With the walk to the train station and then the walk to the office on the other side having been struck off from our daily routines, we’ve been collectively missing out on a lot of walking recently. But it’s important we don’t drop the daily stroll altogether.
Walking can improve your blood circulation, improve your mood, aid weight loss, help you sleep better and even extend your life expectancy. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that of the 27,738 people aged between 40 and 79 that were surveyed, those who walked over an hour a day lived over a year longer than those who weren’t reaching those 60 minutes of pacing.
Luckily we’re not alone in the quest for more steps. Led by Fitbit and Apple Health, digital step counter apps have been tracking our walking stats for quite some time now. The market has exploded in the last year though, with a host of apps that have gamified the step counting blueprint making that hour of walking less of a trudge and more of a bounce. Here we highlight seven of our favourites.
The Best Step Counter Apps
Sneakerheads, save yourself some P’s and collect those Jordans on Aglet. The app launched earlier this year with a novel idea, mainly turning your steps into digital sneaks. While it’s hard to recreate that feeling of opening up your new kicks the fun un-boxing ceremony after you hit a stepping milestone or when you trade in your steps in the store is still wholly satisfying.
Plus the digital product drops mimic real life, so you’ve got to be quick off the mark to bag yourself some Yeezy’s before they all get snapped up.
The premise is simple: what if there was a step counter app that could convert your steps into cash? That’s what Sweatcoin have got going on; a step counter that will offer you digital currency, the eponymous ‘coin, for your hard earned activity. You can then use this Sweatcoin to earn rewards and get exclusive price off deals on a number of products (all tending to be based around the wellness scene), in much the same way as a loyalty card. You can even use your Sweatcoin to donate to charity.
Which takes us nicely onto another app in the step counter slash digital currency genre. While the offers are the big draw in Sweatcoin, Charity Miles prefers to keep all of its focus on the giving. Download the step counter app, pick one of the 40 charities on offer (the WWF, Save The Children and The World Food Programme are all partners) and walk to raise money for that cause. The money itself comes from the apps sponsors, which have given away over $2.5 million to date.
Fitbit has become ubiquitous within the fitness tracking market, but some of you out there might not realise that you don’t need the bracelet device to use the app. Fitbit’s MobileTrack lets you use the app without a Fitbit device by using your phone’s sensors to track basic activity data including steps, distance, and calories burned.
While Apple Health will offer all this data on your iPhone anyway, it is useful for Android users, and the interface is simple and easy to navigate if you wanted another basic step counter option.
The grand-daddy of step counter RPGs, Zombies, Run! became a runaway success five years ago with its unique blend of story telling thrills and fitness tracking utility.
Accompanied by an interactive audiobook, this step counter app plops you right in the middle of a zombie apocalypse as you attempt to out-run the undead around you (and all while recording your time, pace, and calories burnt). The idea has been rehashed in various guises since, but never bettered, with a host of revered authors including Margaret Atwood and Joanne Harris having lent their pen to the game.
Map My Walk
Whether it’s life or your next mid-morning stroll, everything is easier when you know where you’re going. That’s where Map My Walk comes in handy, with millions of walking routes to help you decide. Once you’ve been on that walk (even if it wasn’t a preset one) it will log the activity for you along with tracking your time spent walking, the distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned.
If you speed it up a bit then you can even work it into your marathon training as you keep a close eye on your distances and match your courses to those you’ll eventually race.
While Pokemon Go is so 2016 now, you can still catch them all with Wokamon. In a galaxy far, far away, on planet Laya, Wokamons lived happily with their friends, the Layabouts. They worked together and played together, turning the Layabouts’ activity output into energy source for Wokamons. However the Layabouts got lazy and eventually stopped moving.
In a weakened state, a set of young Wokamons emigrated to Earth in an attempt to thrive again, harnessing energy from the human race. Basically, the more you walk the more you level up your Wokamon. You can connect the game to your Fitbit or just have the app on your phone, with all your attempts to feed your Wokamon with energy tracked and logged for you to look back on.