Sunday, June 8, 2014

A New Walking App

It's been raining almost non-stop for the last couple of days, but today it's very nice. So this morning I took advantage of the pre-mid-day humidity and took a long walk.

Map my Walk LogoIt was my chance to try out my new walking app, Map My Walk. I only downloaded it because my Nike Run App suddenly stopped working on my Android phone. I became frustrated, so I began looking for a new app. This one has some great reviews, and over 1,000,000 dowloads, so I grabbed it.

Feature wise, it's about the same as the Nike app. There is a paid version which is more feature rich, but for what I need it for, the free version is good for me.

Map my Walk turned out to be just as accurate as the Nike app. It has built in GPS, which shows the course I walked, and it shows the amount of calories I burned and the pace I averaged. It also let me know when I hit the mile mark, two mile, etc. And it give you a nice rundown of your exercise session when you are done, with the ability to save or discard your workout. Plus, like the Nike Run app, you can post your results to Facebook, to let your friends know that you are exercising.

Another feature on the free version that I like, is the ability to pick nearby courses to take, and the amount of miles in each course. This helps break up the monotony of walking the same route everyday.

If you don't have a walking app I would recommend Map my Walk. It's accurate, and the paid version has a service that let's friends and family know that you are on a walk, and also where you are.

Happy Walking!

Map my Walk app screenshot

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Cons of Running

I don't think anyone should discourage anyone from any exercise. I personally like to walk and ride my bike. On the other hand my wife loves to run. She gets a high from running and she burns more calories, which is her goal when exercising. I like to burn calories too, but I'm more interested in keeping fit. But if you love to run, and quite honestly don't have the patience to run, ie. knock out a few miles in as short of time as possible, then by all means you should run.

That being said, I'm going to lay out some of the cons of running, mainly the toll it can take on your body.


While any kind of impact of your feet hitting a surface can have damaging effects on your knees, walking is less of  a shock on them then running. Ross Tucker, author of "The Runner's Body," explains that "each time your foot makes contact with the ground, forces equaling two to four times your body weight travel upward through your lower leg, knee, thigh, hip and pelvis, and into your spine."

The best way to combat the impact is to allow your legs to heal after each run. This may mean waiting a couple of days before running. It may also help to do strength training to strengthen your knees and other joints. Or you could just walk instead.


This doesn't apply to people with healthy hearts, but for people who have heart disease, running raises your risk of sudden death from heart failure seven times, then an activity such as walking or other moderate exercise. Now of course no one should start running before going to the doctor. So this is a problem that can be completely avoided with common sense.

Weight Gain

This is another completely avoidable dilemma, but often times it happens. You do burn more calories running than walking, but this is often cancelled out because runners often drink sports drinks that high in calories, or eat more because the run has actually increased their appetite. And too many people eat extra food because they "went for a run today." Again this is avoidable, but it happens.

Running can be bad for Women

I know a lot of women run, and I think it's great. However research has shown that a large Q-angle, angle formed between the knee and the hip, has been found to heighten the amount of knee torque during running. Because women have naturally wide hips for childbirth, this gives them a larger Q-angle than men. A large Q-angle is more prone to knee injury than men.

Also, running can cause breast sag. A UK study found that the breast bounce from running lead to irreversible breast sag. This can be remedied by a sports bra however, which reduced bounce by 78%.

If you love running, then by all means keep running. It really is great for you. See the pros here. However, if you want moderate exercise, or just want to take a break from running, you should try out walking for a while.