MyFitnessPal is the ideal companion for those looking to start on the road to fitness
After months of saying “I really need to up my fitness game”, I have finally started exercising properly for the first time in about three years.
Do I think I deserve a medal? No, but it sure would be nice.
Three years ago I was asked to do the Samsung Night Run, as it was back then, and I stupidly said yes. I did the 10k run after two months of training. That was not enough. I struggled my way through. I remember muttering every swear word I know as I ran past the 7k mark, convinced I had to have already run at least 9k by that stage. I ran across the finish line. They gave me a medal. It sure was nice.
I don’t know why, but I just stopped running four months after that. I didn’t replace it with any real form of physical activity. I just stopped.
A Facebook memory popped up recently that showed it was three years since the night of my one and only 10k.
I looked at that photo and saw my happy little face. I instantly remembered how much I loved running. Aside from the fact that I was one dress size smaller and slept better during that time, I realised that I never turn my phone off anymore. When I used to run, I’d put my phone in airplane mode and listen to music. It was my time to be unavailable. When I stopped running, I stopped switching off.
And so I’ve gone back to it, in a small way. I’m not writing this to preach and unveil a new line of running gear. I’m writing this because I have shin splints and can’t really think of anything else other than that pain right now.
When I ran last time around, I had multiple wearables on the go at any one time and used RunKeeper to log how far I ran and for how long.
Being completely honest with you, I was afraid to use RunKeeper this time. I didn’t want to see that I was running slower than a snail stuck inside its shell.
I didn’t want a wearable that sat on my wrist. Up until very recently, I was going to the gym on a Monday, ordering a Domino’s on a Tuesday and then questioning my life by Wednesday. I didn’t want a wearable being a physical reminder that I need to get my arse in gear.
I downloaded MyFitnessPal (iOS and Android) to my phone. The app is free to download and very easy to get set up. What I like about it, is that it helps me monitor my food intake. I have a strange relationship with food in that I can go an entire day without eating and not feel hungry. I’ll then go home and eat crap all evening long. It’s not good.
I have this app set to remind me to log breakfast, lunch and dinner. It may be a very millennial thing, needing a smartphone push notification to remind me to eat, but it really does help me.
I don’t log every single thing I eat, but I do keep track of my main meals and any sneaky snacks. I have identified trends and red flags in my habits. For example, I still don’t eat breakfast most days. I know that I need to fix that.
On days when I go to the gym, I log my activity and duration within the app. It counts my steps as I go. It then displays my calorie intake versus my exercise in an easy to read way.
I don’t feel intimidated by this app. It’s just a free app that is helping me make better choices for my own wellbeing.
I’m only a few weeks into taking this whole health thing serious again. I don’t see any massive difference physically, but on the evenings that I exercise I sleep much better, I am in better form and I have more energy.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, my shins are sore but I feel great.