Let's take a moment of silence to remember the Badass CEO's Blackberry Curve, which suffered an untimely death early Friday morning when it got knocked off the bathroom counter and curved right into my toilet. Gurgle, gurgle, and then buh-bye.
Yet, with loss comes opportunity. Specifically, a new iPhone. I'm still getting used to the sensitive touchscreen after all those years of Blackberry keypound pounding, but the truth is I have been pondering an iPhone for months - primarily because of one particular app (Fooducate) that is available ONLY on the Droid and iPhone.
Which leads me to today's Badass Techie blog. If you've ever downloaded an App on your BlackBerry, Droid or iPhone, only to be disappointed or even feeling duped, you know that not all Apps are created equal.
Some overpromise and under-deliver. Others fly under the radar for a long time and suddenly get discovered because they're THAT awesome and useful. With input and suggestions from a few fellow Badass Army recruits, I've put together a list of Apps that are worth adding to your arsenal for the Badass Journey to a stronger, healthier you.
I am no doubt missing a few great ones, so please pass along your faves in the comment box below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (And if I reply in what seems like pig latin, forgive me - it's this new touchscreen! ;)
1. Fooducate: If you see me, or anyone, at the grocery store holding their phones up to various food packages, odds are they're having fun with Fooducate. With this free App, you can scan the bar codes on just about any food or drink, and Fooducate spits back a grade along with explanation about why the food got, say a C+ (artificial sweeteners, maybe, or trans fats hidden in there). It also offers healthier alternatives. So if the granola bar you THOUGHT was really healthy gets a D, Fooducate will point you to healthier, higher-rated granola bars.
Warning: This App is really addictive. You will want to scan everything. I have even witnessed it turn into a dinner party game, with friends running around scanning the items in the host's pantry. Pretty comical, actually. Also, sign up for the Fooducate daily blog. I learn something new literally every time I read a new entry.
2. Couch to 5k: Who needs a running coach when, for less than a Venti Starbucks latte, you can go from couch potato to 5K race completer? Couch to 5K, for $2.99, provides running plans that are about half an hour long each, and collectively work to build even the least active among us up to short distance runners. Awesome! I recommend this for new runners, or former runners who haven't been out there for awhile. This App breaks down your training into a very attainable plan.
3. MyFitnessPal: Another freebie! This is a great, easy to use app where you can track your weight goals, daily calorie intake, exercise, calories burned, and even water consumed. This one also has a 'trainer' that helps you work up to 150 pushups and 200 situps in a row. Badass!
4. MapMyRUN: Log your running progress with this App, which traces your pace, distance and route via GPS. There is motivation in seeing your pace and distance improve, and the iPod link-up is cool, too. It has a nutrition log, and you can even let friends track your running live. Talk about accountability!
5. Fitness Buddy: At the risk of putting myself and fellow trainers out of business, I give big props to this virtual trainer. It is basically a dense exercise book, complete with pictures and descriptions of hundreds of exercises for each muscle group, condensed into your handheld. You can search by muscle group or even use one of the ready-made workout routines, which are available for beginners, intermediate and advanced gym rats. The pictures make this very user-friendly. I love this for anyone who is on the road alot and wants to keep their fitness routine going.
6. Tabata Timer: Tabata drills take 4 minutes each, but it can be challenging to track the 20 seconds on-10 seconds off on your own. Well, if this is the excuse you're clinging to for NOT trying Tabata, this App just blew your excuse out the window. The Tabata Timer comes with sound effects, blowing the whistle when it's time to start your 20 seconds of work and then signaling when it's time for the 10-second rest. It keeps going for all 8 rounds of work, making high-intensity interval training totally foolproof.
Coming Friday: 2 little changes, big results...