Sunday, September 05, 2010

Comparing a Couple of Sites: Exercising

A number of years ago, I signed on to a site called Asimba. It was a site that allowed me to keep track of the various exercise programs I was doing. At that time it was running and biking. It was a very useful site, easy to use and easy to follow the progress. I even bought a hat and tee shirt. I still own both and wear both, the hat is what I still wear when I do go running. Shortly after purchasing the wear, the company was bought by another company and they screwed it up royally. What was easy became difficult. It became more of an advertisement. Since then, nothing was out there, at least nothing that was as simple and straightforward as I thought Asimba was to me. By the way, the motto of the site was: "Because Endorphins Feel Good". That's very true, by the way, nothing like exercise to enhance the daily mood. Nothing like the release of Endorphins to improve one's outlook as well.

What have I been using? Nothing. That is until recently.

It was about March I discovered the site Skimble. This is a very nice site. To sum up what it's all about, let me quote from the About Page:
Skimble is the ultimate companion for your active life. With the mission to inspire active lifestyles, Skimble provides a location-based, social iPhone and web application to help you plan, track and discover activities nearby and far. Use Skimble to connect with other active people and share your achievements with friends. Track all your sports activities, compete on the leaderboards and win prizes just for being active. Skimble will automatically remember your Personal Bests and help you monitor your progress over time. Whether you run, hike, bike, rock climb, ski, snowboard, kayak, canoe, do cardio, lift weights, or practice yoga and pilates, join the fun and skimble it!

You sign up, go through the list of exercises, and it's quite extensive, and begin to start keeping records. If it is an exercise, you can find it listed and you can start keeping your statistics on what you're doing. As this is the age of social networking, you can make friends and followers. This is important since you can compare yourself to those you follow. You can see what they are doing and you can also send notes to one another. On your main page, there is a leaderboard, so you can compare what you've done to others.

If you do a personal best on any of the exercise, you will get a notice, which will make you feel pretty good. As well, you can look back and discern whether or not you've approved since the last time. If you put in your Twitter and Facebook information, you can post to those sites at the same time. This is good if you've done a personal best. Just be aware, this will make you open to funny comments from the less, shall we save, active of your friends. At the same time it will garner comments of encouragement. You take the good with the bad.

It also keeps record of how you've done since joining the site. I think this is a good feature, if anything, you may be impressed with the numbers. I know I was impressed when I checked my own statistics.

There is also an app which can be installed on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well as Android devises. So you can keep track wherever you are as you exercise. The app also has GPS ability, which is good for the iPhone. Since I don't I don't use.

As a means of investing, you can Go Pro. For $24.95 a year, there is enhancements to assist with your workout. I haven't joined yet, I'm thinking about it.

There is also a Store, so you can buy your t shirt.

Also, there is a monthly contest and draw, the more you do, the more active you are, the getter your chance of winning that month's prize. I have yet to win.

They are a friendly bunch as well. One of the co-founders Maria Ly, will answer your emails and encourage you.

I have made this site known to a chair of a wellness committee. If exercise is a part of your lifestyle. This site is worth looking into and getting involved.

Another site worth looking into is DailyMile. The emphasis on this site is to be a social network of those who train. It's been referred to as the Twitter for Runners. I've just started using this site, so my thought are not as extensive. It is a pleasant site. Very neat and does the job well. You can map your route, it will calculate the miles, or kilometres ran, or biked or whatever method you use. There is also a Store, for the tee shirt.

As it is a social network as well, you can follow and be followed. From the following, you can get words of encouragement from other runners. You can set your goals, be it a race you're training for, or just the fact you want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Some of the nice things, you can send motivators and receive the same. As with both sites, you can add photographs, probably a good thing if you've got someone taking pictures as you finish a race. It's also a good site. What it has going for it that Skimble doesn't, is that it tracks in Kilometres. If there is one issue I have with Skimble is that everything has to be either entered as miles, which is true with the iPod Touch app or it will be translated into miles, if you add in kilometres, such as at the website. It's a minor quibble, but since I live in Canada, it's important. On the other hand, DailyMile has no app for iPhone or Touch.

Both sites are good. I would say Skimble is more extensive if you are active in a number of different activities, while DailyMile tends to concentrate on running. It mentions other activities, but I believe most people using will do so with running.

It comes down to personal preference. I can see myself using both, because it's good to keep a record. Now with the Fall Season coming, the temperatures will begin to fall, as well as the humidity, so you can still get out there and start exercising.

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