Last Updated on June 6, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
When it comes to tracking your walks, jogs or runs, RunKeeper is a powerful app that many enjoy using. As you can see from “Michael’s Miles” on this website, it’s also one that I use. Out of the many that I have tried, what puts this app as one of my go-tos for building on health?
What is RunKeeper?
RunKeeper is a free-to-use app for mobile devices that includes an easy-to-use browser version for tracking movement. Using the GPS within your smartphone or tablet, you can record a great deal of cardio activities. There are subscriptions available if you want to take advantage of some of the more robust reporting aspects of the app. As a standalone free monitor, it works exceptionally well.
Why Should You Want It?
RunKeeper does more than just record distance and speed when tracking your movement. It also includes a calorie burn recorder – which is far less than accurate when pitted against the Fitbit Charge HR. However, it does calculate your position and speed amazingly well. The system is also tailored to help you get the most out of your walks when you don’t have a phone.
Wide Range of Activities
This app includes a variety of activities aside from walking, running and jogging. You can record a vast array of different activities ranging from cycling to swimming. Although I doubt you want to strap your phone to your arm and swim a couple of laps, it does allow you to manually make entries for those and other activities.
Like most other apps nowadays, RunKeeper also includes a social element. This allows you to see and comment on the progress of friends and family that use the app as well. This can be quite the motivator if you challenge each other to keep in shape.
One of the primary reasons why this app is in my arsenal of fitness is because of it’s ability to integrate with everything else I use. When I track a walk or a bike ride, the information is fed to both Exercise.com and MyFitnessPal. I can then get an accurate portrayal of how many calories I can consume based on the activity of the day. Thanks to my Fitbit, even the calories are corrected if a system is reporting something different than what I actually burn. I’ll do a review of how this works at a later date.
Using Google Maps, RunKeeper will track your activity whether it’s live or manually entered. You can create planned routes using the map or look back on past activities to see where you’ve walked before.
Where Do You Get It?
Although you can access the information using your web browser, the app is available on mobile platforms as well. It works flawlessly on my Android LG G3, but I don’t know it’s performance in regards to Apple products.
Pros and Cons of RunKeeper
Not every system is infalible. There are a few things that I don’t like about RunKeeper, but the negatives just don’t compare to the benefits of using this app like I do. The setup of my tools works perfectly for what I am trying to accomplish, and this app is a part of that collection.
- Free or paid subscription plans
- Incredibly accurate movement tracking
- Entry of a myriad of exercises
- Able to set goals
- Inspirational badges when meeting certain milestones
- Integrates with other apps
- Route mapping
- Calories are not as precise as I’d like
- The social aspect could be more engaging
The Bottom Line
Although there are a few things I’d like to incorporate into RunKeeper, it’s still an excellent system for tracking your movement. Other “pedometers” require the movement of the phone or tablet in order to record a step. This app utilizes GPS to track your movement and speed, which has potential to give far better results. This is by far one of my favorite systems, and I will continue to use it for a long time to come.
Like always, not every system is perfect for everyone. What I love about RunKeeper, you may not like. It’s all about what will help you get into better shape. Since RunKeeper is free to use, you have nothing to lose but a bit of time exploring the possibilities. And yes, this system does track movement even if you’re in a wheel chair. There’s no excuse to live an unhealthy lifestyle.