The path to a healthy lifestyle may just be an app away!
What’s the most popular New Year’s resolution? You guessed it: weight loss. Year after year, people vow to lose weight, get healthy and be more active, but with so many ways to achieve these goals, one might ask, “Where do I begin?” The answer could be as simple as looking at your smartphone.
Your health is no exception to the adage, “There’s an app for that.” With more than 5,500 health apps available for iPhone, Android, and other devices, finding the right one can be a challenge. The first step is to determine your goals and what you want to track.
Fitness and Strength
There are numerous apps for tracking fitness and strength, such as Strengthcalc and Reps & Sets, as well as those that can help you find the right workout, like Gain Fitness and NIKE Training Club, which include various workouts with demonstrations and voice coaching. Apps like MapMyFitness, Lose It! and MyFitnessPal allow users to log their food intake and exercise routines, breaking down the number of calories consumed and burned. These apps can also track your weight, so you can easily track your progress.
For those with busy schedules, the 1-Minute Desk Workout counts down 60 seconds of simple stretches that can be done anywhere. For a quick, high-intensity workout, consider interval training. Tabata Trainer focuses on Tabata training—eight rounds of working hard for 20 seconds, then resting for 10—for an intense, four-minute workout. The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app cycles through a dozen simple, 30-second moves, such as jumping jacks and tricep dips, punctuated by 10-second rests.
Runners have their own world of apps from which to choose. For beginners, there’s the Couch-to-5K training app, which allows users to ease into running with 20- to 30-minute sessions, three times a week for nine weeks, with the ultimate goal of completing a 5K. MapMyRun and RunKeeper utilize GPS to track your runs, providing statistics to help you improve. You can also import your data on days when the weather forces an indoor treadmill run.
For marathon runners who aren’t quite ready for Boston, the Boston Marathon World Run app allows anyone to pledge a distance and participate virtually in the famous marathon; you can even interact with current athletes and past champions. Apps are also available to make running more fun for those who need help getting through it. Zombies, Run! immerses runners in an exhilarating game—you can save the world from the zombie apocalypse by collecting supplies and outrunning the zombie hordes!
Apps are also available for specific workout routines. CustomWOD, for example, allows users to create a variety of 10-minute, CrossFit-like workouts. More relaxing is Track Yoga, which offers programs for beginners and intermediate users based on themes like stress relief, bedtime, energy or balance. Barre3 focuses on low-impact, ballet barre-style workouts lasting just 10 minutes; all that is needed is waist-level support from a chair or desk.
There are even ways to give back as you track your fitness regimen. Charity Miles lets users experience the life of a sponsored athlete, as a corporate sponsor matches your miles and donates to a charity on your behalf. The I Can Go Without app lets users forgo that expensive cup of coffee and donate the money to charity instead.
This New Year’s, it will be much easier to stick to that resolution. With the help of your smartphone, your path to a healthy lifestyle is just an app away! iBi