Smartphones aren't just for tweeting pics of cute kittens or flinging irate avians at devious little piggies. Mobile devices are also transforming the way that people approach exercise and fitness, with their handsets becoming indispensable partners while they work out, tracking personal progress, setting new goals and offering the ability to share achievements and improvements with friends.
Nokia and Adidas hope to motivate users on Windows Phone 8 to get into training with the launch of a new fitness app. Adidas miCoach offers a "customised personal fitness experience", allowing users to create their own training plans, set goals and track their progress as they strive to get that little bit fitter.
When you launch the app, you'll be walked through a 12-minute "assessment workout" to start you off at a light pace before pushing you towards your personal limits. Your "Me" page offers a breakdown of time, distance and total calories burned, along with the facility to pin that info to your Start screen with Live Tile support.
The Live Tile can show not just your personal stats but also details of upcoming workouts and new objectives. Over 400 exercises are available in the coached workouts section, so hopefully you'll be able to find something that you're good at and that you'll enjoy.
The app also features a range of male and female training coaches, including sports personalities, to help motivate you as you train. Some countries get localised voice coaches. In the U.S., for example, Nokia has exclusively signed up Omar Gonzalez, Major League Soccer All-Star player for LA Galaxy, to bark at you while you wheeze and splutter your way to fitness; in the U.K., you might choose British Olympian Jessica Ennis, or Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray.
The app also features Nokia Music integration, offering full control of your playlists from within the app. Unique miCoach playlists have also been created with workouts in mind. Full GPS support is offered too, along with HERE Maps integration to map your routes while running, cycling, walking, cross-country skiing or any of the other workouts offered.
As is the custom for such apps, you can of course share your progress to social networks to brag about your proudest achievements (or to seek sympathy for your most crushing failures). Everything is synchronised to miCoach.com too, where you can also view your personal progress, and you'll even get Windows Calendar integration across your devices to remind you of your next session, so there'll be no excuses for not working out.
You can additionally purchase heart-rate monitors from Adidas with Bluetooth SMART connectivity; currently, these work only with the Lumia 520, 620 and 720. These accessories are available to purchase today, and you can download the Adidas miCoach app free from the Windows Phone Store right now.
Download from the Windows Phone Store | Images via Nokia