Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Apps for a well balanced life

I am a newbie runner. James asked me to marry him in December and in January my girlfriends and I decided to start running to get wedding ready. I was convinced I would not be able to run... Ten years ago another friend of mine and I decided to become runners and about three days in of the most basic interval training my knees completely locked up. I had difficulty walking for a month and I just knew I was not going to ever be a runner. 

My friends convinced me to give it another try this year and reluctantly I did. Again we began with interval training for the first month or so and then we kicked it up and began running a mile each time without stopping. I am fairly certain that the last time I ran a mile was in PE in grade school at the direction of the Physical Education Teacher and even then I am not sure if I actually completed a mile. I was beyond excited!! I felt like I had overcome this HUGE obstacle and now I could only go farther from here! A couple months in I did suffer with some foot issues (you can read more about that here) but I have been on the mend for quite sometime and continue to increase my distance as I go.

I have always considered my self small-averaged sized. I have been for the most part happy with my weight, etc. I did hope to shape up a bit before our wedding and especially before being on some fabulous island for our honeymoon so I started logging my food and exercise into myfitnesspal. This is single-handedly the one thing that has made a HUGE impact in my transformation. Logging in every day has made me so aware of what I was doing and not doing for my self. I am able to see the calories I take in, the vitamins and necessary nutrients that I get (and those that I need more of), the exercise I do and so much more. I started logging in all the crap I was eating and realized that if I switched this for that I'd get less carbs, more potassium, if I added this one thing instead of that I would get more protein and less sugar, etc. This app helped me see that if I just ate a little better I would realize a big change and I did! Since January I have lost 25 lbs simply by eating right and exercising. Who would have thought that would actually work.. Ha!! I actually didn't realize I could afford to loose 25 lbs but it was tucked away all sorts of places and as soon as I started making these changes I started seeing results.  James started in about April doing the same thing and has lost 40+ lbs.

In addition to eating right we both have added quite a bit of activity to our day. We are avid campers, hikers, backpackers and kayakers but we can only make time for those things on the weekends because we both work full time during the week. I started running and James resumed mountain biking (he has biked for quite some time but had been on a bit of a sabbatical) and we now rarely miss a day. I typically run early in the morning and he typically bikes in the evening when he gets home form work. On the weekend we sometimes go together on the old farm road behind the house and it's fun for me to watch him breeze past me several times as we are making the loop. It's absolutely breathtaking out there. 

We have tried out several different apps for our phone to track our physical activity and our progress. We want to know the distance we have gone, the pace we have gone, elevation changes, average speed, etc. The app that we have found to work great for both of us and automatically populates to myfitnesspal is Runtastic. This app gives us everything we need! So many others would only give bits and pieces and we would have to guess the rest! I am so happy we found this app!

I am using the free version of Runtastic and it is working great for me, James has upgraded to the pro app and loves it! I suggest trying both of these apps out if you are looking to make some changes in your life. If you don't have a smart phone you can also set these up online and access them and updated them on the web. Runtastic works best though using GPS. We absolutely love these apps, they have been hugely successful for the both of us! 

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