Getting into shape can be quite a struggle, and without being able to track your progress it makes it even more difficult. When I began running it was very hard for me to understand how far I ran, how long it took me, and more importantly how I was going to be able to track how I progressed daily. Runkeeper for Android is a great application that is available as a free download that not only allows you to track your runs, but nearly any other physical activity you can think of as well.
Getting set up with Runkeeper is an extremely easy process, an account will have to be created but it requires only basic information. After you enter your height, weight, gender and some other information your account is set up and ready to be used. The main screen that launches from here will allow you to select what type of activity you will be performing, whether it be running, cycling, walking or any other type of physical activity.
Once an activity is selected the begin activity button will become available, and once pressed the tracking begins. The device will use the built in GPS to track your locations and calculate distance, so this will need to be turned on through the device settings. Throughout the course of the activity the application will speak progress reports. Every 5 minutes it will speak to inform you how long it has been, how far you have gone, how fast you are going, and the current pace.
Upon completing the activity all that needs to be done is press the end activity button, and then confirm that the activity is ended. When the activity is complete the application gives you a place to put in some notes about how the activity went, who it was completed with and a few other options. After all of this is completed it will then give a recap of the workout, giving overall time, distance, speed and any other audible alerts you wish to have read. In addition to reading the information it also stores it in your account by date, so you can go back and view previous workouts.
With having the previous workouts listed it gives the ability to not only monitor progress, but to view previous routes and to see what pace was kept throughout. While it may not be immediately obvious, monitoring and comparing previous workouts and results will definitely help motivate and push for the next workout to be that much better.
For free, Runkeeper is an extremely powerful workout tool that should definitely be installed on the device of anyone who walks, runs, bikes, kayaks or does any other type of physical activity. Set a goal, track your goal, and try to beat it.