On the Run - Mobile Phones and Keeping Fit

By: David Collins

Mobile phones are constantly changing to meet our everyday needs, with so many features to choose from and many more applications still in development, the choices are endless.

From receiving streaming radio to being able to take high-quality photographs on a smaller scale - even on pay as you go mobile phones - mobile handsets have become something of a necessity for some people, and further applications could even help us take care of ourselves.

Imagine the scenario, you're about to tuck into a nice meal but are worried about how many calories it could contain. By texting a list of what you're about to consume or sending a photograph of the barcode to your provider, you can help gauge how many calories you are about to consume.

It sounds worthy of an April Fool's gag, but providers appear to be tapping into a niche market, with media attention focusing on the 'obesity epidemic' and a growing call for us to become more health conscious, the designs of our mobile phones could soon be changing to meet these specific demands.

The potential to turn a handset into a device such as a heart monitor and a pedometer could be very much a reality in future - with two of the leading names in mobile phones and sportswear joining forces to create a phone that acts as a progress recorder for those doing exercise.

The device works in much the same way as a pedometer - with a combination of a heart rate monitor and sensors which you wear on the trainers allowing users the chance to program the phone for specific goals.

You can even take your favourite music tracks on your exercise plan, as the phones double up as portable mp3 players, meaning you can tailor playlists for when you work out, providing a little extra motivation for your quest to get fit.

Factors such as time and distance are calculated throughout your workout, and there is even a coaching service available while you're exercising. A reassuring voice keeps you informed of your progress in areas such as distance and calories burned as you work out.

After your workout you can download the data collected during the exercise period onto a home PC and keep a record of your progress so far in the form of graphs and bar charts.

As the technology of mobile phones constantly changes, don't be surprised if you see more of these kinds of phones on the shelves in the near future.

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