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Use apps to make your time outside more enjoyable

June 10, 2013 - Art Smith

It’s the time of year when everyone is outdoors — taking advantage of warm weather and longer days.

Regardless of what form of exercise you are taking part in there is likely an app available to make the activity more enjoyable for you.

I spend a lot more time planning how other people will run than I do actually running. There are a lot of apps available for accomplished runners and still more for those who want to be.

For people training for The News and Sentinel Half Marathon there are apps such as Couch to Half Marathon, as well as a very large group of apps that will do everything from measure your heart rate to allow you to “race” against a ghost of yourself recorded from a previous run.

There are also apps for people training for shorter runs, such as The News and Sentinel Two Mile Race.

There is an excellent couch to 5K app that my wife Lori has been using. The app changes as you work you way through the different weeks and includes warm-up and cool-down exercises you can do before and after your run.

I don’t actually use an app when I run; I just let Lori tell me when to run. I prefer to use a nearly weightless iPod shuffle, which plays music – just music.

There is an excellent list of running apps, with links, available at

Hiking presents a different set of issues from running. I love hiking and always try to do so using one of many apps that are available.

Right now I’m really in the testing stage of apps. The most important thing is to find one that works for you. Map My Hike provides you with a lot of urban walks people have done. There are dozens for instance for downtown Parkersburg.

Other apps do a great job of making you aware of elevation changes as well as using the built in GPS of your phone to track you on the trail and provide mileage for you.

A great list can be found at

For people who like to enjoy the great outdoors by camping, there is a backpack full of apps available for you too. Apps offer tips on cooking, knots tying and also provide some very simple, but useful utilities, like a flashlight. You can find links to more than 20 at

For people that like to take advantage of area waterways to fish, there are plenty of apps for you as well. Apps can help you do everything from identify what you have caught to letting you know when is the best time to fish for a particular species. There are even apps to help you keep a log of what you have caught. Check out a complete list at

Regardless of what you like to do outdoors, there is probably an app to help you enjoy it more.


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