It's that time of year when fighting back against the tide of Xmas excess becomes a grim reality. It's cold, it's wet and the last thing you want to do is haul ass five times around the local park before work.
Help is at hand, however, thanks to the Cardio Trainer app - free from Android Market. Whether you're a runner, biker, walker, or even cross-country skier, Cardio Trainer has a mode that's specifically designed to help you get super-fit.
First impressions are positive. In fact it's difficult to figure out just how this app remains free given the depth it offers. A quick glance down the training modes on offer runs all the way through walking and running, right down to dancing, skiing, inline skating and kayaking to name but a few. There are also modes for treadmill running and stationary biking - no need for GPS there, obviously.
Once you've hit 'start workout' and selected the mode that suits you, the app searches your phone for music to soundtrack your workout - a neat feature that means as long as you have the storage capacity, you can ditch your iPod and minimise the clutter you take out and about with you.
Once you’re away, you can set voice prompts for distance, time, calories burned and the like to help you keep track of the workout without needing to check the screen. Cardio Trainer also 'hijacks' the message bar across the top of the screen to deliver relevant workout information.
While the app memorises your previous workouts, there's the option to post the data to Facebook by tethering the account to Cardio Trainer and also to use your Gmail account to store information. Should you switch phones in the future, you won't lose your stored data.
If there is one criticism - and it's not even of the app itself - it's that continual use of GPS to track workouts saps battery life at an alarming rate. But like we said, that's a manufacturer issue, not an in-app one.
Cardio Trainer is an astoundingly well thought out app and we've barely scratched the surface with the limited space we have here. Our advice is to download it and spend a week or two living with it. You're bound to uncover some killer features that are perfect for your specific discipline.
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The Bottom Line
Almost too good to be free. A brilliant workout tracking app
All Android operating systems