We all know how important exercise is. For some of us, the biggest stumbling block in our quest for fitness is not motivation, but time. Carving out time to go to the gym can be a challenge, especially when you’re juggling jobs, kids, and everything else that life throws your way. Lucky for you, if you have a smartphone, there’s nothing standing between you and a fabulous fitness app that you can easily add to your daily routine. Here are a few of my favorites:
This interactive application is a fantastic way to track your workout details, including where you’re going and where you’ve been, as well as your nutrition activity. You can map your route and sync it with your phone’s GPS. If you have a particular distance in mind, the interactive map editor will help determine your path to meet that goal. As you work out, you can record duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled. The in-workout voice feedback feature keeps you posted on your distance, time, pace, speed, split pace, and time. Don’t forget to use InMotion to track your calorie intake as well.
Hot5 is a series of five-minute fitness routine videos that you can choose based on your individual needs. Right now, the videos are led by personal trainers who specialize in health and weight loss, power conditioning, hot bikini body, shredded physique, yoga and Pilates, and functional strength. They are designed as intense five-minute workouts that you can either use in addition to your normal fitness routine or as your entire workout.
This workout craze, featured in The New York Times, is all about an intense workout in a short time frame. During a series of 30-second bursts with 10-second rest times in between, you’ll do jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, abdominal crunches, step-ups, squats, tricep dips, planks, high-knee running, lunges, push-up rotations, and side planks. The best part is that this can be done anywhere with virtually no equipment. All you need is a wall to lean against and a chair that you can stand on. Also, none of the exercises takes up much space, so you could do this routine in your kitchen, backyard, bedroom, or pretty much anywhere you happen to be. According to the story, research indicates that high-intensity interval training can be just as effective as prolonged endurance training, even though you do it in a much shorter period of time. This app is very simple; all it does is prompt you as to which activity you’ll do next and provide a timer that will let you know when to start, stop, and rest.
With this app, you won’t complete an exercise routine in a matter of minutes, but you may earn money for exercising and eating healthfully. That’s right — you read that correctly — this app enables you to earn cash for healthy behaviors! Using money as a motivator, GymPact is set up so that those who meet their health goals earn money (which is paid by the members who don’t). The app tracks your progress based on your individual goals for the following: exercise, food logging, and veggie pact. GymPact includes methods by which you verify your truthfulness while logging your activities and food, and then you earn rewards that usually are between $0.30 and $5 per week.
This app is designed to provide randomized circuit training workouts that you can do anytime and anywhere. You can choose the length of time you’ll work out and Sworkit will design a customized routine based on your specifications. Like some of the other apps, you can choose the body area that you want to improve, whether it’s upper body, core, lower body, cardio, or something else. The timer takes you through 30 seconds of each exercise, including breaks, and the app tracks your progress.
If part of your issue with exercising is that it’s, well, boring, then Zombies, Run! is the answer. This app allows you to run at your own pace while providing an “epic adventure” that is designed to motivate you to run farther and faster. It’s fun, engaging, and takes the boring out of the equation. Plus, there are various levels, from beginner to experienced runner. If running isn’t your thing, try the Walk, which also combines gaming with exercise but is based on walking instead of running.
Unlike some of the apps mentioned above, LoseIt doesn’t create a workout routine for you. Rather, it helps you track both your fitness and nutrition based on a customized weight-loss plan and in a simple, one-step application. It’s similar to the WeightWatchers app, only LoseIt doesn’t require you to be a member or pay a monthly fee. It also provides minute-by-minute progress reports and summaries to help you monitor your progress.
None of these apps will make the weight fall off your body— you do need to actually do the work. However, what they do is make it as easy as possible for you to stay motivated and reach your goals. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to improve your health, but you do need to be dedicated and work a fitness program into your daily routine. Check out these apps when you have some time, and if you have recommendations, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
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