In the beginning, when walking I used my iPhone and the Walkathon app by Striiv.com. It’s been replaced by the less beginner friendly Striiv app.
What made Walkathon exceptional was that it had a easy game, where you build and plant stuff on islands. In order to build you need energy and you get the energy when you walk. If you have friends you will get energy when you are beating them (steps, times etc). You could race them (50 steps) and by taking turns of walking 5000 steps you would donate water to South America). I didn’t have friends on Walkathon but you’d get small challenges all the time, that would earn you energy (“move for two minutes in 10 minutes”, “take 1000 steps in 15 minutes”). It’s a geniuos motivator. I’d walk every commercial break watching tv and any excuse leaving my office to walk 50 steps was welcome. I’d say this is what made me succeed.
I set up rules to me. Some tv shows, that I had on dvd (and the old me would see 3-4 episodes at once) I’d say I could only watch them if I was standing on the crosstrainer. We’d put the crosstrainer next to the couch and it worked. I rarely saw more than 2 episodes and I watch a lot less tv now days. And I gained energy for the game too!!!
The iPhone battery isn’t always the best as you may or may not know and I decided to buy Striiv’s Play. A small pedometer that you can wear in your pocket or, as I used to, at the neck lining of the shirt I was wearing. We went to Japan together even. I loved my Play. But then it was drenched by sweat on a 21K run and died.
For several months after this I only used Runkeepers pedometer app called Breeze. It’s a great app, making a spiritual animal based on how often you move and when you’re the most active. It makes you walk a little bit more and give you a target every day based on statistics from how you’ve done so far. Easy, simple to understand and great for motivation. Oh, and you can import the steps and route to Runkeeper, to add it to the achived training.
Running I use Runkeeper. To me that’s all I need. I added Elite (paid) to make it a little bit more interesting but all in all I like to have the times and being able to compete with myself, setting various goals. I make running routes wherever I am going. I am not always using them, since I think it’s too difficult running with the phone in one hand looking at the map + it takes too much battery. But with my maps I can study the surroundings and I know if there’s a park or river anywhere close where there’s likely to be a path I can run. Cause I find it easier to run where there aren’t too many crossings and red lights. And asphalt and concrete aren’t doing wonders to my legs.
BUT I missed the Play, I missed having the complete numbers. I often leave my phone on my desk at work and once again, the battery isn’t good enough to use a full day without charging.
I was convinced that the Polar Loop was my thing. It wasn’t. The app isn’t fully developed. The Loop is hard and while on a keyboard many hours a day I had to take it off. Two weeks it lasted. Nope.
Searching the internet again, reading about all of the variations available I decided Withings Pulse was my new thing. It was. I loved it from start. It’s a small device; you can use it in a clip or wristband. It allows you to take your pulse, it knows how you are sleeping and it count steps. It’s not very accurate when it comes to tell how far you’ve run or walked but as I always have Runkeeper for that, it’s not a deal breaker for me.
Striiv weren’t able to replace my drenched Play (all though they admitted it was supposed to handle sweat) but after many months (four I think) they sent me a Striiv Touch. It has a soft wristband. Not bad at all.
If Striiv had fixed the challenges I would have said it’s the number one to get you started and to continue. Striiv had it with the challenges and races. This wristband is also telling me when I have an incoming call and from whom, when I get a notice as well as text message on my iPhone etc.