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Burst 26.1  10.23.20

FITNESS APPS, Web Radio Today Audio Burst from Episode 26



by Skip Orem | Web Radio Today

This is a special Web Radio Today excerpt from EPISODE 26, OCTOBER 23 2020




Skip Orem (00:09  ):

I get some listener emails and feedback asking me what fitness apps do I use or what fitness apps do I recommend? There are so many available right now, and they can help you to do anything from track your weight, track your diet, track your heart beats, your blood pressure.

And there are even a couple that can actually do an EKG. Today I’m going to talk about the ones that I have used, ones that I recommend. I use an iPhone. So most of the fitness apps that I’m currently using are available from Apple. But I think many of these same apps are also in Android form from Google

Play, and other places so that you can use them on other types of phones.

Skip Orem (01:04):

I also use an Apple Watch now, but my progression for fitness apps, fitness app hardware, started with a Fitbit and then using just my phone, and then in the past year or so, I’ve gone to the Apple Watch.

Skip Orem (07:12):

However, way before all of that, I mean like back in the late ’70s, I used my trusty Timex chronograph watch to measure speed, and then I’d write down my distance and the time every day in my day-timer.

Skip Orem (01:39):

At our age right now most of us are not really interested in how fast we’re moving, like speed per mile. We’re more interested in heart rate, total exercise time and then maybe distance. Those other measures don’t really matter unless you’re trying to achieve some type of elite level of fitness, a lot of people still do that at our age, or training for a race or something like that. Our critical markers in terms of trying to fight off disease, stay healthy, stay fit, are number one, weight, number two, heart rate, number three, total exercise time, and then maybe number four, distance. All of that can be measured real easily with a standard bathroom scale, physically taking your pulse, and then noting the time on your watch. If you want to go with a fitness app, get a little more fancy. If you want to do all that with one device and not have to write anything down, then your first choice might be your phone and some of the fitness apps that I’m going to talk about.

Skip Orem (02:48):

If you want all of that information in a way that you can view it as you’re exercising, then I suggest that you look at some type of tracking device that you can wear on your wrist. And then if you’ve made a decision that you want to go with some kind of a wrist device, I’d make sure that it can measure your heart rate. If you’ve done any of our Web Radio Today interval training workouts, or listened to me talk about heart rate training, you know how heart rate measurement can help you know how effective your exercise is. That’s an easy measurement to do on your own by just checking your pulse. But it’s awkward to do while you’re exercising, because you really have to stop and take your pulse. And then you really have no record of heart rate changes as you exercise.

Skip Orem (03:44):

My recommendation is, if you’re going to invest in a wrist device, make sure that it measures your heart rate. Prices have come way down on these devices. The Fitbit wrist device comes in all types of price ranges, depending on what features you want and where you buy it. Just last year I switched from a Fitbit to an Apple Watch and I love it. It does everything. And the way it syncs with your iPhone is awesome. I end up with so much information about exercising, my diet, heart rates, blood pressure, the weather, and it tells me the time too. Like the Fitbit, the Apple Watches have different price ranges based on your features, but it’s going to be overall a little more expensive than the Fitbit. And then the other thing with Apple Watch is, that unless you invest in a really expensive Apple Watch with all the bells and the features and the cellular connection, you’re still going to have to have an iPhone.

Skip Orem (04:53):

And then with an Apple Watch, even starting with a refurbished model, Apple Watches are still priced above the Fitbit. If you’re an Apple user though, the Apple Watch it’s the gold standard in fitness trackers.

Skip Orem (05:09)

Let me mention, right now though with all of these devices that we’re talking about and then the apps that I’m going to be talking about, all of this tracking, all of this stuff can be done on your own. No investment needed. So whether it’s training equipment, shoes or fitness devices and apps, don’t ever everybody, don’t ever let cost be a reason not to exercise. Exercise is free. It requires no money. The

only investment is your time and your effort. Well, my plan was to talk about fitness apps, and we’ve spent a little time talking about hardware. So let’s get to that. A fitness app… Well, what it is, it’s an application that can be downloaded to your mobile device, your phone, and then used anywhere to help you get fit and to track your progress.

Skip Orem (06:054):

Fitness apps can be used on any type of phone, an iPhone or a phone with an Android operating system. So that covers most phones. And right now there are over 250,000 fitness apps out there. That then makes it kind of messy trying to figure out which ones to use. I recommend that you look at using four different types of apps. And yep, there are apps that can roll all of these types together in one app. First, you need to track your weight. So you need a weight tracker. This is simply an app to record your weight. You step on the scales, you record your weight into your phone, and then you have a record of your weight over time. Second is some type of app that will record and track your workout in real time, and then keep a record of your workouts over time. And then the third app is an app that can record and measure your blood pressure over time.

Skip Orem (07:15):

And one other app… And that’s for those of you who are trying to stay on a very strict diet, that app would be some type of diet tracker. Here are my recommendations for what I think are the best, the most cost effective apps in each of those three areas. Now there are two apps that basically do it all as far as activity is concerned. Apple’s ActivityTracker app for the iPhone. And then if you’re using an Android device, the Lifelog is the app for you. These apps are going to track and store all the data that you need relative to exercise, weight and movement. Those are my two recommendations for all-in-one fitness apps. Apple’s ActivityTracker and Androids Lifelog. If for personal or for health reasons you need to track your diet, then you’re going to need a separate diet tracker app. The best for diet tracking and calorie counting is MyFitnessPal.

Skip Orem (08:18):

It is absolutely one of the most effective apps for tracking your food intake. It has a database of over 5 million foods and dishes that enables you to quickly log your meals. And MyFitnessPal is available for both iPhones and Android devices. It’s important everybody to track your weight and both of those all purpose apps will… Well, they’ll ask you to put your weight in and track it. But I want you to step on the scales once a week and measure and record your weight. Notice I didn’t say every day, not after a big meal, not after a really cool day with fewer calories and lots of exercising, no. Track your weight once a week at the same time. And whatever you are wearing or not wearing, make sure that it’s the same thing every week when you step on the scales.

Skip Orem (09:15):

Now the requirement for a weight tracking app are pretty simple. You’re going to manually put in your weight and then the app is going to keep records for you over time. Because weight tracking apps are so simple, I don’t really have a recommendation. It’s more about your preference for how you want your weight data displayed, what special charts and graphs you might want to see. If you’re trying to stay healthy and fit, you need to record and track your weight. Everything else on a weight tracking app is just bells and whistles. And if you want to just write your way down on the calendar, that’s fine too. For tracking your blood pressure, not measuring it, for tracking your blood pressure I recommend SmartBP. It’s available in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. And I recommend that everybody our age

especially if you’re taking blood pressure medications or need to be concerned about your blood pressure, most of us at our age do, you should measure your blood pressure beyond just the regular doctor visits.

Skip Orem (10:28):

I usually take a two week period every three months or so, and measure my blood pressure three times a day, and then I do that every day for that two week period. I record all that data into the SmartBP app. Of course doing that requires a blood pressure machine. And there are some very inexpensive ones out there. By the way, blood pressure ranges seem to change once in a while. So check with your doctor about what the current range for your specific blood pressure should be. My blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office are never good because they’re actually off the charts. I have white coat fear. So what I do is I bring my little blood pressure machine with me for each six month checkup. And I make sure that my machine is calibrated with the doctor’s. So then when I get home and I get calmed down, I’ll get as true an accurate measure of my blood pressure on that machine as I need.

Skip Orem (11:30  ):

So that is my information on fitness apps. Well, with close to a quarter million fitness apps out there, give yourself a chance to look at them, have some fun and check them out. Most of them, many of them are free and they can really help to add some fun to your exercise and fitness program