I am going to Africa in the spring to present at a conference and then go on safari.  I am really psyched about the trip.  However…I want to be in better physical shape than I am now so that I will be full of energy while chasing across the savannah to photograph all of those wonderful animals.  So, I am getting serious about diet and exercise and have been researching fitness apps, especially food and walking trackers.

I’ve had MyFitnessPal on my iPad for over a year.  It is one of the most highly rated ones for several reasons. Not only will it count your calories, but it will also keep track of fat, sodium, protein, and sugar.  You set your own goals for consumption, enter the the foods, and the app does the calculation.

Image of My Fitness Pal

Today was not a day high in fruits and vegetables–Don’t tell my sister or my doctor!

On the other hand…I didn’t eat all of my calories because I got out and walked.  The app also calculates how many calories you burn while exercising and subtracts that number from the total number of calories you ate.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 9.06.19 PM

I know I should love this app. It gives me all of the information I need to eat a healthy diet.  However, I feel like someone is always looking over my shoulder and offering a judgement that I didn’t meet the standard.  Silly, isn’t it!  However anyone who has struggled with their weight will tell you that guilt can be a powerful demoralizer.  Despite my emotional response to the app, it is a good one for monitoring your diet.  Maybe I will  use it again tomorrow and see if I can’t squeeze in some leafy green veggies.

I did find an app which I love!  My favorite exercise is walking. In the past few years I haven’t walked as much as I used to so I would like to keep better track of my time and distance.  I’ve tried pedometers, but I have not been very successful in getting them to work properly.  Yesterday I did an internet search–walking apps–and found several good sites with useful information:

The one that comes up over and over again is MapMyWalk.  I downloaded it, but I had to set up an account to use it.  I wasn’t in the mood for another password so I went back to the articles looking for something that acted like a pedometer.  Found it!  Pacer.  Evidently there is a little magic chip in the newer smart phones that allows it to run in the background.  It worked in my pocket, and it worked in my purse.

Pacer2

You can see that yesterday morning I walked for about a half hour and walked a little over 3000 steps on my way to a goal of 10,000.  The fitness experts encourage us all to walk 10,000 steps a day. I only made it to a bit over 8000 steps yesterday.  That result spurred me to want to walk 10,000 steps today.  For me, tracking my exercise is an entirely different dynamic than tracking what I eat. Maybe it’s because I can always add to the total number of my steps, but I can never un-eat that Oreo.

There are lots of different fitness apps available and many are free.  Everyone needs to read about the different ones to see which ones fit their particular needs. MyFitnessPal and Pacer are two good places to start!

By the way…I met my goal of ten thousand steps today!

Pacer1