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I’m an off and on runner. For the past 13 years or so, my running routine has been on an up and down roller coaster – I’ve had various stints of being totally focused and into it, running almost every day of the week. But lately, those stints have been very few and far between, and I had gotten way too comfortable with my lack of a fitness routine.

So today, I made the attempt to get back into it! And I downloaded the Runkeeper Free app to motivate myself a little bit. First off, let me say this: even though I’m not a gung-ho runner, there is definite pleasure in getting a run started with the iPod on full blast on a beautiful morning. It felt good and I was instantly inspired to have more mornings like that. (Mark my words.)

Anyway, Runkeeper is a pretty great little app. It not only uses geolocation to track your mileage, but it also tracks your miles per hour, your route and how many calories you’ve burned. It stores all your info so you can see your progress over time, and syncs up your data with the Runkeeper website, which allows you to review your activities in more detail and make notes for yourself. It’s an excellent tool for people trying to get back into fitness and track their progress – perhaps for marathon trainers. You could probably use it more casually (which is probably what I will do) but I think serious runners would probably get more out of it…

p.s. You may also be interested in this article on 50 awesome iPhone apps for runners.


A while back I had written about the Lose It! app, which is designed to help users count calories and log exercise. A couple days ago I came across this article detailing how users are really benefiting from this app and others like it  (it also mentions Walk n’ Play). In fact, a specialist in Maine has been testing Lose it! with several diabetes patients and in the past three months all 17 of them have lost weight and reduced their blood sugar.

p.s. also check out this great Top 10 List of weight loss and fitness apps from Mashable. Now that summer classes are over, I’m attempting to jumpstart my fitness routine, so hopefully I will have some reviews of these apps coming soon…

Okay… this post is a little unfair since I started using this app a couple months ago and have since stopped using it, BUT for those looking to count calories, boost their exercise routine and lose some pounds, the Lose It! app is for you.

It’s a great little app (free and functional without wifi) that allows you to set a weight loss goal and track your calorie intake (and output) day to day. It’s great because it has a lot of food calorie estimates – with various portion sizes – already in its database, so it requires very little work from you besides just entering the info. It also has calorie-burning estimates for a whole slew of exercises, from basic things like walking and swimming, to more fun things like darts and sexual activity. The interface is pleasantly user-friendly and very intuitive.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate this app a 9. It’s a great tool, but I wish it had that little something extra to keep me hooked. But maybe that’s my own fault.

I’m not big into sports. But with everyone talking about the World Cup I feel like I need to at least have a general sense of what’s going on and who’s playing who. So I decided to see what was out there in app-world to help me stay up-to-date for free.

The Associated Press has a free app that provides news, photos, videos and all other sorts of tools to follow the games. It allows you to pick several teams to follow on your “homepage” so you can get easy info on the teams at the tap of the screen. While all the tools and resources are great in theory, the app gets easily overwhelmed and shuts down frequently. Every time I try to look at photos or videos, the screen freezes up. Also the navigation wasn’t entirely intuitive, but I guess I could get used to it if I were to keep using this app. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this app a 4. It gets a below 5 rating because of its frequent crashes.

Telegraph’s app is much better and navigable. Like AP’s, it allows you to pick several teams to follow on your homepage. It also has to-the-minute news updates on what’s going on, including a news ticker at the top of its news page, which is great. It also provides historical context, which I really appreciate. The news ticker at the top of its news page is awesome, and I also like how you can instantly send any article to Facebook, email or Twitter. (I won’t be doing any of that, but it’s nice that the option is there!) On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this app a 7. It loses a couple points because I couldn’t set it to Eastern Standard Time, and the interface could be a bit more user-friendly.