My Top 8 Health & Fitness Apps For The Classroom

With over 300,000 apps inside Apples App store it is indeed hard to know where to go. Here are some of my favorites.

1)      Couch to 5km – This nifty little app will have even the hardiest couch potatoes active. Simply run the program and you will be guided through an interval training program that seeks to progress you to an eventual continuous 5km run. It even guides you through an appropriate warm up and cool down. Use it in your health classes to discuss the many approaches availble today to promote physical activity amongst the community. You could then report on the strengths and weaknesses of the methods such as these.  Available here

2)   Runkeeper – This is one of my all time favourite applications.   Simply go for a run/walk/ride/jog/ski while running the program and your activity will be recorded. As most modern phones include GPS, runkeepr will present you with a plethora of statistics from the activity including total distance, speed, elevation and even a google map tracking your activity in real time. It also combines powerful voice overs to provide you with current real time feedback on your activity.  Use the Runkeeper app during the Cooper 12 minute run fitness test, to share distance, speed and intensity and allow for discussion of the interplay of energy systems during exercise. Available here

3)      Hundred Pushups – The first in a series of apps designed to improve your core strength. Simply complete the initial test pushup maximum test and the application designs an appropriate training program to guide you to the ultimate goal of 100 pushups.  Within a classroom environment use this application to explore fitness components and how they can be trained and developed to improve sports performance. Available here

4)      Gym Goal ABC – Gym goal is an exercise database that seeks to allow you to keep track of all of your workouts. It also includes  step by step how to animations on over 250 exercises .  This application is the perfect tool in a classroom to teach students about exercise concepts such as progressive overload and specificity. Available here

5)      Sleep Cycle  Alarm Clock – Although not specifically designed to get you moving, it is however designed to make you  wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the days activities.  The application has you set a wake up time and then within a half an hour window before that time the application will measure your sleep patterns using the inbuilt motion sensor and wakes you up when you are in your lightest sleep phase. This ensures that you wake feeling alert, rested and relaxed.  The theory behind the app is that during our deepest sleep phases we are motionless.  Use this application in class as a means of discussing the importance of REM sleep for growth and repair. Available here

6)      Pedometer –  Run, walk, or jog your way to better health! The Pedometer application will help you lose weight and stay healthy as it tracks your steps, distance traveled, and calories burned – all conveniently from your iPhone or iPod touch.  Pedometers can be used to measure the physical activity of your student cohort. Take it the next step and compare the results with staff members and your can have a rich discussion on the most active subjects and how occupations have differing physical demands. Available here

7)      Beep Test – You have all probably completed this classic aerobic fitness test in your time during school or sports training. Basically the application allows you to complete your beep test and then records and plots your changes over time. A fantastic way to motivate yourself to work towards continual improvement. Use this in your classroom as a pre and post test. Students can then measure the change in their V02 max levels and how training affects these. Available here

8)      Geocaching – Geocaching which is actually pronounced geo-cashing, is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. Using either an iPhone or an Adroid phone you can search for and participate in the global treasure hunt. Geocaching will have you running around and exercising without realising it. There are over currently 1.1 million active caches in existence across 100 countries.  Have your students race to find a series of Geocaches around your town that require them to work as a team to solve puzzles in order to receive the next geocache co-ordinate. Available here

What are your favourites?

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