Use apps for exercise motivation

It is possible to use mobile phone or tablet apps for exercise motivation.

Apps, short for application are small computer programs that can be downloaded on mobile devices to be used for a specific purpose. People use mobile devices for work and pleasure and everyone has their favorite apps they use for cooking, reading, gaming, and yes, for exercise. These favorites are shared with friends and family so others will have the convenience and joy of having an app make their lives easier or just for fun.

I have read on one of my mobile phone apps, a saying that is probably supposed to be funny about how people know exactly where their mobile phones are but have no idea where their children are. As sad as that is, mobile devices are part of our everyday lives and I can’t imagine they are going to leave our lives any time soon. What would we do if they did? I’m sure my heart would stop beating without my heart beat app.

Although in jest, apps and mobile devices are here to stay so why not use them for purposes of bettering ourselves. I have used the same exercise app since 2009 and I know this because it gives me my exercise and nutrition monthly and annually. It’s very motivating to see how my time and energy has paid off over the years. I also have the ability on this app to link with friends to see their exercise and to cheer them on. One friend that uses the app said she feels competitive with the app to do better and I know I have experienced the same reaction when the app lets me know my intensity, duration, and speed of my exercise.

The question is, is it proven that exercise apps really provide motivation for all striving to make exercise a lifelong habit? A study performed by researchers at Northwestern University found that technology does motivate people more than the use of conventional motivational techniques. They studied 70 overweight men and found the men using technology to keep track of their nutrition and exercise along with attending group exercise classes with regular encouraging phone calls lost an average of 15 pounds. The group of men that did not attend class but logged their workouts on an exercise app lost on average 9 pounds.

Michigan State University Extension feels all people interested in using an app for exercise should do some research for the best app for their particular needs. There are many apps for all kinds of mobile devices and it’s nice to have a portable device to take on the road with you to map your fitness using GPS (global positioning system) to log exercise routes for distance traveled, calories expended, and duration of your workout. Our world is inundated with mobile applications, so why not use it to help with diet and exercise motivation.

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