3 free smartphone apps that’ll help improve fitness without going to the gym
Fitness stores, computer programs and smartphone apps are making it convenient for people who want to lose weight, keep tabs on their fitness and set exercise goals while in the gym. However, two of the biggest downsides are not having enough time in your schedule to physically go to a gym and spending money on high-priced equipment that could be used on other high-priority expenses.
Whether you’re interested in using a free Smartphone app for economic reasons or you simply just don’t have the kind of dedicated time to go to the gym, these apps will help you get an idea of which ones will work best to help you look fantastic.
Pros for Accupedo:
- The pause button makes it easy to stop and start steps when need be. It’s conveniently placed in the middle of the counter.
- The app counts the number of calories you’ve burned while walking, as well as kilometers.
- The end goal each day for this smartphone app is 10,000 steps, and it will confirm whether you met that goal or not.
- The calendar along the left-hand side will also keep track of your daily steps, kilometers/calories and how many hours or minutes you’ve walked on one screen. You don’t have to toggle between days to see the rundown.
- It doesn’t burn out your battery. However, if you’re doing something like shopping and using consumer discount apps, such as Shopkick, the mix of counting steps and scanning items will make the smartphone battery burn out quicker than using one or the other.
Cons for Accupedo:
- The smartphone pedometer app tends to freeze for no apparent reason. Sometimes it won’t start automatically even though you’re walking. Other times it’ll stop counting steps mid-walk. You may have to babysit Accupedo every once in a while to make sure it’s still counting your steps as opposed to assuming it’s doing so.
- It doesn’t recognize when you’re in a car. So if you shift from walking to getting behind the wheel, you may notice that your steps jumped from 5,000 to 45,000 within a few minutes. Why? Accupedo measures distance as opposed to the movement of feet. If you didn’t keep track of your last steps, there’s no way to revert back to a few minutes before so you’ll either have to start all over again or repeat the walk and subtract it from the total step count.
- As with most smartphone mobile technology, you’ll have to keep your smartphone near you you in order for it to count your steps. The perks of wearable fitness, such as Fitbit, is it feels more like a watch and you don’t have to remember to take it everywhere you go. However, for people who enjoy looking great, this won’t be a problem.
- Accupedo tends to count steps far better in a purse or bag than in a pants or coat pocket. It may be related to the amount of room the mechanism has to be able to tell when it’s moving as opposed to tight-fitting clothing.
Pros for Noom Walk:
- This smartphone pedometer app does a much better job of being able to recognize when someone has gone from walking or running to driving. There will be no need to pause the counter the same way you would have to do with Accupedo.
- Noom Walk is engineered to be battery efficient. Without the app using GPS, using this app for 20 hours equals the same amount as 20 minutes of using your smartphone with the light on. If you’re a regular smartphone user who reads news or checks social media apps for extended periods of time, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how much time your smartphone will need to charge in between walking intervals.
Cons for Noom Walk:
- Similar to Accupedo, Noom Walk also has a habit of freezing for no apparent reason.
- For certain Android smartphones, the newest version is no longer compatible.
- Similar to Accupedo, using this app requires that you keep it close to you. However, unlike Accupedo, using the pedometer app in a coat pocket, pants pocket, purse or bag makes no difference. It can recognize those steps in any of the four.
Pros for Runtastic:
- The pedometer app keeps track of speed and distance.
- Runtastic gives you the option of keeping track of your fitness progress. After you Stop a workout, it wants you to explain how you’re feeling (in smiley face emoticons), what the running surface was like, how the weather was, the temperature and any notes. For the over-sharing crowd, there’s also an option to post your results on social media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, by e-mail and on Runtastic.com).
- For runners who want to go back and find out what their mood was that day, they have the option to look back at their feedback after running by clicking “Additional Info.”
Cons for Runtastic:
- In order for it to calculate your steps, you’ll have to hold it. If you have some kind of arm strap, this makes using the app much more convenient than trying to hold the smartphone by hand.
- While the unlock/lock option on Runtastic may come in handy to avoid accidentally pressing the wrong button, if you forget to do it and just press Pause, the app will keep running. You must press the unlock latch, then press Pause or Step. In order to start again though, you can just click Resume without relocking.
- Without purchasing the Pro version, you won’t be able to see how many calories you burned or your step frequency, as well as how often you walk slowly or rapidly.