My Favorite Fitness Sites & Apps

Many moons ago when I started running, I visited my local running store, purchased shoes and a couple of running outfits and hit the road. In some ways running was simpler. I did not need my phone, a GPS, or an iPod. As a society we tend to romanticize a simpler life. But the truth is there is something to be said for the more computerized lives we lead today. Yes, I ran and I knew how long I had run but I had to take the car out and drive my course to figure out my mileage. I had no real sense of my pace. I had none of the tools I use today to guide my fitness life. School House Rock told us that “knowledge is power” and I believe this. The more we know about our fitness life the easier it is to make good, healthy choices on a daily basis.

From the simplicity of just heading out the door, my running and fitness life has evolved to one that includes several “must have” devices, internet sites and phone apps. Maybe it is less quaint but I like it. I don’t just not mind the technology, I embrace it. My phone and Mac are full of apps and sites that guide my fitness life but today I will share only the five I use on a daily basis.

Five sites or apps that have helped me to improve my fitness

1. My Fitness Pal – A few years ago I discovered the power of the food journal. I realized how little I knew about the food I was putting into my body. How much I ate without giving it a second thought. My Fitness Pal takes the food journal and adds an exercise journal, allowing me to see my intake and my output on a daily basis. Over the past couple of months I have monitored my food and exercise choices closely and I have seen a steady drop in my weight. Finally I have found a tool that helps me to lose weight in a healthy way.

2. Runner’s Ally I found Runner’s Ally a couple of years back when I was trying to decide what to wear for my run. The app, available for iPhone or Android uses the local weather to advise you what you should wear for each run. I have found it to be spot on every time. In addition it has a pace calculator and a race split planner. This app has become one of my daily go-to tools.

3. DailyMile I have been using DailyMile since 2009. Again, because I believe in the power of journaling I used DailyMile to track my workouts. But it became so much more. Because of its social aspect I have found friends all over the country. We have gotten together at races and running events and have found a community of like-minded people. An added benefit is the 0 that appears at the top of the page every Monday and goes up with your mileage throughout the week. This small indicator has been a big motivator in my life.

4. As a writer I tend to read more than the next guy and often feel like a run gets in the way of a good book. Audible has solved this problem. I seldom run without taking an audiobook along and because I have a rule about listening to the audiobooks (no run/walk, no audiobook) I find I get in more miles than I might otherwise.

5. Fitbit People have asked why, as a runner, I find the need for a Fitbit to track my steps. The answer comes in the fact that as a writer and knitter I find myself sitting a lot more than I should. Although I get in a workout almost everyday of the week I also spend a lot of time sitting. The Fitbit brings out my competitive nature. I set a goal and have to meet it every day. It is that simple. Working out is great but if you spend the rest of your day sitting you are not doing yourself any favors.

I have a half dozen more apps that I use regularly but I am interested in hearing about yours. What sites and apps do you use to stay fit and healthy?