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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/android-sport.jpg”>Being a nerd takes a heavy toll. Until those virtual reality or electronic hamster balls arrive, we just don’t get that much exercise. That is, unless you choose to. Time to start working out – or, more specifically, to start running.
Ironically, the Android mobile phone proves to be an incredible help. It’s surprising how many (diverse) health applications you can find.
Today’s article is focused on one aspect of working out; running. This can be the sporadical jog, or an extensive marathon run. Five refreshing Android running apps, from the very basic to the especially nifty, to help you keep your digital footing.
Let’s start out with the most obvious one; the stopwatch. From all the alternatives I’ve tried, this one stands divided from the pack. Exclusive in its excellence, both in looks and usability. The application, although drily named StopWatch, also includes a nifty countdown timer.
The stopwatch allows you to keep track of your time during multiple laps. In short, everything you’d expect, without the useless clutter. Most interesting however is the timer where you can create multiple countdown ‘profiles’. These show their worth during interval runs, when you have to switch between different durations of walking and running. With two flicks of the thumb, you’ve already got your next countdown running.
Apart from passion and competition, there are two incentives that make most people hit the tracks; weight and physique. Better than simply celebrating whatever weight you manage to drop, Libra helps you keep track of start, evolution and goal.
By periodically adding your weight gain or loss, Libra generates a graph overlaid with BMI-projections. This allows you to classify your current weight, view your progress, and track the decline towards your goal with linear forecasts.
Of course, this Android running app can also be used in conjunction with other workouts.
Where to start? Runstar is a personal running assistant, at the very least. The application keeps track of your workout results during each session (including GPS tracking), and over the entire span of your runs. Use Runstar to set and reach personal goals, every month again.
The application also includes a number of more nifty features, like the built-in MP3 player. Hit Power up! when you’re running low on fuel, and Runstar will start blazing a pre-set motivator song. Runstar is already a gorgeous, intuitive and surprisingly motivating app, but more features are said to arrive soon, including time runs, distance runs, shared goals and challenges!
Just over the horizon of endurance training lies the realm of competition. You’ll want to measure your (newfound) running against other people, or – even more challenging – against yourself. Softrace is an incredibly fun Android application that injects the added thrill of competition into every single run.
With GPS tracking, you can run a predefined distance against yourself (based on previous runs), or against other opponents worldwide. You can track your opponents live, while you give yourself an all-consuming (international) race.
Be part of an international experiment about movement! Mover, a deceivingly simple Android application doesn’t bother with tracking your GPS location, or even your goals. Instead, it keeps a close eye on just how much you move.
Day in, day out, Mover will track your activity level, and classify you accordingly. Are you a Sleeper, Sitter, Lagger, Walker, Mover or Hyper? Mover will keep track, but also try to engage you into bettering your activity level. Just don’t forget to turn it off when you board your train.
These applications should suffice to get you started – and hopefully keep you going. Did we miss a personal favorite? Or do you have personal experience with any of the above? Weigh in in the comments section below!