How to Stay in Shape with a Pedometer App

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“To keep the body in good health is a duty. Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha.

Physical activity is without a doubt an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. It's difficult to stay in shape only by making smart nutritional choices. A well-balanced meal plan has to be accompanied by regular exercise in order to achieve great results.

Studies have shown that exercising on a regular basis can bring a multitude of health benefits. Not only from a physical perspective, but mental as well. Of course, regular exercise doesn't necessarily mean running at higher speeds, lifting weights and working out vigorously in the gym. Not everybody wishes to engage in high-intensity physical activities. No, exercising can also mean walking. Yes, that's true. Walking, as simple and inefficient as it may seem, is in fact a great way to improve your fitness level and implicitly your overall health.

Why Choose Walking

You may stop and wonder: why should I choose walking over other similar activities? Well, here are the pros:

  • It's a low-impact form of exercise, which means it's the safe way to go. Running, on the other hand, will make your more prone to injuries since it will put far more stress on your muscles and joints
  • It's the most accessible type of workout. Walking doesn't require special equipment, doesn't require a strict schedule and it can be done anywhere and anytime you want
  • It can help you burn calories and lose weight. Walking for 30 minutes at a speed of 4mph (6.4km/h) will help a 165-pound (75 kg) adult burn 169 calories.

Health Benefits of Walking

Every form of exercise comes with its own set of benefits for both the body and mind. Walking is no exception to the rule. Here's how engaging long-term in this simple activity can boost your health:

  • Lowers the risk of cardiovacular disease
  • Reduces the blood sugar level and the risk of diabetes
  • Strengthens the bones and muscles and improves the balance
  • Increases the level of the HDL cholesterol, considered the “good” cholesterol
  • Helps you get rid of that unwanted body fat
  • Improves your mental health

How to Walk More

One of the great things about this simple, yet beneficial physical activity is that it can be easily integrated in your daily routine. We usually tend to take the easy way out: we order in, we have our groceries delivered to our doorstep, we take the car or use public transportation to go to work or appointments, we spend most of our time in front of a screen.

In a nutshell, we live a truly sedentary life. But we can change it. We can make small changes in a progressive manner that will allow us to move more, get in better shape and improve our health. Here are a couple of ways you can add more physical activity into your day:

  • Drive less. If it's within your reach, walk to work. If the distance is too big to cover on foot, take the car, but park farther away from your office in order to get some steps in.
  • Get off a stop earlier if you're using public transportation
  • Take the stairs, not the elevator
  • Step out of the office for lunch, don't have food delivered
  • Take your dog for a walk
  • Walk the kids to school if you live close by
  • Take an evening stroll instead of watching TV
  • Hit the mall. This is the perfect way to make your spouse happy and at the same time to get those steps in while walking from store to store

These are, of course, just some opportunities you can use in order to boost your activity level. Once you begin grasping the importance of being more physically active, you'll most surely discover new ways to move more on a daily basis.

The Impact of Technology

We've clearly established that regular walking is a truly beneficial workout for all of us. We've read the benefits and we understand how it can help us prevent a series of diseases and hence maintain a good health. Although in theory this should be enough to make us move more, many times it's not. Many of us need a few little nudges in the proper direction, and this is where technology steps in.

Technology has changed the world of healthcare and now it can guide us towards making the best possible decisions regarding our physical and mental health. Through apps and gadgets, technology has placed today, exactly at our fingertips, the tools we need to be more active, to create and maintain healthy habits, to make smart nutritional choices and improve our overall health.

According to a 2015 study, more than half of the mobile phone users in the US (58.23% to be more precise) had previously installed a health-related app. Another study conducted in 2018 showed a massive growth of the market for mobile health apps. The report stated that there were more than 318,000 health-related apps available in the most popular app stores.

The Importance of Tracking your Progress

The tremendous evolution of fitness technology has made the process of tracking our daily physical activity easier than ever. Logging and tracking our activity are quite important for several reasons.

First of all, because it provides the necessary motivation to stay on track. When we start off and set our fitness goals, we're always super excited and convinced we won't stop. But the problem is that the initial drive and excitement will slowly fade away and we'll begin losing focus. Seeing the progress made until that point will help us get back on the right track and continue until we reach our goals.

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Tracking your progress and activity can give you motivation to stay on track.

Tracking your progress can also be a confidence booster. Seeing the place you started and understanding how far you've come along will most surely boost your confidence in your own abilities and it will help you achieve your health and fitness objectives.

Moreover, monitoring your activity will allow you to make the necessary changes at the right moment. If you've set the bar too high, you can adjust it to match your current fitness level. On the other hand, if you notice you're easily reaching your goals you can take it to the next level and further test your endurance.

Tools to Track your Progress

So it's pretty clear that monitoring our progress can help us in multiple forms. But how do we do it?

Well, there are in fact numerous methods you can use in order to track the progress made. Depending on what exactly you want to monitor, you can resort to fitness journals, tape measures, standard or digital scales, before and after pictures. At the same time, since we live in an era revolutionized by technology, we can resort to fitness gadgets and apps to accurately keep track of our physical activity. These make things considerably easier to follow, given the abundance of useful features available and the fact that practically everything is at our fingertips.

Why Use Health Apps

Health and fitness apps are a great solution if you want to periodically check your fitness level and analyze how active you've been. They offer a multitude of benefits:

  • Apps provide useful information. They display a series of key statistics that allow us to understand our fitness level and which aspects need to be improved.
  • Apps are super easy to use. You don't really have to be tech-savvy to use health apps, basically anybody can do it. The majority of them come with user-friendly interfaces that make the navigation simple and fast.
  • Apps are always near at hand. If you think about it, we carry our mobile phones basically everywhere with us, which means we're just one tap away from visualizing our activity. In comparison, if you use a wearable, you have to remember to bring it on purpose with you.
  • Apps are truly affordable. Many of the health, fitness and pedometer apps on the App Store and Google Play are free. Some give you the opportunity to upgrade to a Pro version for a one-time payment (the costs are moderate in general), while others are subscription-based, which means you have to pay a monthly fee. Still, they are considerably cheaper in comparison to what you have to pay for a fitness tracker or what a personal trainer charges by the hour.
  • Apps integrate a social component. One of the fun aspects of using fitness apps revolves around their social component. Many apps offer you the chance to join communities of other fitness enthusiasts like yourself, to take part in various challenges, win prizes and share your achievements on popular social networks.

ActivityTracker, the Pedometer in your Phone

Let's do a short recap, shall we? So far, we've established that monitoring our physical activity can help us reach the health goals we've set for ourselves and that our mobile phone is the optimal gadget to do this. Then let's go even deeper and take a close look at ActivityTracker, the must-have app for those who want to track the daily movement.

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ActivityTracker is able to differentiate itself from many of its competitors in multiple forms in terms of functionality and its unique design,

Developed by Bits&Coffee, ActivityTracker is a pedometer app for iPhone and Android particularly built to help you stay in shape. With more than 200,000 active users on a monthly basis, the app is designed to keep track of your daily physical activity without having to purchase an additional device. What does it track specifically? Well, there are several parameters: the steps taken, the distance covered, the time you were physically active, the number of calories burned, or the flights of stairs climbed during the day.

Is ActivityTracker free?

The burning question when it comes to apps and software in general: is it free? Yes, ActivityTracker is available for download free of charge for both iOS and Android users. In addition to the standard version there's also a Pro version available for $4.99. Unlike other apps, there is no monthly subscription. When you upgrade to Pro, you make a one-time payment and then benefit from free updates when new versions are being released.

Different from the Rest

At a basic search you'll be able to find both on the App Store and on Google Play a multitude of apps that track your steps. Why should you use this one in particular? Well, ActivityTracker is able to differentiate itself from many of its competitors in multiple forms:

  • Weekly Activity – It shows totals for each week of the year, in addition to days and months
  • Hourly Activity – It has a detailed hourly view with stats as steps, calories and distance for each hour
  • It has a unique design with a black theme and color-coded progress
  • It has a weekly step target, so there is no pressure to reach the target each day
  • It can export and import all the fitness data collected

Super Easy to Use

ActivityTracker is designed to be used by anyone, there are absolutely no limitations whatsoever. Once you open the app, you'll notice there's a tutorial available that takes you through the activation process and clearly explains all the available features and how they work. All you have to do is grant the required access and enter your personal profile.

This information includes your gender, weight, height and step length. This is an important phase, because based on your individual parameters the app will be able to provide a better step count accuracy. The app will send you daily notifications regarding your progress by default. If you want to, you can easily disable these options in the Settings menu.

It Doesn't Drain your Battery

There are two types of pedometers apps available on the market: those who use GPS and those who use the motion sensors available now in almost all modern mobile phones. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Apps who take advantage of the GPS technology are able to not only track your walks, but to provide a map of your route at the same time. Unfortunately, the downside is the fact that they'll have a major impact on your battery's life.

On the other hand, there are apps like ActivityTracker that take advantage of the motion processors available in iOS and Android devices. These can accurately record your movement throughout the day without draining your battery, thanks to the fact that there's no GPS usage.

Freedom to Set your Own Goals

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score” – Bill Copeland.

Setting goals is essential, there's no question about it. In order to have accomplishments in your life you need to have goals. ActivityTracker was developed to motivate you to be more active and walk more by allowing you to set your personal goals with regard to the steps taken.

Unlike other apps, this one doesn't put the same pressure on you and therefore lets you set a weekly target, not a daily one. Of course, to keep your drive to the highest level, it will show you a daily goal based on that weekly target.

The app places at your disposal the option to visualize all the relevant fitness stats for your daily, weekly and monthly activity. There's also an option to check out your activity on an hourly basis for the current day.

Pair it Up with Apple Watch

One of the cool features of this pedometer app is the possibility to pair it up with your Apple Watch. ActivityTracker comes with colored Apple Watch Complications, giving you the chance to visualize the desired fitness stats, such as the number of steps, the total calorie burn or the distance walked or ran.

This is a feature available in the Pro version, as well as the option to synchronize steps between your iPhone, Apple Watch and the Apple's native Health app. If you want to show others the progress made, the app offers iMessage integration. This way you'll be able to easily share your achievements with family and friends.

Bottom Line

If we aim to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible, we need to start making changes. We need to seriously start thinking about the dangers that come along with too much sitting or lying down on a daily basis and with physical inactivity in general. It's not easy, because in this day and age we're prone more than ever to a sedentary lifestyle.

But there are ways we can combat this sedentary lifestyle, simple and accessible ways, such as moving more and more. Incorporating more steps in our daily routine is a must for all of us if we want to live longer.

The good thing is that we're not alone. In this battle against a sedentary life we have a strong ally: technology. Through health-related apps we can increase our physical activity, we can become more active in a progressive manner and hence prevent numerous diseases connected with the lack of movement.

By providing useful data about our fitness level and allowing us to set goals for ourselves, fitness apps can help us develop and, most importantly, maintain a physically active lifestyle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Cosmin Unguru is the creator of ActivityTracker and founder of Bits&Coffee. Besides ActivityTracker he has also created BatchPhoto and PhotoMarks. He began developing software at a young age and continues to bring app ideas to life to this day. When he’s not developing software, he enjoys spending time with his family and sports like tennis, skiing, biking, and hiking.

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How to Stay in Shape with a Pedometer App