Tracking your workouts using your smartphone

For a long time, I was tracking my workouts (which was just plain walking and jogging) using an iPod Nano which had a simple pedometer. It could track how many steps you take and how many long runs you do and a very simple calorie calculation.

From Wikipedia
From Wikipedia

It worked great as I can listen to podcasts and also silently tracked my workouts. But it doesn’t work for cycling. There are however a few options where you could buy a cheap cyclocomputer which can measure your average speed, max speed, workout time, distance travelled in a trip, etc.

If you want to track more info about the route you take, you can use some of the costlier GPS solutions which track the elevation gradient, draw your route on a map, etc.

Or if you want to just start tracking your workouts today, there is however a device which you already have in your pockets – your smartphone. There are apps for both Android and iPhone which allow you to track the speed, distance, route, etc., all using the built-in GPS.

There are two apps that seem popular among the community. Best part is, both these apps work for running/jogging/cycling.

Strava: This is a free app for both iPhone and Android. It does have a monthly subscription for premium features. It looks very polished and seem to work really great for me. Can track your average/max speed, elevation gain, calories, routes, etc. It also has social features where you can follow the activity of your friends and even compete on segments for the fastest time. It also works with some of the other GPS devices you may have.

Endomondo: It is also very similar and has the same functionality of tracking speed, elevation, route, etc. Can work on both iPhone and Android or any GPS enabled device. Free, though there are membership plans for some advanced features.

You can choose either of these and start tracking your workout easily. The only problem is having a heavy smartphone in your pocket, which is easily solved if you can get an armband for you phone.

Once you are into serious training and want to track really long distances, you can choose to get a GPS device which does its job well and integrate with your account on either of these two sites. Till then, I will be using my smartphone app to track my workouts.

Beautiful Journal App “Day One” – Free now

hero-dayone-icon@2xDo you want to get into the habit of writing regularly? Do you want your journal protected from others and easily accessible across various devices?

Try Day One, an awesome looking journaling app for both Mac and iOS. Think of it as a facebook timeline for your thoughts, but visible to only you on your own device.

It has pretty simple features like a uploading photos, calendar view, reminders for writing, quick search, export as PDF and lot more. You use even use markdown to format the text. It automatically syncs via iCloud or Dropbox, so you can view your journal on any of your Apple devices.

Though it is ideal for any kind of creative writing, I think it works best for maintaining your food journal, movie reviews or even as a dream log (yes, thats what I am going to use it for, to record my dreams).

Check it out at the App Store. Free for a limited time as part of the 5 year anniversary of Apple App Store, but worth the $2 it costs actually. The Mac version costs $10.