Exercise Tracking for Schools (Map my Fitness)

Exercise Tracking

I’m currently looking at ways of enabling students to log their exercise as part of a health, fitness and well being unit of work. Tracking exercise activity will enable students to monitor their progress and set regular targets. On researching such software I have come across many tools which are both web based and app based for handheld devices (i.e. iPod touch). One such app is the Map my Fitness app which is part of a family of apps including map my walk and map my run. The following is my opinion on what features of this tool may be for a school based PE programme.

20120121-185351.jpg

The app is available on iOS, android and blackberry as well as being web based. This means students could log activities using their own handheld devices or one’s supplied within school if students are not allowed their own devices in school. However they could also log activity using computers in or out of school. This could be beneficial if you are asking students to log all of their physical activity, both in and out of school.

Logging in to the app is a quick and simple process that can be done via email, facebook, twitter or google. Logging in via google is an excellent option for any schools who, like ours, provide students with google passwords. They will have to set up usernames and passwords, and students forgetting/losing these could become an issue! It is also worth noting that if students are using school devices they should log out of their accounts once they have completed their session.

Once logged in you are presented with a home screen which includes a record workout and log workout option (see above photo). The record workout option allows activities such as jogging or cycling to be logged via GPS. This is similar to apps such as RunKeeper. The log workout option allows you to choose from a wide range of activities from football training to a lower body weights option. This process is very simple however if you are doing an activity that is not on their list you can not add your own. The list is however substantial. The simplicity of this process makes it suitable for school use as students could log their sessions at the end of lessons, possibly as part of a cool down. If devices are not available in lessons they could make a not of their activity and log it when they get home. It may be worthwhile noting that weights activities can not be logged by reps, sets and weight lifted so if you are looking for a tool to do this, specific weight training apps such as Viaden Mobile’s Fitness HD or GAIN Fitness might be more suitable. Although many may see this as a negative in terms of tracking exercise progress, at a school level it may be positive as logging activity does not take as long, will not require one device per student and won’t require too much explanation time within limited curriculum time.

The app also has a nutrition section for logging food intake. This would be of particular interest when delivering diet and nutrition to examination level students at GCSE, BTEC or A Level. With regards to these examination subjects this app could be an excellent way of logging exercise as part of students’ coursework.

The software allows synchronisation with a variety of other tools such as nike+, FitBit, Polar and Garmin however I am yet to utilise these.

Map my Fitness also allows users to invite friends to see their progress. Adding a teacher would allow staff to monitor student progress throughout a unit of work. Combing this with a goal setting and rewards programme could provide an extremely motivational environment for students to learn how to exercise for health and fitness benefits.

On the whole the simplicity of this app makes it a very suitable tool for use within school PE programmes. The fact that activity can be logged via an app on a handheld device or the web means it could be done on a lesson by lesson basis, within PSE lessons or at home. If however you are looking for a tool that will monitor details of reps and sets in a weight training or conditioning programme this is not the tool. This, in it’s FREE form is, as it says “on the tin” an app to “Map” your exercise.

 

10 responses to “Exercise Tracking for Schools (Map my Fitness)

  1. I like the sound of this. Loads of potential for health related fitness units. I’ve gone app crazy over the summer holidays and look forward to trying some out when school starts again. I’ll put this one in the locker for sure, so thanks for sharing. When I’ve road tested a few of the ones I’ve got (e.g Nike Boom, Nike training, fit deck, endomondi, runtastic) I’ll try and reciprocate a post with what’s worked etc.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for blogging about us! Please let us know if we can answer any questions or be of any assistance.

  3. Great post, I must recommend the following sports tracking app that coupled with a Ant+ dongle allows for heart rate tracking also. The best feature about this is that the app reports data live to a URL meaning observations can be made live about performance.
    http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/endomondo-sports-tracker-pro/id416797509?mt=8

    If your using android devices, then you cant go past https://market.android.com/details?id=com.sportstracklive.android.ui.activity.pro&hl=en

    It allows for live tracking of all metrics as well as skin temp and breathing rate via additional hardware. Simple incredible.

  4. Pingback: Exerise Tracking in PE (part 2-list of apps) | The Physical Education Teacher

  5. Do you have an interest in mapping and digital mapping? Well if so you must visit http://www.promap.co.uk, the have a huge range of different types of OS maps with digital overlays and GIS data.

  6. You may also want to evaluate Tractivity… http://www.tractivityonline.com
    We would be happy to provide you with some samples free of charge to enable a test.
    Cheers,
    Paul.

  7. Good post
    App is to be recommended in physical education

    Thanks

  8. Pingback: The Poor (Wo)man’s Garmin | Steph Stays Slim

  9. Pingback: Week 5: Exercise | leothehealthylion

  10. Abraham Trevino

    This is a great resource to use I would definitely incorporate this into my classroom!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s