Logging and importing workouts
If you want to keep a historical record of workouts you’ve already completed, or even plan ahead for the future, you’ll probably find the ‘Log Workout’ ability incredibly useful.
You can currently log a workout in one of three ways:
- 1. Creating a new route and choosing the ‘Log as Workout’ option
- 2. Manually logging a workout
- 3. Importing your workout from external data
We’ve already taken a look at how to log a workout using the ‘Create Route’ option, so we’re now going to provide some step-by-step guides to the manual import and external data import options.
10 steps to manual workout logging
- 1. Click on the ‘Log Workout’ option from the selection of tabs below the purple header bar
- 2. Enter a name for your workout, and the date it was completed
- 3. Select any gear used. Gear must be
- 4. By clicking on the ‘Show Details’ link, this will expand a set of additional fields that can be used to add some more description to your workout.
Manually logging a workout also allows you to specify difficulty level, as well as
your mood and weather conditions
Although start and end time are available, in most cases the option to enter a workout duration will appear below anyway, as soon as you select an activity.
- 5. Select an option from the ‘Activity’ dropdown list, similar to the one we used when creating our profile.
- 6. This provides you with the option to enter additional information, specific to the activity you’ve chosen. Continuing our example of walking through Central Park, we’re going to select ‘Walk’ for the activity.
- 7. With ‘Walk’ selected, we’re given the option to search through a list of routes we’ve already created, or start from scratch by mapping a completely new route.
You can choose to map a new route, or select one you’ve previously
- 8. By selecting our walk around Central Park, it automatically calculates the distance. By then entering the duration of our walk, the number of Calories Burned is also displayed.
- 9. Unfortunately the Number of Steps will vary from person to person, based on stride length, so this isn’t something that will automatically be calculated.
- 10.You can also click on the ‘More options’ link to see your average speed and pace, as well as enter your average heart rate if you have it recorded.
Saving your workout will then display a summary of all details entered, and store it in your list of logged workouts. Before you save, you also have the option to add more activities to your workout, which is useful considering the activities are granular enough to list specific resistance exercises, such as concentration curls.
You can also choose to share this workout on Twitter and Facebook, which can happen automatically if you authorized the app access during our registration walkthrough.
Import workout from external fitness tracker / app
As well as being able to manually log your workouts, you can also choose to import workout data to your MapMyWalk profile from a range of external sources.
This will often be the best option if you are already using multiple different fitness apps and a personal fitness tracker, but want your workout data collected in a central location. Not only does this cut down on uploading your workouts to multiple sources, but it also gives you a much clearer overall picture of your workout data, allowing you to notice patterns in your performance. You can then make any necessary changes to optimise your times and goal progress.
MapMyWalk supports workout data import from a number of external devices and popular fitness apps
MapMyWalk currently supports workout data import from devices by TomTom, Jawbone, Withings, fitbit, fitbug, polar, and many more. You can also connect to the popular fitness app, MyFitnessPal.
In order to sync data into your MapMyWalk workout log, you will need to sign in to your account for your chosen service. For MyFitnessPal, this will also automatically retrieve the past 30 days of data and import that to your account as well.
As with the Twitter authorization we went through earlier when connecting up our Twitter account, you’ll also need to authorize MapMyFitness to access your data in each of the accounts you’re going to be syncing from.
The example that we’re running with here relates to the process for connecting MyFitnessPal, but fitbit, polar, and other accounts will be much the same.
Workout data can be synced directly from your Connect Devices page
That should be all that’s needed, and with your external app or fitness tracker now connected, you should now see it move into the ‘Your Accounts & Devices’ section of the MapMyWalk Connect Devices page.
By returning to your ‘My Workouts’ page, you should now see all of your workouts imported from your external account. Viewing the details for one of these imported workouts will also display the source, which in the case of our example has been correctly identified as ‘MYFITNESSPAL’.
Imported workouts will be stored alongside those you’ve manually created
You can then edit the information if you need to add the gear you used, associate a route with the workout, or specify the number of steps / distance covered.
Import workout from file
There is one last workout import option that we wanted to quickly cover, which is importing from a file.
MapMyWalk currently supports direct data import from files with 4 types of extension:
- .tcx – A Training Center Database XML file from Garmin.
- .gpx – Contains GPS Exchange Format location data, including way-points, tracks, and routes.
- .fit – A Garmin Activity file.
- .hrm – This type of file contains the exercise information data transferred from a wide range of Polar fitness products, stored in ASCII format.
Note: If you’re planning on importing from a .gpx file, the data can’t be solely based on waypoints. You’re also going to need to include track and time data if you want the sync to complete.
After locating the file you want to import, you can simply upload it from your Workout Import page, which should result in a screen similar to the one below.
Example of a .gpx Track transferred from a Garmin eTrex GPS
This lets you edit some basic information, such as giving the workout a meaningful name, before you save it into your workout log. Similar to importing directly from a personal fitness tracker account or app, you can then view the details, where MapMyWalk should identify the source as being from a file.
The main benefit of importing from a file such as .gpx is that this will also generate a very detailed visual representation of your exercise on a route map attached to your logged workout.
.gpx files contain information that can be used to create an accurate route for your logged workout
Due to the format of the file we uploaded, this meant we could view everything from the elevation changes to the pace and elapsed time. If you want to use this route again in the future without worrying about importing data from a file, MapMyWalk will actually save this route in the ‘My Routes‘ section of your account.
How to create a food log
While measuring your activity level and calorie expenditure is important for achieving any type of fitness goal, it can be equally as important to monitor your caloric and macronutrient intake.
This essentially means maintaining a healthy balance between the fats, proteins, and carbs in your diet, in proportion to your current weight and target weight.
That’s why in addition to the route creation, workout logging, and goal setting options, MapMyWalk also lets you keep track of your daily nutrition by creating and maintaining an online food log.
Recommended daily macronutrient intake
When we were explaining the registration process, one of the steps we mentioned was entering your bodyweight, height, age, and gender.
These are all used to decide how many calories you can consume each day to maintain your current weight, as well as the grams of carbs, protein, and fat. Not only can you monitor how much of this is already in the food you’ve eaten today, but you can also get a snapshot of the net amount of calories you have remaining, all via your ‘My Nutrition’ dashboard.
When we mention the net amount of calories remaining, this is actually because the calories burned in the workouts you’ve logged for the day are also taken into account when calculating how many calories you have remaining.
The ‘My Nutrition’ page can actually be a great place to start after you’ve created your walking routes, as it allows you to manage your entire fitness and nutrition routine from one place.
Not only are you able to log a workout (see steps above), but you’re also able to monitor nutritional intake, daily water consumption, and even log specific foods.
You can log a food in one of two ways:
- 1. Using the search facility
Another of the great benefits to having such a large and active community, is that the food database is already fairly comprehensive when it comes to searching for individual foods, and even entire meals.
If you manage to find the food you were searching for, you’ll be able to select the number of servings, the date you ate this food, and whether or not this information is shared with your friends or other members. You can also allocate the food to a specific meal time.
You can search foods already created by other members of the MapMyWalk community
One of the most important things to pay attention to is the serving size, as search results that simply list this as ‘1 serving’ could be almost anything. However, if you manage to find a result that lists the serving size in grams, this will make it much less ambiguous, and therefore easier to relate to the serving size you’re eating.
- 2. Creating a food item yourself
This can be the more time consuming of the two options, and it’s usually much easier if you have any food packaging to hand, as there are several mandatory fields that require nutritional information.
The main benefit of adding a food yourself is that you can specify the exact serving size you used, together with the precise number of calories. But as well as the serving size and calories, you should also be ready to enter the amount of fat, carbs, and protein that were contained in that particular serving size.
If you happened to buy the food instead of making it yourself, You can even select from a list of food companies and restaurants to help make the food log more detailed. This also makes it much easier to identify foods next time, when you may be using the search facility to find the food you entered manually this time around.
Although MapMyWalk does give you the option to enter everything from the amount of Potassium in the food through to the percentage of your RDA for numerous vitamins and minerals, these aren’t completely necessary.
As soon as you’ve added a food to your daily nutrition log using either of these methods, the nutritional information will automatically display in your Daily Snapshot and list of Daily Intake Totals.
A Daily Snapshot can be used to monitor your nutritional intake, as well as allowing
you to build up a historical log
Saving your favourite foods
If you plan on updating your food log on a regular basis, the chances are that not all of your meals are going to be unique. Although you won’t necessarily enjoy the exact same foods every day, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a lunch, dinner, snack, or breakfast that you enjoy more often than others. This is why MapMyWalk have added the ‘My Favourites’ option.
To include a food in your favourites, you can simply search for the food from your nutrition dashboard, then click on the star alongside the plus symbol in the search result.
Having a list of favourite foods makes it much quicker to accurately log your nutritional intake for the day
If you have a small number of favourite foods you want to add, then these will be shown in the sidebar, with the plus button making it quicker to log them to your daily record. If you have a larger list of favourites, you can click on the ‘View All’ option to see every food you’ve added to this category.