Using the Free Virtual Walk App for Fitness Motivation

Virtual Walk screen shot
Virtual Walk LLC - Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner
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The free Virtual Walk app is available for both iOS and Android. It tracks your walking via GPS or via treadmill speed and uses your distance to take you on a virtual walk and show you the sights you would see on that route.

Even if you are just circling your neighborhood or the high school track, or plodding away on the treadmill, you can be walking the Appalachian Trail or taking a historical tour of Washington DC.

You can buy different routes as add-on in-app purchases on the Virtual Walk app. The routes include short ones you can complete in a single workout and long-distance routes that you will complete by logging your workout over the course of many days.

About Virtual Walk

John Zaccone, CEO of Virtual Walk, explains how the app works:

"The goal of Virtual Walk is to provide virtual walking experiences while maintaining motivation and fitness details that walker needs. Each walk is recorded along with miles and time to be reviewed later. The support for Virtual Walk is ongoing, and new features and routes will be added frequently."

"To keep themselves motivated, some walkers keep track of their accumulative miles on a virtual map across the country. Virtual Walk is an app that is based on that simple concept. Instead of mapping out where you are, (MapMyWalk and Endomondo are examples that do this), Virtual Walk maps out where you want to be on a map chosen from an expanding library of virtual routes."

"Each route has something different to offer, and they vary from lengthy treks (Appalachian Trail) to historical tours (Washington D.C.). Interesting information about landmarks that users 'walk by' is included along the way. The content is rich and contains pictures, to give users as much of a feeling that they are actually there as possible. There are also quizzes and links to YouTube videos to make things even more interesting."

Maps or Street View

Most of the virtual routes are shown in map view, while the Central Park walk is available in Street View. In the map view, you can zoom in and out on the map. You are shown as an icon on the map, and you can tap points of interest to see photos or videos of them and to take quizzes. With Street View, you have more of a virtual reality type of experience where you are on the street as you walk.

If you are using a treadmill, you can adjust your speed in the app to match that of your treadmill so you are pacing along on the route map as you would be walking or running at that speed.

You can also switch to GPS tracking to track your actual speed and distance. It is easy to switch back and forth. If you started a walk of the Appalachian Trail in Virtual Walk, you can switch walking it on the treadmill or on foot. You can pause and resume a route at any time, taking as long as you wish to complete it.


This is a great way to motivate your fitness walking. It can be very addictive to want to put in the extra mile to reach the next point of interest.

You can also feel the achievement of walking the length of the Appalachian Trail without the need to carry a backpack and use trekking poles (although you may want to do that for authenticity!) The screenshots also show a virtual Boston Marathon, which is probably the only way a walker will be able to do the race, due to the qualifying times.


When you use Virtual Walk in GPS-mode, its accuracy for distance may be reduced by the strength of the GPS signal indoors or in a dense forest or ravine. Virtual Walk added a feature for treadmill users, based on their treadmill speed, so they can use the app without GPS.

Some users are disappointed that all of the routes don't have Street View to make it more of a virtual reality app or a treadmill video.

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