Using GPS Running Apps? Here Are the Pros and Cons
The use of fitness apps isn’t new. In fact, more and more people are realizing the numerous benefits of using running apps such as Strava, RunKeeper, and Endomondo. These motivate you to go the extra mile — and they also help you check how well you’re doing. But are there any privacy issues? Find out below.
The Benefits of Using Running Apps
Going on a run without any gadget or software is okay. But utilizing technology helps you understand how you can exercise better and get the most out of your time and energy. Thus, one huge benefit is that you get that extra push you need to take the final lap. How? Through a variety of ways.
For one, many running apps track your every performance. This allows you to see if you’re doing well or your recent performances were suboptimal. With an app, you don’t need others to motivate you to do better; the app persuades you to run longer and faster so that you can beat your own record.
Second, running apps can help you lose weight. When the GPS is on and you allow the app to track your movement, it can estimate the number of calories you’re burning. So if weight loss is your primary goal in running, a comprehensive running app is essential.
Another benefit is that you can stay safe during your runs. You can always check your heart rate — so that you know when to stop for a while and drink water. Moreover, the GPS feature helps other people such as your family and friends know your location in case you get lost or you lose consciousness.
Data Privacy Issues
There’s always the looming issue of data privacy when using any online apps. People can just turn off the GPS feature, but a lot of what makes running apps useful relies on this. There are privacy settings that help you limit the data the app receives, but this isn’t a surefire way to protect your information.
Hackers can look for loopholes or vulnerabilities in the code or app and exploit these to steal thousands of user data. Thus, you have to do what you can to maintain a high level of digital security if you intend to keep using GPS running apps. Use a strong password and change this every now and then.
Furthermore, get a VPN on your phone to encrypt your online activities. It’s easy to learn how to set VPN on iPhone and Android devices. Usually, the VPN provider will provide instructions; if not, the app is easy enough to understand without a tutorial.
Running apps can help you in many ways. They serve as motivation and they help you check your progress with each lap. However, remember that the apps themselves aren’t always built with utmost digital security in mind.