Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get yourself moving and get some exercise. I say it all the time but it's true. Plus when you work in an office all day long, or at home by yourself with the temptation to procrastinate and not get any exercise, taking a walk is an effective way of clearing the mind, getting fresh air and keeping yourself well. In fact recent headlines have stated that walking just 25 minutes a day can extend your life by 7 years and significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
I pretty much walk everyday thanks to my four-legged friend. Somedays, especially when I'm particularly hectic, I will walk for a short time and other days for up to two hours. However recently, in order to get the heart rate up a little higher, I've taken to hitting the streets for an extra walk, solo, at a very fast pace with my music pounding and breaking into a proper sweat!
Now I don't know about you but I'm a bit of a 'track my progress' type of person. I love to know how far I've gone, what I've achieved and to see the results in front of me to show that I have (or haven't) managed to reach my fitness goals for the week. This might make me sound like I'm mega fit, that's not the case! However, I am now very consciously putting effort into getting out there and getting on with it! So today I wanted to talk about the app Map My Walk. How it has really helped me to get moving properly and on a regular basis, and how it might be able to help you too.
Map My Walk is a free app that does pretty much exactly what is says on the tin - maps, records and help you plan your walks. Helping you to improve on your overall fitness.
You can sign in with your Facebook account or sign up with an email address. If you want to you can find your friends and track their progress against your own. Take part in worldwide fitness challenges and record your progress and achievements.
Working on a GPS system, you select a workout like 'power walk' for example, press 'start workout' and go on your way. The app will record the route you have taken, the date, duration, number of steps and the distance. It also enables you to log your food if you wish to do so (although I don't use this function), set goals and record your favourite local routes.
For my own power walking fun I've also invested in a couple of other items that have really helped make the experience more enjoyable. Namely an armband to hold my phone and some sports earphones that clip over the old ears so that I can listen to some heart-thumping tunes to get me in the mood!
Oh and I've also gone old school and got my hands on some sweatbands for my wrists. Why? Well I'm weird and I hate the feeling of sweat when I work out (hence my usual aversion to exercise) so these really help as I can mop my over-heated forehead and feel better in an instant. I do however draw the line at an actual sweat related headband!
The art of the power walk has really helped in my pledge to get moving again and the app is a very effective tool for helping to incentivise and track progress. My only complaint is that sometimes it looses GPS signal out in the countryside! This can be annoying when you know you've been pacing it out for ages and you look at your phone to find it's only recorded 3 minutes, but all in all it's very helpful. Plus it sends you useful weekly email digests that summarise your workouts for the week and a monthly workout summary reminding you to fist pump away to your success. So that's always nice!
If you need to get that heart racing once again, grab yourself a couple of purse friendly but very useful accessories, download the free app and get out there asap. Walking is free, easy and simple to do yet really very useful and effective.
Recently I've also progressed onto Map My Run. I can't believe I'm running but I am so wonders may never cease! As soon as I logged into Map My Run it downloaded all of my walk info as well so it all syncs up really easily and nicely. If you're going to be both running and walking straight away then I suggest getting Map My Run instead. It's basically the same but with running options and challenges as well.
I hope this helps inspire those of you looking for a little extra activity in your life and if you decide to give the app a go let me know what you think.
What are you favourite fitness apps for tracking progress and staying motivated?