This is a contribution of a client who walks moderately and consistently after a 3Week-Starter-Program. The new High-Tech Software he uses is great for motivation. If you are using an iPhone check out ENDOMUNDO. Here is what the software can do for you:
High-Tech Hiking with Android
Do you need a way to stay motivated for your daily health walk? We all do and I found a great (free) tool that worked wonders to keep me walking regularly. Here’s my story: I bought a new smartphone called a Galaxy S Vibrant. This is really a little computer that also makes calls and has a built-in GPS unit. It runs operating software called “Android” and there’s lots of free software easily downloaded from “Android Market”. Here’s the entry in Android Market for “My Tracks”:
Once it’s installed in an Android-based smartphone, turn on your GPS, start the app and the rest is simple. Just start walking. The My Tracks app will connect to the built-in GPS and start logging your hike. Press the “Setup” button (bottom-left on keypad) then “Record Track” button. It will show a continuous display of stats for the hike like this:
My Tracks has a couple of other screens available by swiping horizontally. First, a moving-map of every spot on the hike, regardless of the winding path. If you hike in circles or loop into cul-de-sacs, My Tracks stores the total distance travelled, giving you “credit” for every step. In this sense, it’s a hyper-accurate pedometer. Here are some shots of neighborhood streets and the hiking route I took through them in blue. Notice how I go off-street sometimes or go in circles playing fetch with dogs.
If the route was in a hilly area, there’s a chart showing elevation gains and speed along the route. The green line is elevation and the orange line is speed. Notice how I stop regularly to pant while my heartbeat races above 180 😉
It stores ALL the days you hiked, with a dated entry and map of the route taken for each one. There’s a cumulative statistics page showing total distance across all hikes:
Yes, I really do hike at speeds maxing topping 246 miles per hour; I’m incredibly fit. Or perhaps that’s just a glitch in one GPS waypoint. You decide. Another feature of this software is to connect to a heartbeat monitor. I haven’t purchased a heart monitor yet, but they’re $100 and connect to the smartphone through Bluetooth. The heart rate gets recorded and charted next to speed and altitude. It’s on my birthday gift list.
My Tracks is a help in maintaining motivation to hike or walk or bike regularly. It makes the logging of distance and time effortless, assuming you have an Android phone with a GPS. The app is free from the Android Marketplace. Search under “My Tracks”.
Here’s a link to the Zephyr Heart Rate Monitor: http://runningdigital.com/2010/06/01/zephyrs-hxm-bluetooth-heart-rate-monitor-review/
Here’s a link to My Tracks website: http://mytracks.appspot.com/