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Are Fitness Apps Really Helpful or Just Another Distraction?

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We've all been there, looking down at our bodies and deciding that we really don't like what we see. Then follows the surge of determination and spontaneous decision to get fit or die trying. We dig out our old gym kit or buy a truck load of fancy new stuff, because just putting it on makes us feel like a whole new person. Then pop up the questions, do I feel confident enough to go to the gym and risk making a fool of myself? Is it really worth buying a monthly subscription? What if I find the gym boring? Well, there is a new way floating about; a quicker, cheaper, less risky and perhaps more fun option. The fitness app.

I've taken a look at two of the less... conventional fitness apps and honestly, one of them is a bit strange. Let me put in a disclaimer here: I am not a fitness guru, I just find working out in a sweaty room incredibly boring and tend to find other ways to get fit and enjoy myself. That's not to say if you like the gym you won't like fitness apps as well, because they could be a really fun alternative to going to the gym for one day a week.

The first app I downloaded is now lacking a price tag so if you saw it before and didn't wish to pay then run forth my readers and claim your bliss. It's pretty big in the running app world and excitingly called Zombies, Run! I'll let you in on a secret I don't mind you knowing, I am petrified of Zombies so this was a bit of a risk for me. Will I love it? Or will I cry and run so hard from fear that I keel over and die? I'm happy to report it was the first, and maybe a bit of the second.

Zombies, Run! is essentially an interactive audio book; meaning that you listen to a main story in your headphones, which is delivered in the style of radio transmissions, whilst you run. Then when you hear the weird groans of Zombies, you take it up a level and run the hell away from them. Or die. In the story you have a commendable 200 missions. You can also work the app around your fitness style to include interval training and it also allows you to add more or less zombie chases. 
This app also has the typical fitness features such as GPS tracking and showing you how many steps you take and how far you've run,  then it logs it all onto your personal account so that you can keep track of your routes and progress.

The story is exciting enough to keep you interested plus it also allows you to play your own music whilst the 'radio transmissions' aren't playing.
Overall it really is a fantastic idea that's very well executed - the proof is in the pudding with an average review score from 620 ratings of 4 and a half stars on the iTunes app store.

Now the second app I heard about from a co-worker and toyed with, I'm not so much a fan of. It's innocently called Burn your fat with me. The name doesn't give much away and it makes it sound somewhat pleasant, and it is.. if you buy the priced up version for £1.49! Which I didn't.

This is also based around a story, a manga style story in which you attend a theater school and the guy you fancy looks just like your dream manga man, however the first thing this apparently devastatingly beautiful person says to you is "Hey Fatty".

I'm sorry, excuse me? "Hey fatty"? Go away manga man, I don't like you. But no, of course in the game I do, so I have to put up with his various forms of abuse while working out with him and being told not to eat so much.

Maybe this is what you need, a tough love approach? I, on the other hand, just found it annoying. Plus, this is also an app that is only very limited and basic unless you purchase extra content.

The story itself was also eye-roll inducing and weak. It's probably great if you're into that style and want to play just to see the rest of the story but it gets old quick. It might also have some serious consequences! Not to be dramatic, but if an insecure young girl plays it and is being told that she needs to stop eating and how fat she is, even if it was just in a game, she might really take the comments on board and like herself even less.

Fitness apps can be a great thing; they're practical because you can use them at home, they're often free and they're something fresh but honestly? Just get a hobby that involves a little bit (or a lot) of sweat. Dance, Climb, Tumble and yes take a break from staring at your phone screen because that's not where the difference will be made. Apps tend to be faddy and work for short periods of time until you grow tired of them, but a hobby and a lifestyle never go out of style.



Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn


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Are Fitness Apps Really Helpful or Just Another Distraction? Reviewed by Robyn Tillett on Friday, March 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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