Tuesday, July 16, 2013
iTrack: How my smartphone stops me from making dumb decisions
Motivation is different for everyone. I write this blog as one tool to keep myself motivated. I have also learned that along with motivation comes honesty. Sometimes it can be hard to stay honest with yourself about how hard you have worked out or how much you have eaten, but with today's technology our phones are all too ready to be real with us if we aren't real with ourselves.
I ordered the UP band made by Jawbone about a month ago, but I am still waiting to start using it because I got the wrong size, and it takes quite a while to get through all the customer service stuff to exchange it, so I have been using the free app Argus by Azumio for the iPhone. It is the only app I have found so far that fits into my daily routine smoothly.
Argus tracks your steps, but it appears to just go by distance traveled. It will sometimes count steps in the car when I am in stop-and-go traffic, but I'm not too concerned about that part because more often than not, I end up setting my phone down at home or work while I am doing plenty of moving. You can also track your water intake, coffee, food, sleep, and workouts.
I like the food diary that is compiled of pictures taken of the meals you eat throughout the day. I'm not big on counting calories, but just having that picture of a cheeseburger staring at me all day can sometimes be enough to deter me. I think the water and coffee intake trackers are ok, but not something that I necessarily need. If you struggle with getting enough water, then Argus might be good for you because a reminder message pops up if you don't track any water intake after a certain number of hours. I drink plenty of water though, so that isn't extremely useful to me. I'm also not a big fan of the sleep tracker because it has to be manually turned on and off. I never seem to remember to turn it off, and I wish that it would recognize that I'm obviously not sleeping if I am walking around, but I guess there are sleepwalkers! ;-)
The workout tracker is pretty cool as far as the running goes. If you don't already use the mapmyrun app or some other tracking device, then Argus might be for you. I love that it maps out exactly where I ran, and I like that it even turns itself on automatically unlike the sleep tracker. It also continues to count steps during a run. The only thing I dislike about the automatic running tracker is that the timer doesn't always stop right away when I am done, so it can tend to throw off the time a little. It can be turned on manually though, and then you have the option to stop the timer immediately. There are also other workout choices like cycling, weight training, swimming, and others, but all those are tracked manually by entering how long you engaged in the activity, so no cheating yourself by fibbing!
All in all, I like the Argus app, but I am excited to finally get my UP band whenever that may be. There are plenty of other great apps as well if you are looking to track your intake and output to take steps toward a healthier you!
Be a Do-gooder!
Want to do good by others and yourself? Consider using the Charity Miles app to track your distance for one of their charity partners! Do a little good for you while also doing a little good for others!