accountabilityac-count-abil-i-ty • noun: the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions

Once you’ve discovered your workout style and thought about what kind of copilot you want, you may want to consider accountability tools to help keep you on track to physical wholeness.

accountabilityFor many years, Clancy, and then Bella served as my fitness copilots. Their soulful brown eyes kept me on track—even when I didn’t feel like exercising. In fact, these two amazing German Shepherds knew how to train me. They would sit at the sliding glass door and catch my eye as I walked by. Then, they would look at me, and point to the door handle with their muzzles.

No matter how many degrees below zero the thermometer might read, I couldn’t resist their silent pleas. I would trudge to the closet and dress for a walk each evening after a long day of work. Morning and evening they would repeat this routine. They also trained me to throw sticks for them as I walked or ran. Now that the girls have passed on, the habit remains. My day doesn’t feel complete without exercising twice a day. I still get the urge to throw any stick I happen to see on my path.

If you don’t have a dog for a copilot, (or even if you do), you may want to consider some of these accountability partners. The one(s) you choose will depend on your personality and your pocketbook.

As an introvert, I prefer to do most of my exercising alone—but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy encouragement! Over the years, I have tried exercising with friends, and for short seasons it has worked. Long term, I find that an electronic gadget works the best for me. Having a non-weight loss goal in mind also works wonders.

Bare Bones Accountability

Spark People—a weight loss and diet app that allows you to interact with community and track your food intake and manually enter your exercise.

C25K—Couch Potato to 5 K exercise app takes you through an eight-week program that starts you out walking with short stints of running. Over the course of the training, you’ll gradually increase your pace until you can run 3.1 miles (5K) without stopping.

Running for Weight Loss—this app combines a variety of training programs (walking for weight loss, different race lengths, running for weight loss) to get you motivated an on track. It also has a place to record food and water intake (which is useful if you really want to lose weight). I used this app when I started running again after a four-month break. It would tell me to, ‘walk now,’ and ‘start running.’ Kind of like having a nice coach in my ear buds.

Nike + Run Club and Nike Training—I used these apps to train for my first marathon last spring. You can select the distance you want to train for, and the program will guide you through. The training app includes aerobics (non-running) programs for stretching, weight loss, muscle-building, and conditioning.

Pedometers—you can find low-cost pedometers just about anywhere. Look for a digital one with a large read out (if reading tiny numbers bothers your eyes). If it has a tether of some sort, that will prevent pedometer loss (I had a clip-on kind that I routinely lost every six months or so).

Low- to no-cost #accountability tools for your journey to physical wholeness. Click To Tweet

Nurture Yourself Takeaway #22—sometimes we need an accountability tool to keep us on track.

Tomorrow we’ll talk techy—I’ll share gadgets and groups that have helped me reach my goals.

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  1. I have been training for a half marathon with a group of girls. We don’t all live in the same city, but we do communicate using what’s app. I can’t wait to see them and run with them race weekend which is only two weekends away. running alone and getting a personal record is great, but having time with friends is even better. 🙂
    Amanda recently posted…Serving as a USAF Intelligence Officer OverseasMy Profile

  2. I like your ideas. I may have to try some of the apps. Thanks for sharing your tips! I’ll be back to comment and share on the other blogs linked here.

    Blessings to you!

  3. Years ago I used Spark People on the computer – I never thought to see if they had an app! I’ve also used My Fitness Pal, but fell out of the habit. I might check out a pedometer – that would keep track of things without the tedium of inputting information. Thanks for the tips!
    Barbara H. recently posted…A Stirred-up WomanMy Profile

  4. I love this! Years ago, I used SparkPeople as well! I was extremely active on it for a few years — I lost nearly 80pounds the first year and after two years on a plateau I lost my drive! (And since then, have regained some of the weight!) My life now is fuller than it was then, and the thought of having to devote that much time again is too much –however, I love the idea of getting back to the C25K program or another app to help keep me on track!

  5. Now I know why exercising has never held any allure for me: we’re cat people, not dog people. Well, that’s probably not it. It’s just one item on a list of excuses. I admire your commitment to fitness, and your willingness to try new things to stay motivated.

  6. “Their soulful brown eyes”–I miss these pups so much! I look forward to getting another accountability partner of the canine variety someday. For now, Abel is doing a great job keeping me on track with FitStar and walks. 🙂

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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