00 (yes, that’s a category) and even wearing sunscreen!

Woohoo!  For the next hour, I programmed in all of my reminders and thought this is it!  I’m in business now!  Fitness people, move over!!  Here I come!  Everything was cool, until the alerts started coming.  I was suddenly overdue for everything!!!  I couldn’t keep up!  I started to feel like the poor waitress in the video game Flo’s Diner – where more and more customers  start lining up and she has to go faster and faster to accomodate them (while they get  more and more pissed off) until finally – game is over!   So, I cut back on the number of things to keep track of, but the verdict is still out on that one, unless I can find a good anti-anxiety App to counteract the stress of trying to keep up with everything!

Last but not least, two more apps made it onto my phone to try. Lose It and of course Self Magazine’s, Beach Body Workouts (even if it is October!).   

Lose It is great for a few things.  It tracks your food intake (for losing and maintaining weight), exercise and even offers an analysis of your daily nutrients.   It certainly makes you mindful  of what you are and are not eating – but a drawback that I already see is that the food list is dominated by descriptions and portions of brand named foods (processed food) like Doritos, Quaker instant oatmeal packet (no steel-cut oatmeal to be found) or Applebees Spinach Salad.  The food I tend eat is a bit too sprouty to find in their pre-fab lists, but so far, I’m making do.

And since one of my Fitness Goals is to get in shape, really get in shape (and funny how that one keeps slipping to last place on my to-do list), I thought I’d give the beach body workout a try.   I’ll have to let you know how that one goes (starting today), with workouts called Rump Raiser, Booty Firmer and Calf Carver!  In the meanwhile, I’ll have another glass of water – and of course, record it on my App!

As always, we want to hear from you!  Let us know if you have any favorite fitness apps!!!

Vivienne Fleischer, PBE Co-Founder

Want to Feel Great?  Check Out www.pbergo.com

 

 

 

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