Small Steps, Fitness Apps, & Social Media Motivation by Evan Thrailkill



Evan Thrailkill is a second-year masters student in the College Student Affairs Administration (CSAA) program at the University of Georgia. He serves as the Graduate Resident for Student Leadership in University Housing at UGA where he advises the Residence Hall Association and Residence Hall Studios. After graduation Evan will be starting as the Marketing Manager for UAB Campus Restaurants at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His interests in higher education include marketing, social media, graphic & web design, and communications. In his free time Evan enjoys running, drinking coffee, and working on freelance graphic design projects. Connect with Evan via his website at or on twitter @evanbt.


evan collage

In January 2013 I started my journey to be a more balanced individual in the area of personal wellness. I knew I had not paid as much attention to my health as I needed to, thus one of my New Year’s resolutions was to change a few things in regards to my lifestyle. I decided to participate in UGA’s Ramsey Center’s Biggest Loser Program. Out of the 74 participants in the program I was the first-place student winner (read more about my results). I did this though running, strength training, getting enough sleep, and changing my eating habits in the dining halls. I approached these goals with the small-steps mentality. Another one of my new year’s goals was to run a 5K before I left Athens in May 2013 for my summer internship. On April 27, 2013 I ran my first 5K. I think this was the first time I really “felt” like a runner and knew that running had become part of my everyday routine. I loved running so much that I ran the Athens Half Marathon this past October.

Fast-forward to today and I would have never guessed that making a few small changes would result in where I am today. My lifestyle changed completely from my diet to my sleeping schedule. One thing I learned from the entire experience is that fitness is really important to me and that it can be easy to say you do not have time for it. Additionally, I found that scheduling all my workouts on my calendar helps keep me accountable.

I love using technology to navigate my everyday life. I found the three apps below very useful in my journey to personal wellness. I also found the social integration in these apps very motivational.


You might be familiar with this app. It serves as a food journal by helping you keep track of the foods you eat, the nutrients in those foods, and has an incredible network of users to help you stay accountable. My favorite part of this app is the ability to share your journal and exercise log with other friends. It really helps hold each other accountable. I also enjoy that the app is not just about losing weight, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I think that it can be very beneficial to track food intake even if your goal isn’t losing weight. Learn more here.

Nike+ Running

When I first began running I fell in love with the Nike+ Running App. The app maps your runs, tracks your progress, and helps keep you motivated on runs. The app gives you lots of data, which I appreciate, such as distance, pace, time and calories burned all with the GPS in your iPhone. You then can upload your runs to the Nike+ website and see your weekly, monthly, and yearly progress. Nike has also gone above and beyond with the social integration. You can share your runs with maps on Facebook and Twitter, however you can also post the start of your run to Facebook and hear real-time cheers for each like or comment you receive.

30/30 App

This is a pretty unusual app for fitness, however it is definitely one of my favorites. 30/30 is a task manager app, but I love using it for strength and circuit training. It is a cycles based app, so you can set specific intervals to do certain task. One of my favorite things to use the app for is circuit training in my apartment. I like doing this on days I want to do a little something to get moving. I will set the first interval to 45 seconds and the second one to 15 seconds and do a circuit of four exercises such as: push ups, sit-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks. I then repeat the circuit 3 times total and then take a break and do another circuit. This app also comes in handy when you want to control the amount of rest in between lifting weights, it helps ensure I am not sitting around for too long before my next set. Learn more here.


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