Turning inner space into outer space

June 9, 2013

Tear yourself away from the devices for some exercise

I’m not sure what the medical term is, but hunchitis might do. All those hours hunched over a smartphone or computer add up fast. Oh how we love our devices, but unfortunately they can twist our bodies into unhealthy shapes over time.

So is there an app for that? As it turns out, there are a gazillion apps out there to get you back in shape with exercise programs. Just try doing a search on pushups in the App Store. I got so many hits, I gave up counting.

The one I chose is called Pushups 0-100. The idea — as is the case with many of these apps — is to gradually work your way up to 100 pushups a day, three days a week.

With Pushups 0-100, you start off with beginner pushups — pushing off a counter while standing. They’re a lot easier than getting down on the floor. You start off with five minutes of stretches, which is a good idea because working on a computer or over a phone can get those muscles tensed up in ways they shouldn’t be.

Next comes fives sets of pushups with 90-second rests in between. The interface that coaches you along is nicely designed and easy to follow. You wrap up with another five minutes of stretches.

Looking ahead, the number of pushups gradually works up to five sessions of 20. After that, there is the option of moving up to intermediate pushups from your knees. After that, it’s full body on the floor.

Of course, you could just as easily do a similar program without an app. But an app, whichever one one you choose, has a couple of advantages. First, it’s nicely laid out for you, which is encouraging. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the icon sits there on the screen day after day, reminding you to get busy. It could even go in the dock and become an even more prominent reminder.

I’m only on the first couple of steps in Pushups 0-100, so the question remains as to whether I’ll be able to maintain my enthusiasm over the next few weeks. I’m hoping an app on the screen will do the trick.