Best apps for training

The best apps for training can be a welcome addition to your training routine, even more so if you are out and about in summer and movement and activity become an easier way of life. It is no coincidence, on the other hand, that downloads of mobile applications related to the world of sport and fitness are soaring in the spring months as people prepare to train ready for summer.
These are mobile applications that can be used on iOS and Android smartphones and, in most cases, also on tablets and/or smart TV apps that allow you to define training schemes, keep track of them and monitor their progress. The best training apps have at least three features in common:

  • They are designed to establish a routine: those who download them do so not only to keep fit or get back in shape but also to remember to do so. Sometimes a notification is enough to remind us that it is time to dedicate time to ourselves and our well-being.
  • They allow you to define the activities to perform and usually act as a guide: they usually include training programs that the user can choose or allow you to define their own and establish rules and rhythms to follow. Whether it's outdoor training, home work-outs or gym sessions, there are apps tailored to every type of goal.
  • They include the possibility to track all activities: consistency in training is rewarding, so one of the fundamental objectives to keep in mind is to keep constant track of your performance. It is the logic of quantified self: the collection and analysis of data regarding our lifestyle with the aim of improving oneself.

What are the benefits of apps for training?

Beyond their specific characteristics, training apps generally find their strengths by working on mobile, at a time when smartphone use is continually increasing. Training apps have at least four advantages:
They're always available
How many of you keep your smartphone by your bedside table? Not to mention the first thing that you check when you wake up. We have become inseparable from our devices and this makes them perfect coaches: able to monitor all our activities, follow us constantly and support us so as not to lose motivation.
They interface with other apps
Each of us is different, has different habits and unique lifestyles. Much of our information is automatically tracked or personally added by us to a variety of applications that allow you to constantly evaluate parameters such as heart rate or steps taken but also to track how much you have eaten. Usually, having this amount of information available allows you to better structure your workouts and get the most out of them.
They usually have a community
Motivation is easier from a group of people because it helps to share the effort (and the joys) and helps people to improve through the comparison. If then one of the main advantages of gyms is the ability to establish relationships, in the era of social networking the creation of a community is one of the most important elements for success and the adoption of an app to train.
The challenge that accompanies these apps is often one of the levers for their adoption. If the user knows they are competing with others (friends or not) they will be more motivated to achieve the result, both individually and by joining group challenges.

Which are the best apps for training?

In concrete terms, what are the best applications for keeping fit and training? Here's our top 3:

  • Strava: this is the main app for tracking your running, cycling or swimming sessions, thanks to the use of GPS. Founded in 2009, Strava now has over one million active users and finds its strength in its claim: it is an app designed by athletes for athletes. And we can all become one.
  • Runtastic: a great classic for running enthusiasts, which has also found its fortune in the possibility of sharing routes and results with their friends. An exponential success that in 2015 led the Austrian company to be acquired by Adidas.
  • Nike+: More than just an app. It is a set of wearable technologies and applications that represent a clear attempt to position themselves in a market - the sports market - in which Nike already plays a dominant role.

More than training apps: MyWellness and Unity

While Nike+ is already a bridge between mobile applications and wearable technology, the combination of sports and sports equipment has always been a part of the story, and technology can lead to more advanced forms of training apps for MyWellness and UNITY. Mywellness is the perfect synthesis between the physical world, virtual community and personal training and allows you to keep your gym or sports centre in the palm of your hand: just add your club to the app to have both the list of courses and the leaderboard visible. Keep your training programs at hand, and have the ability to have demo videos that guide you through independent training.
UNITY is the next step towards a more advanced generation of fitness trackers. It is a cardio console based on Android technology that actually works like a tablet. If you've ever used one you'll know that its strong point is the highly customized user experience. UNITY is in fact an integral part of the Technogym treadmills and other connections with virtually all of the apps from Technogym: just log on at the beginning of the session to get access automatically to your own training path as defined by the coaches (and available on MyWellness), but also to enjoy the training thanks to features such as virtual simulations, access to news, videos, TV programs and the use of social media. As soon as the user climbs onto the platform and logs on, the experience becomes their own, offering a highly personalised experience.

In the era of connected training, quantified self and shared training, the lack of time is just an alibi, or another challenge to overcome. Like real athletes.

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