Workout app options now include zombies

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Senior Jill Hacking checks her progress in the story on Zombies, Run! (Photo by Chelsea Stanger.)
Senior Jill Hacking checks her progress in the story on Zombies, Run! (Photo by Chelsea Stanger)

When senior Jill Hacking goes on her daily runs, she fights off both calories and virtual zombies. The Zombies, Run! app is one of many fitness options students can use to improve their workout routine.

“My brother told me about it because we both like zombies,” said Hacking, a humanities major from Orem. “It’s a combo of an audiobook and a fitness app.”

After downloading the program and the first chapter, users select whatever playlist they want to listen to. The app will play a bit of the story, play a song and go back to the story. Periodically in the story, the zombies will chase the user.

“It uses a GPS,” Hacking said. “So if you don’t run faster, the zombies will actually catch you.”

Hacking has been using this app since the beginning of the summer and has seen it improve her workouts.

“I like running, but sometimes I get bored,” Hacking said. “It’s a good motivator to keep going, having the story there helps.”

Another app that helps runners track their workout is Nike+ Running. Andres Lazarte, a freshman pre-communications major, uses Nike+ to record his own distances and times.

“It’s also sponsored by a lot of famous runners and musicians,” Lazarte said. “So when you beat your fastest mile, one of the celebrity endorsers will come on and say, ‘Hey good job. Keep going.’ Things like that, which is fun.”

At the end of the workout, the Nike app asks users to rate how they felt during the workout on a scale of one to 10, and will keep track as they get better and faster.

“It’s such a fun app to use. It got me out there,” Lazarte said. “Some days if I hadn’t had the app, I probably wouldn’t have gone out and (run) that day.”

Senior Jill Hacking streches before getting ready to start the next part of the story on Zombies, Run! (Photo by Chelsea Stanger.)
Senior Jill Hacking stretches before getting ready to start the next part of the story on Zombies, Run! (Photo by Chelsea Stanger)

Running isn’t the only exercise that can be tracked on phones. Strava is both a running and a cycling GPS tracker that allows users to compete with others.

“It tracks your speed, maps out the route you’ve taken and breaks it down in different sections,” said Spencer Richards, a junior from Ogden.

Once users have separated their routes into different parts, the tracker will see how fast they can do each section.

“Then you can compare information from people who have done that same route,” Richards said. “It’s competition with people you’ve never met before.”

Richards has used the app for about six months and has seen it make an impact in his biking.

“It definitely motivated me to change because it shows if I improve in time,” Richards said.

Whether running, biking or even escaping, these workout apps can boost students’ motivation to exercise.

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