Work It Out: apps to make time for fitness
Everyone knows being fit and active is important, but our hectic lifestyles often make it difficult to keep up. With so much going on every day, it can be tough to find a fitness program that not only meets your needs, but also keeps you motivated to stick with it.
Fortunately, whether you are just starting out or looking to take your exercise to the next level, there are plenty of apps to help you get your health on track.
Ready to get serious about your weight loss goals? MyFitnessPal helps track your food intake and daily activity. Recording every calorie that passes your lips can be tedious, but studies have shown it’s the best way to not only lose weight, but keep it off. MyFitnessPal makes the process easier by giving you a complimentary mobile app with a searchable food database of over 1,000,000 items. You can even add your own foods and recipes at any time. The program syncs with a number of top exercise apps to track your workouts as well. If you’re looking for a mission control for weight loss, this is it.
Wanting to add more balance and flexibility to your workout? Down Dog is a yoga app that delivers a studio-like workout for all experience levels, from the comfort of your home. Each session, the app creates a brand new sequence of yoga poses, so it never feels repetitious or dull. Photos and clear vocal instruction guide you through each workout paired with a playlist to complement the training. There’s a reason this free app is so highly rated on both the iTunes and Google Play stores. It’s easy to get started and keep going, no matter what your goals.
Think of it as Facebook for fitness. Fitocracy helps plan and track your workouts while connecting you to a community of like-minded health-nuts. Join groups, cheer on friends and get fit together. Aside from the social motivation, the app strives to make exercise fun by awarding points and unlocking achievements as you progress. For a small monthly fee you can even have a personal coach to walk you through a full health assessment and create a personalized fitness and nutrition plan. Even without the paid option, the free version offers enough community inspiration and assistance to help you develop your new healthy lifestyle.
The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
Based on the findings of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, Director Chris Jordan has developed a series of workouts to help you get the most out of every minute of your exercise routine. The program strategically cycles through all your major muscle groups. This allows one group to rest while you work on the next and creates a highly efficient and effective routine. The free app offers 72 exercises, complete with high-definition video tutorials, and 22 customizable workouts. It also connects directly to your social media platforms so you can share your success and motivation with friends while you work.
The C25K app (which stands for Couch to 5K) aims to take anyone from couch potato to 5K distance runner in as little as 8 weeks. The three-times-a-week training has you alternate between walking and running as you get stronger and gain stamina. Each workout runs about 30 to 40 minutes and includes a warm up and cool down to prevent injuries. You can even listen to your own playlists while the audio coach takes you through your paces. The best part is after you become a 5K master, Zen Labs (the company behind C25K) has a host of other mobile apps to help you meet your next challenge. Whether you’re just staring out with running or training for your next marathon, the C25K series of running apps can help get you there.
Staying healthy is serious business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun. Zombies, Run! makes a game out of interval training. Mission briefs are interspersed with your personal playlist so you stay motivated to keep moving. As you walk, jog, or run, follow along with an immersive audio story that puts you right in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The game aspects make it weirdly addicting and the voice acting is top-notch. If a full-blown zombie epidemic feels a little too intimidating, you can always start out with the Zombies, Run! 5K training app. The eight-week program gradually builds up your strength and stamina so you’re ready to outpace the zombie hordes. Either way, this is definitely not your normal running app.