Saturday, June 28, 2014
So, I've been mostly logging SP on my phone lately so haven't been doing blogging on here.
Anyway, that's given me time to find some interesting apps and the ones I'm going to mention also work on a pc, for those of you who don't own an iphone.
First off is Fleetly:
I'm pretty new at it and apparently so are they. It looks like a start-up company that got most of its funding from KickStarter. There is, unfortunately, no FAQ or Support section on their webpage, although they do have an account with "getsatisfaction.com". But you need a separate account just to log into that so it's kind of a pain.
Also, you can't make custom workouts till you've logged at least 10 workouts--which I have and am still not able to log custom workouts. Big deal for me because a lot of the strength training exercises I plan to use aren't in their pre-set list.
But those are the cons. There are, however, pros to the app/site.
The main reason I got the app was because of their workout generator that is based on fitness level, equipment available, target body area (or full body), workout goal (whether you want to be Lean, Toned, Strong, or Pumped) & time (5-120 minutes in increments of 5, so like 5 minutes, 10, 15, and up).
Unfortunately, it looks like the generator is available only on the app and not on the website. but you can still look up various exercises based on target area and other pre-made workouts. :(
Another aspect I'm looking forward to using more is their graphing ability (available on the website) which shows:
A summary of activity which includes:
Days active for last 7 days
Points you have
A small pie graph of your mix of activities
A bar graph of lifetime points
A bar graph of weight changes
What mix of exercise you do:
-Cardio v strength v flexibility
-Various specific exercises in relation to other exercises
-Muscle groups exercised
Your pace for various exercises such as walking, biking, elliptical, etc., over time.
On the summary page on the app it also shows a very interesting aspect of the app. A fitness level bar.
This bar shows a number value that can go up if you're regularly active BUT can also go down if you're slacking. Interesting!
There are various challenges and a social aspect, as well. But I haven't delved too much into that. Since it is still a startup I don't expect too much in those areas, yet.
Best of all the app is free and so is the website.
You can log in using your Facebook account ((shudder))--I hate Facebook.
Or you can create a Fleetly account with your email (Yay!)
Next is the Workout Trainer App by Skimble
Again I got this one for the workout generator it has on the app (and not online) which I think is much more varied and interesting than the one on Fleetly. But that's about the only thing I like about it. Yes, you can find various workouts on their site but if you want to make personalized workouts you have to pay a monthly fee. (Forget that!)
They also have a sports app that is connected with your account and you can log various cardio activities. But honestly, why bother if you have the SparkPeople tracking app?
However, if you're looking for workouts that are already put together for you and organized according to time, purpose, and target areas then this is still a pretty decent website and worth a look.
If you can opt to have the app you can find and download workouts that have a "trainer voice" or interval timer attached. The pre-made workouts have a robotic voice option and interval timer option and the workout generator has the interval timer option.
If you want to pay the monthly fee then you can get a real trainer's voice (not electronic), access to the pro pre-made workouts, and also be able to log custom workouts.
You can access numerous randomly generated workouts for free--you just can't create or log custom workouts in their app or on their website.
Here's their pricing and features for free, pro, and pro+:
The next app is also actually available to use on a webpage if you're working out at home or, I think using Safari while on your phone at the gym....but it has limited capability and no text-to-speech option. However, the website option is free.
The app is called Seconds and there is a free and paid version. Personally, I think the paid version is worth it.
It's a programmable interval timer. It comes with various interval programs already on the app like a HIIT timer and so forth.
However, you can create and label unlimited amounts of your own interval timers.....AND they have a text-to-speech option. The voice is a little soft with music on but, to me, it's still better than a beep or vibration because I can still make out the word even if it isn't crystal clear. It is obviously electronic but that's what happens with text-to-speech.
So if you have an interval program that includes a warm up, easy pace, moderate pace, fast, and fastest plus a cool down then you can hear a voice say that for you and a count-down to the next phase. For those people who want that beep or vibration it has that option, too.
You can also set a color to the timer which I find handy on a gym machine. I look up and see dark blue and know I'm on the cool down phase.
In addition to that you can listen to your music playlist while the app is on and choose which playlist for which workout.
Really very handy for people who use intervals, whether it's speed intervals in cardio, intervals for weight training circuits, or sparring intervals for boxing, etc.
$4.99 in the US store (yes, pricey for an app but worth it if you do a lot of interval training)
The next app has a website but only one to advertise the app. (I just threw it in, last minute because it looks unique).
It's called Body Fate
I haven't actually tried this one but it looks interesting. Oh, and not free. $1.99 US (limited time sale).
But it is a workout generator.....and a game of sorts. So, I suppose it could make those boring strength training workouts more interesting and therefore (gasp!) enjoyable?
If any of you try this one out let me know how it goes. I'm definitely intrigued.
For this app you CAN set your fitness level, time available to workout, and equipment available (though not gym machine equipment, according to the website).
So onto the "game" aspect--
Here's the explanation given on their website:
"When you first start up BODYFATE you have four buttons:
• Settings: Exercise level, equipment accessible and length of time you wish to play.
• How To Play: Basic instructions on the game play
• Motivation: Terrific tips on training, nutrition and goal setting.
• Begin Your Fate: This starts the workout…er…game.
Once you "Begin Your Fate" you are immediately presented with your first fate and you're off and exercising! An animated photo of the exercise shows you exactly how to perform it. Complete the exercise and then hit the Fate button. You may be asked to pick a hand or choose a door. Again, fate has presented you with options. Your choice takes you to your next exercise.
If you find yourself fated with an exercise that looks too challenging you can always hit the PASS button. Only one pass per game, however you may earn more. Need a break? Hit the REST button and you can relax for a minute…ONE minute. You get three rests per game but, with this too you can earn more.
While the animated photos give you the basic structure of each exercise, you can also hit the "What The.." button. This gives you a more detailed explanation of how to perform the exercise as well as tips on making it easier or more challenging.
Throughout the program you will be presented with Pop Quizzes to test your nutritional know-how. You'll also find quotes and motivational messages to keep you head and heart in the game. BODYFATE has all kinds of fun, funny and colorful characters. For instance, if you somehow find yourself exhausted but don't have any passes or rests you can always make a "Deal with the Devil." He will give you the pass you need…but…be prepared to "pay" at the end on the game. "
Elsewhere on the website they mention a character named Mr. Good Karma and personally, I think the Americanized understanding of the term "karma" is *extremely* simplified and doesn't really resemble its original meaning much. However, since this is a "pop" type app then a "pop" definition seems fairly apropos.
By the way, Spark People has a workout generator, too, (that I really wish was included in an app) but it is available on the website:
So that's it, y'all. Any thoughts? Any suggestions?
Thursday, December 12, 2013
So, my hopes to get "The Walk" app have been dashed to pieces by the fact that it requires iOS 7 and my phone can't have iOS7 because of its age. I cry age discrimination!
Ah, well. Such is life.
I was checking out fitness games on iTunes and came across GymPact. I'm still not sure if it's for me. For one, I'd have to get a Paypal account or give my credit card info. and I'm just not sure how to do get a Paypal account or if I would want to give any monetary info. to them.
So, anyway, here's the concept:
What's a big motivator for most people? Yup, you called it--money! $$$$ moolah, dough, cold hard cash. And that's what this app. offers its users.
Well, its active users. Those who don't follow through end up paying the ones who do follow through.
Either an iPhone or an Android phone is required.
It tracks one of 3 ways:
You can check in via GPS at a participating gym that is not part of the company you work for--if your gym doesn't participate you can request that it be added. It does check-ins at 7 min. intervals to make sure you're still there so keep your location services on.
They can track via GPS for outside workouts. Be warned GPS can be a major drain on your battery.
And the third option is tracking via your phone's accelerometer for workouts at non-participating gyms or at home.
Other than GymPact tracking, they offer integration with FitBit, Jawbone Up, Moves, and RunKeeper (verified GPS activity).
Also, even though you may pay other players and they may pay you, the "pact", itself is with you and GymPact. In other words, no one other than GymPact and Paypal should know your account information and you and other players don't decide on who, in particular, gets your funds or gets funds from you.
This app. does NOT require iOS 7 or at least not yet. Usually, apps cover legacy downloads but won't offer new downloads with old software so even if I don't think I'll use this for a long time I decided to download the app. now rather than later.
Oh, yes, the app., itself is free, and there is an accompanying website to log-into for setting things up, making changes, etc.
Here's how the money aspect goes:
You pledge between $5-$50 for each day missed (in increments of $5) (This is what I see on the actual app. You may be able to adjust this more on the site).
For each day pledged and accomplished you receive $00.50 for each day. So if you pledge only one day--just $00.50 for that week. 7 days then that's $3.50 a week.
Once you reach $10 you can withdraw your GymPact rewards via PayPal. They don't say if your credit card will receive a credit if you sign up that way.
They claim that they have a very flexible policy and system of scheduling and re-adjusting to take into account vacations, illness, and other income and budgetary changes for individuals.
Just to make sure there's no confusion (because of my title) they do track more than walking or running. It claims to track hundreds of exercises.
The app. works in 75+ countries so it isn't limited to US users.
Sign up offers Facebook or email registration.
One possible caveat: You must work out at least 30 min. at a time for it to count toward your pact.
Think this may be the key for you? Want more info.?
Here's a link to their FAQ:
Here's a link to their homepage:
SP doesn't seem to like https links in blog posts so just copy and paste into the address bar and hit enter.
And yes, I do like that their page has https since it involves money exchanges!
I haven't logged into any other part of their site, though. So, I don't know if only the home page and log-in pages are covered. If you decide to go for it be sure that https is on ALL pages before giving any monetary information.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
From the website:
The Walk is a smartphone fitness game and audio adventure, due to be released on 11 December 2013. It combines exciting gameplay with a high-octane thriller story, encouraging players to walk more every day. When you're playing The Walk, every single step counts in a journey that will save the world.
With 65 episodes containing intricate, fully-illustrated maps, 800 minutes of audio story and hundreds of collectible items to explore the world of the story, The Walk is more than just a pedometer — it's a way to turn walking into a journey, a challenge, and a rip-roaring adventure. And you can use The Walk whatever your level of fitness or mobility, thanks to the game's 'adaptive fitness' system which adjusts to your own fitness levels and gives rewards for gradually increasing how much you move every day.
The developers of the Walk, Six to Start and Naomi Alderman, are the creators of the world's bestselling smartphone fitness game, Zombies, Run!, which has over 750,000 players worldwide.
The Walk extends Zombies, Run!'s award-winning combination of real-world gameplay and storytelling. Since Zombies, Run! launched, players have been asking for a game with a broader appeal; both in terms of fitness level and genre. By tracking all-day walking, not running, The Walk can be played by almost anyone; and with a suspenseful thriller story that mixes North by Northwest with The 39 Steps, it's aimed at anyone who enjoys a good yarn.
The Walk begins in Inverness station. Through a case of mistaken identity, you the player are given a vital package which must be couriered to Edinburgh, but as you're about to board the train, terrorists blow it up and set off an electromagnetic pulse! None of the cars or trains are working - you'll have to walk - but now the terrorists are on your trail because they want the device you're carrying, and the police are after you as a suspect in the bombing. To survive, you'll have to join up with other escapers from the city - but how many of them can you trust, and are they really who they say?
Other fitness apps try to motivate users through badges and points. The Walk encourages people to move more — and helps alleviate the boredom of exercise — through a gripping story and immersive gameplay. Like a great soap opera or drama, you'll want to find out what happens next in the story, and the only way to do that is to get up off the sofa. And with a story and game challenges that stretch over three months of walking, The Walk can help players establish healthy long-lasting habits that will help keep them fit into the future.
The Walk was funded by the UK's Department of Health and created for the NHS as part of the Small Business Research Initiative competition. By helping improve people's health in the UK, the Walk has the potential to save the NHS millions of pounds.
Captivating 3-month story: Over 65 episodes and 800 minutes to audio that'll last players for hundreds of miles of walking.
Motivating gameplay: Get rewarded for walking more by collecting items, scanning for information, and unlocking achievements.
World-class activity tracking: Just put your phone in your [pocket] or purse and we'll track every step you take, all day.
Adaptive fitness: The Walk adjusts its difficulty based on individual fitness levels; it's not a one-size-fits-all game"
They list the price as follows:
Here's a few screen shots:
Can I just say....
Unfortunately for me, I found out that this new app. only works with iOS 7 which my phone doesn't support.
Also, if you're thinking of getting the app. better to get it now because they said in an email that the current iTunes price of $3.99 is 20% cheaper than the price it will normally be. I know I put $4.99, which is what the website says, but in iTunes it says $3.99.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I totally love this app.! Not that I love tracking money....I love the app. pretty much because of the opposite. I usually try to avoid it. But this app. really makes it easy to use.
You can put in any kind of account, including cash or gift cards (unlike the "Mint" app which requires you put in credit card info.).
There is a running balance of all of it together at the top and on the bottom you can slide from one account to the next. And on the main page it shows all recent activity.
All expenses are in red, all deposits are in green.
Under each account you can slide that up and get your recent activity and at the bottom you'll see the balance of that particular account. You can change the date and add notes to each entry.
If you make a mistake you can do an account adjustment.
It allows you to set up a pin number in order to access the app and you can change it on the phone.
There is no email requirement so it isn't as easy to have your info. hacked into because it's not online.
Also, some online financial sites don't have https protocol on all webpages. Unfortunately, the SparkSavings website, last time I looked, only has the http protocol on both the login and on every page after that. The difference between http and https is very important for security. The "s" stands for security and ensures that the information being transmitted on that page is encrypted. That's why you should always make sure that EVERY page of your email is under https rather than just the login page. If you notice it isn't that way for your email it would be a good idea to look into the settings and change it if it has that option.
Just to be clear--outside of the http rather than https protocol issue I DO think that the SparkSavings site is very good and very well put together. I just think that the login and every other page should be encrypted when it comes to a person's income and spending.
Back to the Moni app.....
In addition to this you can set up a color alert system based on what you consider a copacetic amount, a warning amount (time to tighten the belt amount), and what you consider the freak out-time amount.
Not American? That's fine. You don't have to keep the $. You can set your currency for your country.
What are its limitations?
Well, first of all, there is an option to export data but I keep getting an error message. So I've put in a trouble ticket but don't know yet if it's even possible for me. I'll update when I find out.
Also, it doesn't have the option of automatically inputting auto-deposits or auto-withdrawals. So you may want to simply put those on your phone calendar with a reminder attached so you can add those to your moni app. when you get the reminder.
Another aspect that would be of use is the option to mark off whether a particular check has cleared. Even though you can put that information in the notes for that entry the fact that it hasn't cleared yet isn't reflected in the total.
Despite its limitations, however, I still think this is a fabulous app to have available on the go. Even if I lose the receipt, as long as I input the amount as soon as I get the receipt or when I get to the car then I still have an accurate record of what I have to spend.
Best of all:
It's totally free!
Here's their website:
And here's their page on iTunes:
I don't work for the company and am not being remunerated for this review.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
It's called Mindbloom.
They categorize all the areas of one's life: social, spiritual, emotional, financial, career, etc. It's set up as a game with points, "seeds" that grow into trees if you regularly water it and give it sunlight. You water it with action (your to-do list checked off) or give it sunlight with inspiration (watching the pics with quotes or with just quotes). Either way, you're supposed to be balanced about it and take regular action to move forward to the next level.
Note: The instructions say that the tutorial must be viewed before the settings are available.
When setting up the tree, though, it's necessary NOT to delete any sub-categories even if you put it in by mistake because once it's deleted it doesn't show up again as far as I can see....So then your options are limited even if you wanted to re-name it.
It also has an inspiration board that is customizable (though there's a limit to the number of pictures one can upload without a premium account--which makes sense, pics take up bandwidth.) But it also offers the option of putting in appropriate or inspirational quotes...I would say that it could be used as a goal board, too, for some things--which could be made private.
There are pre-set pics and quotes but you can change the quotes on the pics.
I'm not sure about the privacy settings for the free accounts. Sometimes with free accounts they limit the number of private entries that one can have but so far it looks ok.
There's definitely a social component to it, too. You can add friends by email, Facebook, Gmail, or MSN. The more trees, the better.
There's also private messaging between friends on the site that they call snailmail. I guess a reference to the whole nature-y feel to the site so, no, it doesn't use the USPS (thank God! I'd never get my messages. Lol).
In addition to this, you can create groups of contacts within the program--for mass email and support. This can also be used for families, church groups, and other community groups that focus on holistic treatment.
On one's profile page, depending on privacy settings, there's a friend-feed for comments.
Note: Users must complete the tutorial on their accounts, or they may not show up as friends or in the search results.
You can have some quotes or things that only you see and others friends can see and others the entire community sees. You decide on your level of privacy for each and every entry with the exception of comments on other people's quotes, etc.
You also have the option of creating journal entries, as well.
There's a slimmed down version that's sort of an app. It's not an app found in the iTunes store but if you go to the website on your iPhone it will ask you if you want to add the app to your phone. Then you can do basic functions but not settings and so forth. The app. is also free.
Here's everything in more detail:
So, not only is it a game but it's very positive and affirming while slightly competitive to keep interest.
The video would probably explain it better than anything I've, said. So, here's the link:
(The video also plays in the program if you need to refresh your memory)
There are some aspects of it that are paid but from what I can tell so far it should still be usable and helpful without the paid options.
Also, the more you participate on the site the more "seeds" you get which you can then "pay" for some of the options that are automatically paid for with the premium account.
And regarding the app. I have had some difficulty with it letting me mark things off for the current day and have also found some blips on the site. But I've found that logging out and logging back in often takes care of things.
I also forgot to add that the inspiration board includes music as well as the quotes and images. But the music can be turned off as can the nature-y sounds that are automatically played when signing into the website.
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