Track your exercise with Endomondo: There is an App for that.
Let that boring exercise time be fun!
The Endomondo fitness tracking App for the cell phone gives the user immediate feedback of the benefits of their exercise and it also keeps records of these workouts for their own use and to share if they so desire. It enables something that can be dull, tedious and lonely to be exciting and something that can be shared with others. Because this App also utilizes the Facebook social networking site, you can share your personal achievements with others and encourage them in their workouts.
Giving up a good habit...
Although I have not walked for recreation lately as much as I have in the past, I remember enjoying walks around the neighborhood where I lived about 10 years ago. It was a pleasant, mostly safe neighborhood with sidewalks, and it was slightly hilly in spots so it was good for a workout. I started walking several times a week and would cover 1 to 3 miles each time. I originally did it because of blood pressure and cholesterol problems, and I continued it because I could feel the health benefits of lower blood pressure, less stress and being able to draw a deeper, fuller breath.
Then I moved about 250 miles away and never resumed the regular habit and my exercise became limited to what I get on my job and an occasional hike of 5 miles or less, maybe a few times a year. The lack of exercise and forward movement of age, left me feeling out of shape with reduced energy, a gradually increasing weight, feelings of stress and pain where there never used to be any.
So, I had some free time recently and decided instead of sitting around the house, or driving somewhere or even writing or doing other non physical work, that I would get out of the house and go for a walk. I had seen on my Facebook newsfeed that one of my friends had downloaded Endomondo and used this App, and he shared his workout stats on Facebook. That caught my attention, because I am fascinated by statistics and numbers and such things.
The evolution of fitness"toys"!
I truly enjoy walking by itself and do not really need anything besides a good pair of shoes and maybe some water if it will be a long walk. However, I admit I have had some "toys" in the past that made it more fun to track my trek.
Many years ago, before the existence of the cell-phone, I remember I had a pedometer which attached to my pants pocket. It estimated how far I walked based on the number of steps I took after I told it how long my average step was. This was probably not very accurate, but for the time it was fine. It probably over-estimated how far I walked because it registered even partial steps and did not take in to account changes in the length of my stride. It measured only distance, and displayed it much like an analog watch with number of miles in large type spaced every so often around the dial.
Then I got a battery powered pedometer. This was digital and probably more accurate. Like the unit I had before, it measured distance based on the number of steps. It displayed the information in units of steps and distance, as well as calories burned, because you could program your body weight into it as well. The fitness craze at that time was to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, and that was a useful tool to measure that. Once I used it on a hike and found that I took nearly 20,000 steps and covered about 9 miles. The problem was that it did not account for the different type of exercise (hike vs. walk), nor did it account for altitude change, roughness of the terrain, or strenuousness or anything else, so I probably got a better workout than I got credit for.
How often do you exercise?
My new toy: Several toys in one.
For many years, I had the basic cell phone, which could just barely make a phone call or send a text. I had computer at home and a camera at home which used film before I bought a digital camera! A few years ago, I bought a GPS. Finally, when my basic cell phone could no longer do even the basic functions, I decided to upgrade to newer technology and I got an android phone. One device did the work of several. It is a phone, it can text, it can take pictures, it has a GPS, it can access the internet. And recently, I realized it can also be a fitness tracker to make it more fun to walk around the neighborhood or do many other activities. All I had to do was download and use the Endomondo App for my Android phone. It only took a few minutes to download and install and now it makes walking around the neighborhood seem like a game.
There is an App for that: Endomondo
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my "phone" could make walking seem more fun that it already was. In addition to being a walker, I am also a hiker, and I was fascinated by all the information it recorded. It displays a map of the route, the distance, number of calories burned, total time, average speed. While I was walking, it gave my current speed and kept track of my pace. It even let me pause when I stopped to read some informational signs. I was even able to keep track of my hydration with how much water I needed to replace. It uses GPS and timers to track much of the information, and on the computer version, you can track additional information such as elevation changes and weather conditions. The computer version also keeps a running total of calories burned, distance travelled, etc.
Other activities which can be tracked using this, include different types of biking, skating, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, golfing, riding, swimming, aerobics, badminton, even dancing and yoga. (That is only a small sample of the activities which can be tracked using the App.) I did try using it to see how much area I covered and calories I burned when cutting the grass, but it did not have that option, at least not yet!
The version I downloaded was free.
Here is an example of what you can track!
- Hiking Workout | Endomondo
Tom Vogler was out hiking 2.26 miles using Endomondo.
A thought about Apps in general...
Like many Apps, Endomondo takes up a fair amount of storage, and the problem I encountered was that with all the automatic updates, the amount of storage required grew significantly, to where I had to carefully choose which Apps I had on my phone.
One problem I have on my cellphone is a finite amount of storage space on my SD card, and if I have too many Apps loaded at the same time, I get the warning message that I have insufficient storage space available.
The way I get around that problem is that I uninstall Apps that I am not currently using and re-install them only when I want to use them. For example, I recently uninstalled Facebook and The Weather Channel Apps from my phone, and combined saved up over 40 MB of storage.
As for the Endomondo App, I have uninstalled it for now, and plan on re-installing it the next time I go for a hike or any such activity.
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