Fitness Blog, Health & Nutrition Articles, Wellness Tips

Using Your Smartphone as a Workout Aid

Guest Post by Joe Pawlikowski:

workout help with a smartphoneYou probably see them around the gym all the time, strapped to someone’s arm. Maybe it looks like a regular old iPod Touch — as if anything about the iPod Touch is “regular old” — but oftentimes people will have their iPhones strapped on. A smartphone, whether an iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android, can be a great workout companion. In fact, it might be the only workout tool you need.

You can use your smartphone as a…

  • Music Player. This is the most obvious, but it’s still a valuable feature. If you work out to music, you can simply use your smartphone, rather than dragging multiple devices to the gym. (And worse, leaving one in your locker.) Plus, if your gym gets cellular reception you can use streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify to add variety to your playlist.
  • Timer. Want to stay on task? A timer can be a great way to ensure that you don’t take too much time between sets. You can time your entire workout. Even on a treadmill or elliptical it can help. Instead of looking at the treadmill timer every 30 seconds, you can set your own timer, cover the treadmill with a towel, and run distraction-free.
  • Reminder. Need a reminder of what days you’re going to the gym this week? How about a reminder for what routine you’re going to do? A quick calendar or task list entry can make it easy to remember.
  • Recorder. It’s pretty easy to write down your results in a quick notepad document on any smartphone. Apps make it even easier. You can use them to create routines, and then record your results. Even better, these apps use the cloud, so the information is stored at someone else’s data centers. If your phone crashes, gets lost or stolen, or even if you change phones, the information is still there when you re-download the app.
  • Idea Generator. In addition to apps that record your workouts, there are apps that help you plan them. You might not be doing this inside the gym, but it’s still another way your smartphone can be your gym companion.
  • Motivator. Need some motivation? You can always post your progress to Facebook. Some apps even do this automatically. It’s a great way to stay accountable, which will help keep you motivated.

This doesn’t even touch on all the Bluetooth-based peripheral devices, such as heart rate monitors, that you can buy for your smartphone. They will take your workouts to an even higher level. Even without them, there is plenty you can do with your smartphone at the gym. It can take the place of multiple gadgets that, because of their bulk, you might not have taken to the gym in the past. If you’re looking to take your workouts to a new level, you might want to explore all the ways you can turn your smartphone into your workout companion.

Joe Pawlikowski is the editor of, and uses his BlackBerry Bold at the gym.

image by Appedia

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