Fitness Friday: RunKeeper + GainFitness 1-2 Punch!

I’ve decided in the short amount of time that I’ve been working out that there are two iPhone apps that I could not live without.

One I’ve been using for almost a year now…the other, I’ve been using for just a few days. What’s great is that I think they really complement each other.

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I use RunKeeper to track all of my activities — swimming, biking, running, walking, hiking, etc. Its GPS tracker helps give me accurate measurements of distance and pace and gives me a really nice interface to view it all in. I’ve been an Elite member since February, which means I get detailed statistics and reports on my workouts. I’ve also enrolled in a few of their running classes, which are really helpful to get you across the finish line for your first 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon.

But, as you probably already know, cardio is just one fraction of the entire picture.

I’ve recently started using GAIN Fitness to help me with resistance training. All you do is put in your height, weight, where you’re working out, what equipment you have, and they’ll come up with a workout for you! They take the guesswork out of everything by illustrating proper form via video or photo.

What’s also neat is that you don’t need to have an iPhone to use their services — the basics of what both services offer are also available as a web-only component to your health and wellness regimen.

What other apps do you find motivating and inspiring?

21 Days To A New Me (And You)

After a few weeks of feeling mentally energetic but physically demotivated, I’ve decided that it’s time to flip the switch (again).

My health and I have a cyclical relationship…I usually don’t really care until I have to, which means I have a health scare or I have some big event I have to physically prepare for (also known as ‘look good for’). Pop-psychology tells me that it only takes 21 days to create a new habit, I’d have to say that I am up to the challenge. It is time to (try to) get healthy (again)! About two years ago I had a health scare — false positive on precancerous cells found in my body — and then last summer I had another bout of high cholesterol issues.Well in this case I truly am a creature of habit because have a few things coming up that I have to physically prepare for…and they’re not health related. (You’ve been warned!)

  1. My 27th birthday is a little over a month away…which means I’ll be seeing a lot of old faces again. And there will probably be pictures. On Facebook. Oh the terror of the digital footprint.
  2. SXSW is in about five or six weeks…which means I need to look good for, uhm, yfrog/twitpic/Facebook/geeks mostly.
  3. I was chosen to participate in the Chevy-sponsored SXSW roadtrip challenge for LA…which means I need to look presentable in every photo, on my blog, on other people’s blogs, on videos for YouTube, on camera for VOKLE, etc.
  4. The 5K LA run is in about seven weeks…which means I need to haul serious booty!
  5. I’m going to have to go and see my parents sometime soon…which means I’d prefer to stave off passive-aggressive comments about my holiday-induced whalishness.

Unfortunately I can get pretty shallow when it comes to my own body, but it’s nothing I’d ever project onto someone else. (Kind of like my eating habits.) So, naturally when I came across photos of myself from December 2008 I was stunned. My face was skinny! I was smiling! I actually liked being photographed! Maybe it was the two dirty martinis I had prior to these shots being taken, or the fact that my hair is a lot longer and balances out my cheekiness, but it’d be nice to get back to that point again. I don’t think I’m too far off as my weight and overall flabbiness generally only tips the scales within 10 pounds in either direction. (Wait, isn’t today GROUNDHOG DAY?)

A few years ago, when I was in college, I dropped a gadzooks amount of weight — I think 35 pounds or so in one month. I exercised twice a day and pretty much existed off of a combination of Slim-Fast and salads for about 30 days and voila, I dropped it. I was also pretty motivated since my doctor had told me that I was on the fast-track to diabetes. At that point I figured the benefits of weight loss outweighed the drastic short-term measures I took. Although this time (and all of my subsequent times) haven’t really been as drastic, I do plan on staying incredibly disciplined.

So, since it takes 21 days for me to form new habits and all of these events are more than 21 days away I should be in good shape. (Knee slapper!) I’ve done this a few times and I usually love it and hate it at the same time. It would be so much easier to just maintain good eating and exercise habits but for some reason it seems as though I enjoy these cycles. As my beau put it the other day, I really enjoy a great challenge…so this should be an interesting journey. I never believed in measuring my success through numbers so I don’t have a goal weight, running time, or dress size. I just want to be happy and healthy and serve as a great role model for people around me. Let the fun begin! You can follow my progress at RunKeeper and cheer me on. (I’d really, really appreciate it!)

What great habits do YOU plan on forming in the next 21 days?