Exercise apps for my iPhone

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 6.31.11 pmSince going freelance a couple of years ago, the exercise I was getting by riding into town to work has disappeared. In its place has appeared a larger belly and fitness issues.

Fair to say, I’ve gotten somewhat heavier with this hedonistic lifestyle I now live. I get up, I sit at a computer, I write essays for school and other writing for myself and others. Exercise has taken a flying leap, but now has come knocking on my door wondering where the hell I’ve been.

I started exercising recently by simply getting up and going for what I call a RunWalkGasp for an hour. Sometimes I’d stop in a coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up. I’ve gotten fitter doing this but have had no way of ascertaining how much exercise I’ve done, calories or kilojules lost and steps taken.

After admiring my friends fitbit wristband and the lovely graphs it outputs, I thought I’d look into something similar for myself.

The only restriction was cost: on a student income I can barely pay rent; forking-out over $100 for a snazzy wrist-band wasn’t on the cards.

I tried-out two applications to begin with before settling on a far simpler one.

Map My Ride and Runtastic are great applications, with automatic mapping graphs and distance recording. For me though they were over-engineered. I wanted something very simple which I could see what I was doing without having to go through many different tabs and configuration pages. I also didn’t have any interest in competing with anyone else, posting results on social media or chatting with other members of the websites. Both these sites are what I’d term social exercise media.

I decided on Moves because of its very very simple to understand interface. It does a few things really well: it counts calories based on steps taken and distance walked, run or travelled on a bicycle. The data from the app can then be exported to any number of applications where the data is graphed or used in different ways to benefit you (and more likely, the business sucking the info in).

It’s still early-days, but so-far, I quite like Moves, and wish there were more applications like it. You can understand the interface at a glance, without temptation to flick between maps, time and other intricate details of the exercise you’re undertaking. I want to concentrate on what I’m doing to be honest, and move-on when it’s done. For me, exercise is a means to an end, not an end in itself, and I’ve moved-on from my brief flirtation with an exercise obsession, for as good as it felt to be fit, and exercise regularly, I became more tempted to exercise for the high I got rather for the benefit of my body.

So for me, Moves is the answer to my need to get fit and lose weight.

Addendum: Moves was purchased by Facebook last year.


Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.