Armed with their smart phones, consumers now have more visual tools than ever to help them achieve their fitness goals. Smart phone fitness apps can track running pace, distance, time and elevation, or even turn working out into a game, complete with audio cues and interactivity. Whether you’re after sprucing up your everyday workout or just looking for a way to motivate yourself to get out of the house, these apps are there to help. Here, we look at three popular apps and how they use graphics and data visualization to help you fulfill your goals.
Price: $3.99 Available for iOS and Android Zombies, Run! is a hugely popular app that turns running into a game, complete with graphics and audio. (Yes: you will be chased by zombies; they will be loud.) The default visual is a basecamp map and the number of buildings and supplies you have there determines your immunity against Zombie attacks (to a certain extent). You can add buildings and other visual elements to your base once you return from a run and have attained supplies. It’s an unconventional, yet perhaps more visually intriguing way to track your running activities. The more built up your basecamp is, the more challenges you have completed. Back home, sign onto Zombielink, a separate website, to see your workout in a more graphical way. The website links to the app and allows you to see run details in many different forms, including maps and speed charts.
Price: Free Available for iOS At the heart of the Fleetly Fitness app is a reward system that tracks users’ fitness level and rewards them with medals for completing certain workouts. Hence, its key visualization – on top of the mobile screen – is a bar that lets you see how many points you have gained for the day’s workout. The statistics section provides an at-a-glance view of your workouts’ progression, compared day to day in a simple bar chart/ line chart combo. (The graphic automatically becomes larger and has more detail when you turn your phone to landscape.) The app also features helpful visuals – pictures and videos – displaying form and technique for various weight exercises. Considering how advanced our mobile screens’ resolutions are, it’s surprising that more fitness apps haven’t started providing this type of visual aid. The visuals create an easy way to look at the amount of exercise you’ve done on a particular day and to make sure you are doing all of the exercises with the correct form.
Price: Free Available for iOS This app boasts entertaining you with worldwide adventures as you focus on strength and endurance. Its claim to fame is its technique of immersing the user in different cultures while they participate in exercises: another way to encourage exercise through gamification. Once you select your foreign adventure, you will see a map that lists the different exercises you need to do to complete it. Each exercise is mapped out with detailed visuals and videos, showing form and technique. Throughout the adventure, depending on the obstacle chosen, you move along a map. Your route is completed once you’ve done all exercises on that map. If you’re looking for a fun adventure to inspire your workouts and helpful visuals to supplement them, Teemo is a good app to try.