Introduction: Your Android Phone As Your Personal Trainer
Many of us would love to have a personal trainer who will push us to be healthier people. Unfortunately, this luxury isn't one that most folks splurge on. I've only had one coaching experience in my life - my father coached, coaxed, shouted, and sometimes threatened me to help me improve my tennis skills. I have to admit, I did get pretty good at the sport and even played for my high school varsity team.
But now I just want to have simple reminders through the day to gently remind me to live a healthier lifestyle. And this simple guidance is not coming from my husband, friends, or relatives, it's coming from my phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab out in South Korea, so the device works both as a tablet and a regular phone. I lug all 7 inches around with me everywhere I go and I've created a system through the use of various apps to keep fit.
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Step 1: Set Up Reminders
There are several apps that you can use to set up daily reminders. Here are a few:
1. Calendar app - it's a more detailed app but you can set up daily reminders and notifications
2. Life Reminders app - this is a very simplistic app to set up reminders
3. COL Reminder app - this is another app for reminders
Personally, I use the calendar app. If you have a lot of meetings, it might be good to set up a "personal" or a "fitness" calendar so it won't feel so cluttered.
I've set up daily reminders for the following items:
-7:00am - morning workout
-6:00pm - go to the gym
It's only 2 reminders, but it works as a bit of accountability for me. Being more active in organizing your time helps you to be more productive and healthy.
Step 2: Workout Help
I found an app called "Virtuagym," which I use for my morning workouts.
This app is great because it has a 3-d animation of someone performing the exercise so you can look at the form, a timer to countdown the exercise, and a little bit of verbal motivation. You can also create an online account to track your progress. It also has a gym routine, but I haven't tried it out.
Another app called "Jetfit" also works but is definitely more complicated. If your serious about tracking your exercises in detail, this can work for you. I just like to keep things simple as too much detail can be a de-motivator for me.
Step 3: Track Water Consumption
A couple apps are available to track your water consumption. I'm using one called "Carbodroid." It's super cute and it just send me a couple notifications a day asking me if i drank water.
There's another good water tracking app called "Health & Finances Tracker." This also tracks your weight, finances, and you can use it to track how long it takes you to complete a task.
Step 4: Monitor Your Progress
It's important to set goals and monitor your progress. As for me, my goal is simply to consistently workout to stay healthy. If you have a weight goal, it would help to jot it down and watch your progress.
There are plenty of apps to track progress but I like "Success Log: Goal Tracker." It's just a simple reminder that pops up the next day and i mark the things I did and it keeps track of how many times I did it. It's great to see how far you've come over time.
Step 5: Other Helpful Apps
I do want to mention this one app that it not necessarily health-related but it's helped me curb my snacking. It's called "EEBA" and it's an digital envelope budgeting system. It's really great because it syncs with other smart phones allowing my husband and I to track our spending and to see each others actions.
Pedometers are also available through the app market if you want to track that as well.
There are also plenty of recipe and diet apps that will give you menu ideas based on how many calories you want to consume. I don't actually use these apps, but it may be useful for someone else.
Best of luck and I hope you all have a healthy summer!