Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walking with RunKeeper

A recent physical left me with advice from my doctor that I should exercise regularly. As I've never gone out of my way to exercise, I asked him "What should I do?" He suggested as a start, to walk for 30 minutes, 4 days a week.

Rather coincidentally, my company started a "10K-a-day" competition, and asked for employees to start their own teams. I usually ignore all the fitness stuff, but on a whim, I decided to start a team for the software group.

By starting a team, I got a free pedometer, and learned that I need to walk 10 thousand steps a day for an entire month. Ouch! That's going to be hard! I've learned that 10 thousand steps is roughly equivalent to 5 miles, and that's certainly more than I've ever done on a daily basis. Still, I want to make this work.

A friend of mine had this application called RunKeeper on his iPhone. It uses GPS to follow your walk/run, and gives you feedback like:
  • Distance
  • Pace (minutes/mile)
  • Calories burned
That's pretty cool, but what is REALLY neat, is that it also plots your activity on a Google map, so you can see where you've been. It also displays the elevation change, tied to the map, so you can see where all the hills and valleys were.

As I have a Droid X instead of an iPhone, I was curious to see if it was available for me... and it was! Same features, and it works great. Now I can keep track of all my walks, and see where I've been, and how far I've gone. I've tied my RunKeeper account to a friend at work, so we can see what the other has done.

Anyway, if you do regular activity (biking, running, walking, hiking, etc), and have a smart phone, definitely check this app out!

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