This is a new addition to the blog, the series being called “BEST…” and will be a collection of the best things for walkers, whether it be new apps, clothing, tech or anything else that may be interesting to walkers. This will be a monthly feature where I will be giving my opinion and reviews of these items.
Today’s post looks at tech and apps that are available for you to wear and use via your phone or computer.
There are many different styles of tracker, some look like watches, some smart watches, some look like jewellery, and as much as the style varies so can the types of things the tracker monitors and records. This can be a bit baffling as some of these trackers record everything from sleep and movement to heart rate and track your food and mood. My favorite tracker available to buy at the moment, and the one I’m really coveting is the Fitbit Charge 2. I like that it has a buckle closure, it monitors your heart rate (meaning you can see where you have exerted yourself), it recognizes when you are taking part in different sports (via the app) and includes swimming where other trackers don’t and is user friendly and fairly simple to set up and start using. You can buy the tracker in a few different colours as well, which I like as it means you can choose the color to suit you. Its not too expensive either, coming in at around £130.00 (Price from Argos 03/01/2017)
Apps can vary from device to device, but my all time favorite app is Map My Run, and is one I keep coming back to time and time again. I use it in conjunction with my Jawbone app when out walking. My Jawbone predominantly tracks my steps but links with Map My Run to become a bit more accurate and record my effort levels a bit better. The app may be called Map My Run but it has the functionality to record several different types of run and walk which I find useful as I tend to walk more than run! I like that the app will save your walking route and you can see where you walked quicker or slower, the gradient of your walk, where you have struggled and what you found easiest. The great thing about saving your walk is that you can compare data from one walk to the next (if you stick to the same route) so you can see where you have improved and what you need to work on. The only thing I dislike about this app (as with a lot of other apps) there are functions available only if you pay for them, however, the free functions have been enough for me up until now. map My Run is available to download to your mobile device via the App Store, Google Play or via internet browsers.
The best website I have found to use when mapping out possible walking routes is mapometer.com. This site lets you plan a “sports” route, whether it be walking, running, cycling or even skiing. The site is fairly simple to use, you just find your start point and click on the “start” button then find your finish point, the map will calculate the distance of the route and average energy burned. It is a really interesting site to look at whether you are walking the same trusted route day in, day out or you are going somewhere and want to take in all the sights! You can find the website here.