If you’re like me, your smartphone and apps have become a big part of your life and keeping it organized. Apps on my iPhone help me keep track of appointments, make grocery lists, and yes, help me to stay in shape. Here are 6 of my personal favorite fitness apps – tried and true:
I work out at home, and once or twice a week, I use this wonderful, easy app on my iPhone to work out. I’ll go ahead and give the disclaimer that it features women, but guys can easily do these workouts too. You have the choices of levels from beginner to advanced, and you can also choose the type of workout you want to do (Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong). Each section then has several 30-45 minute workouts featuring little to no equipment, and they are GOOD, really tough workouts. My favorite is the bonus section that features workouts led by different female athletes, including my favorite, Hope Solo. NTC app also has these awesome features:
- countdown for both your workout and the current interval
- video and photo tutorials of each exercise
- the ability to play music from your library
- earn rewards by logging workout minutes
- share your workouts on Facebook and Twitter
- sync with your smartphone calendar to remind you to work out
Cost – FREE
LoseIt is a food and exercise journal, not just a calorie counting app. For those who want to lose fat, recording food intake is a valuable tool in opening your eyes to how much you’re actually eating (most people underestimate), and keeping an eye on your carb/fat/protein ratio is very helpful in improving metabolism. Here are my favorite features of LoseIt:
- saves your recorded foods so you’re not always searching
- barcode scanner so you can just scan the label of a food you’re eating to enter it
- daily breakdown of the percentage of your calories coming from protein, fat, and carbohydrates
- share foods and recipes with friends
- recipes allows you to create a dish once without having to enter every ingredient every time
- sharing on social media
- “previous meals” feature allows you to add entire meals you’ve eaten recently with one touch (super helpful if you eat the same thing everyday)
- set goals and shows progress charts
Cost – FREE
If you run and own a smartphone, you are probably already familiar with RunKeeper or other GPS apps that track your runs. RunKeeper recently upgraded it’s free version to also include something that I think now makes it one of the best-intervals! Strap your phone on your arm, choose a playlist, choose a “coaching” setting (target pace, intervals, or fitness classes), and RunKeeper will give you voice prompts in your headphones. If your goal is to run a 10 minute mile, it will let you know every so often (you choose) how close you are to your target pace. If you’re using the interval setting, it will beep and let you know whether to go fast or slow. Once you’re done, you will have a nice breakdown of how fast you went, hills you climbed, even a breakdown of how fast you took each mile. Other features:
- add friends and view their running activities for motivation and support
- set goals (lose weight, finish a race, longest distance, total distance)
- save your coaching settings for easy starts
- save your route so you know where you’re going next time
- enter activity manually if you’re running at the gym, etc
- save all of your activities so you can see how much you’re improving
- tap your screen during a run to hear a voice prompt of how far you’ve run, how fast your pace is, how long you’ve been running, etc.
- the Elite version ($4.99/month or $19.99 a year) lets your friends and family connect with you while you run
Cost – FREE
I stumbled across the book of the same name by Mark Lauren awhile back, and it changed my life. Mark has written what he calls “the Bible of bodyweight exercises”, and I was thrilled when he created an app to accompany the book. The app is full of bodyweight exercises along with detailed explanations of how to perform each, and also includes timers with different workout methods (intervals, super sets, ladders, etc) that will count down for you and tell you exactly what to do. I love this app for travel because every exercise can be done pretty much anywhere. Best features:
- create your own workouts or follow along with the 10 week plan already included
- save your workouts so you have a history and can view your progress
- complete database of bodyweight exercises, and instructions on performing them
- variations included from beginner to difficult
- breaks exercises down into push, pull, legs, core, and whole body
- share your workouts on social media
- available for iPad in large form so you can see better from a distance
- all exercises can be done anywhere
- record your reps in the app
Cost – $1.99
Seconds is an interval timer that I use for almost all of my HIIT workouts. The free version is good enough for me. I have choices of several different interval methods for my workouts as well as the ability to set them up however I want. I like Seconds because it’s really simple and user-friendly, it gives audio prompts, and you can use it on your iPad, so it’s visible from across the room.
- choose between HIIT, circuit training, rounds, compound, and empty timers. The possibilities are endless.
- specify your number of sets, and the seconds , background color, and even change your music for each interval. I like to set my “work” intervals to green and rest intervals to red so I know at a glance what I’m doing.
- option to add in a warmup and cooldown
- choose your audio options…do you want beeps to alert you? boxing ring? countdown? an alert when you’re almost done? Vibrations in case your phone is on your armband?
- in some sections, you can even specify your exercise… for example, change “exercise 1” to “burpees” and know exactly what you’re doing
Cost – FREE or $4.99 for pro version (allows you to save and share your timers)
What, you didn’t realize that Coach Calorie had an app? Get the best information on health and fitness on the web daily right to your mobile phone. From your smartphone, go to the mobile version of coachcalorie.com, and a banner will pop up at the bottom asking if you’d like to install this site as an app. Click it and the icon will download to your phone. Now you have an easy way to check back in with us each day, and you’ll be armed with your daily education towards a healthy lifestyle.
What apps do you love for health and fitness?