7 Travel Apps for the Fitness Buff - United Hub

7 travel apps for the fitness buff

By Nick Harper

Just because you're traveling doesn't mean your health and fitness should take a hit. Numerous smartphone apps have been created to help keep your fitness on track no matter where in the world you may be. Here are seven of our favorites.

1. My Fitness Pal

Even the most resolute fitness buff can lose track of their calorie consumption when they travel. When you lose the familiarity of home, it's easy to lose the patterns and the discipline ingrained in your everyday life. That's where My Fitness Pal comes in. The app calculates your daily calorie consumption in an easy-to-use journal, then creates target goals for you to hit when you exercise. Fast, efficient, effective and ingenious, it makes staying on track easier than ever.

2. Map My Run

The urge to run won't stay at home while you're traveling, but knowing which route to take in new surroundings can be a problem. You could end up running down a series of dead-end streets, or find yourself on a route no runner would ever want to take. The solution is Map My Run, an app that lists the most popular running routes in pretty much any locale. Boasting more than 70 million routes around the world, it shows you where you're going — via the data it records — and where you've been. Think of it as having a local runner on hand to offer advice almost anywhere in the world, but one who won't distract you with conversation.

3. Nike+ Training Club

Since you can't take a treadmill or weights with you when you travel, consider downloading the Nike fitness app. As polished as you'd expect from the fitness heavyweight, Nike+ Training Club brings together master trainers and athletes who provide you with more than 100 video tutorial drills, workouts and training plans. The tutorials have options including strength, endurance, or mobility; low, moderate or high intensity; infrequent, regular or frequent; and equipment or no equipment. Whatever boxes you need to tick, Nike+ Training Club has every option covered.

4. Spotify

Sometimes, exercise can benefit from having a soundtrack. Spotify realized this a while ago and launched playlists designed to aid your workout. For example, the Running feature cleverly establishes your running tempo and plays songs that have a beat to match it, driving you on through the hard miles. Throw in custom original running playlists and DJ-mixed sets designed to push you, and you'll find all the inspiration you need.

5. Power 20

We all know that exercise takes a consistent effort, but for the traveler working on a tight schedule, long workouts are not always possible. Perhaps the makers of the Power 20 app were aware of this, as they offer a wide range of carefully curated workout routines perfect for the on-the-go traveler who doesn't always have exercise equipment on hand. Focusing on strength, balance and muscle tone, each workout — as the name suggests — is just 20 minutes long.

6. Yoga Studio

Yoga has been shown to improve strength, flexibility and balance, among many other benefits. Unlike many gym-based exercise routines, this ancient art can require little more than sufficient space in which to perform each pose — and an app to offer expert instruction. There are many yoga apps in the market, but we've gone for one that is free (with the option of in-app purchases), serving everyone from beginners to experts and offering classes designed to fit even the tightest of schedules.

7. WaterMinder

The bedrock of a healthy body and mind, water is the unsung hero we can't live without. Research has shown that H2O speeds up your metabolism, cleans the body of toxins, digests food, circulates blood and generally makes everything work like it should. That same research has shown that dehydration leads to fatigue, which slowly shuts down the bodily functions you need to operate at peak performance. This is where WaterMinder comes in. It simply tracks your daily water intake, setting targets and recording your achievements along the way. It may not sound exciting, but without this last app, none of the other six above will work as effectively.

All apps are available on both Android and iOS.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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