Summer typically isn’t associated with running. It gets so hot, and in some areas so humid, that running just isn’t a viable option for those seeking exercise. That is, if you don’t have the discipline to get up early. I’ve found that there are few things that start the day better than a 6 a.m. jog, while the dew is still wet on the grass and the sun has yet to cook the earth. In fact, I find running on summer mornings on par with an afternoon jog in the spring or fall. If you feel the same way, you might want to check out these apps for runners.
For some it’s tough to get into the routine of running. It’s painful, after all, and many people would rather go about their painless routine rather than do something hard, even if it pays dividends in the future. If you want to start running and can’t find the motivation, there might still be hope. Productivity blogger Leo Babauta wrote an excellent article a few years ago on how to go from being sedentary to being a runner in five steps. It’s a gradual program that eases you into the pain of running. It will help you avoid burnout and help your body adapt to the rigors of the road. Some people need to buy into an idea before they take to it. If you’re of this type and have $3 to spare, you can check out Exercise Motivation Hypnosis Program. I can’t speak to it personally, but if you need that extra bit of motivation to get you going and money isn’t an object, give it a whirl. If it works, it’s worth the outlay. Then again, it could be worthless and your $3 would have been better spent elsewhere. If you’re a smoker and need some help quitting, maybe your BlackBerry can provide assistance. Check out No Smoking, an app that helps you do just that. It runs you through a quitting program, though it certainly won’t guarantee success. But, since it’s pretty difficult to smoke cigarettes and run regularly, I thought I’d point it out.
One great aspect about your BlackBerry is that it contains a GPS chip that can help you keep track of your travels. While the most common application is in cars, GPS units can help you keep track of your daily runs. Just last week, in fact, we ran a bit on GpsSpeedoMeter, and application that tracks all aspects of your trips. You can mark certain points on your trip, so you can run by them every time you jog. It also outputs your speed and distance traveled. Get GpsSpeedometer. You can also check out a different, and cheaper, application called Tripometer. Then there’s AlphaRunner, a similarly low-feature but cheap application. When it comes to GPS tracking applications, most offer a similar set of features. If you see a GPS app that doesn’t display your route, time, distance, and speed, you should probably look elsewhere because there are plenty of apps that cover all of these. I just pointed to three. Runners, however, can use plenty of different tools that general GPS apps won’t provide. The first such app that comes to mind is RoadRunnerGPS. It takes care of all the basics and then adds some excellent features. The first is calories expended. Because this was created for the fitness-minded, adding a calorie tracker makes sense. it also has audio alerts to let you know how far you’ve run and for how long. Finally, my favorite feature, you can upload your workouts so you can review progress. This is huge for runners. At the beginning you want to gradually build up, and once you become a veteran you don’t want to dip below a certain level. Get RoadRunnerGPS. It’s $4.99, but comes with a 14-day trial. BiM Active is another similar app, though it doesn’t have as many features. It is, however, free. As is speedOmeter, which we featured in our top free BlackBerry apps post.
For other exercise
If everything goes right, running will become contagious — not only to those around you, but to you yourself. Running can inspire greater feelings of fitness, and perhaps cause you to explore other modes of exercise. If you’ve been inspired in this way, you might want to check out these fitness apps. First is EZ Exercise Tracker, one of the many apps from EzMobiGo. It allows you to create many types of exercise and track your time and intensity for each. It allows you to not only input your exercise, but your caloric consumption, so you can make sure that you’re at a good level. You can then go back and check out your progress not only for running, but also for your other physical activities. If you’re interested in EZ Exercise Tracker, get it while it’s on sale. It’s $7.99 now, but will go back up to $12.99 on June 15. But what if you don’t know what type of exercise to do? There are actually a pair of BlackBerry applications that lay out different types of exercise. If you don’t belong to a gym, you might want to check out FitDeck Bodyweight. It lays out 50 bodyweight exercises that you can do basically anywhere. You can also use it to create a routine, which the application will then track. If you do belong to a gym, chec out iFitness. It has a database of over 230 exercises, complete with instruction. So if you’re looking to start with something basic, or you’re looking to change up a stale routine, this app can provide a path.
Stick with it
The most important aspect of any exercise routine is to stick with it. You might not be able to do it every day — in fact, especially at the beginning, doing it every day is inadvisable. It can lead to burnout, and then you’ll be doing no exercise at all. Instead lay out a plan and build yourself up. The best recommendation I ever got was to make sure that you never take off two days in a row. That should keep the motivation high and the burnout low. I also highly, highly recommend a book about running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by novelist Haruki Murakami. If you want motivation to start running, or have already started and need motivation to continue, Murakami can provide it.