Mobile phones have become essential tools for runners and fitness fans – but will we ever get a chance to catch up with the technology?
When mobile phones were first being developed back in the late seventies, did the people working on them ever imagine their creations would evolve into essential fitness tools in the decades to come? It’s fair to say that those first phones – as big as house bricks, that no pocket on earth was big enough to store, forcing people to insert ironic inverted commas every time they referred to them as ‘mobile’ – had no connection with fitness whatsoever. The only way to work out with them was to use them as weights and get some serious arm curl reps in while out and about.
But the evolution of the mobile phone has been a wonderful thing. And now, instead of hulking masses of weighty electronics, we have smartphones that carry apps – apps that train us to become fitter, while simultaneously recording our efforts and allowing us to analyse the results. The connection between runners and their phones has never been stronger, a point that hasn’t been lost on the manufacturers. Sony Ericsson in particular has been leading the way, releasing their Xperia Active – a phone designed, built and loaded for.. .well, active people.
It’s not as big as your average smartphone, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sheer ruggedness. It’s solidly built, water-resistant, dust-proof and has a 3-inch scratch resistant screen with wet finger tracking, as well as the obligatory 5-megapixel camera. Its capacity to repel the weather should make it an attractive proposition to runners, especially those who like braving the elements. What makes it even more appealing is the fact that it comes pre-loaded with fitness apps, the main one being iMapMyFITNESS+.
It’s a solid fitness app that records your workout details, utilising the phone’s GPS to track the duration, distance, pace, speed and calories burned, as well as the route travelled. You can also log your workouts (be they running, walking or cycling), chat to friends and add your nutrition details in order to further your fitness or weight loss goals. All this info can be synched to the mapmyfitness.com website, in order to give a more comprehensive overview of your workout history.
Other pre-loaded apps on the phone include Walk Mate – a step counter, which sets health goals, records your weekly and monthly averages, has a ghostly walking icon, burns your battery time down and is compatible with social networks if you want to share your achievements.
No doubt mobile phone producers are going to take Sony Ericsson’s lead and start integrating more fitness elements into their handsets. It would be foolish of them to ignore the growing health industry and how smartphones are being seen as essential health and fitness tools of the near future.
But that’s the rub – there’s no true longevity in the products they put out. Because the industry moves and develops so quickly, it’s impossible to future-proof your phone. The Xperia Active is a good device – it’s an award-winning device – but it’s already being superseded by the next generation of phones. In a year’s time it will seem archaic compared to what’s new on the market. So, as runners who appreciate the benefits a smartphone can offer, we’re caught in a constant cycle of upgrading. But then, that’s nothing new.
Author Bio:- Kashif Raza writes for weightlossdiets4Women.com a site where you can find the latest Bistro MD promotional codes and a diettogo coupon. The site offers advice and help to women who wish to lose weight with effective exercise and diet.