So much for life slowing down as you get older! I recently turned 50 and am busier than ever between expanding my business and raising my son.
Because there’s so much to do every day, that means little things sometimes fall through the cracks. I’ll find time to work out but forget to record my progress. I’ll make dinner for the family, but forget to check how it falls in line with my macro count for the day.
I’ve leaned on apps more than ever to help fill in some of those gaps. My iPhone is filled with apps covering everything from calorie counters to music playlists and pre-made workouts when I’m on the road.
Not only do quality fitness apps help you stay on track with your fitness goals, but many of them also have built-in social communities. Interacting with other people who have similar goals can provide a valuable network to stay accountable, provide support, and share tips.
“One of the things we’ve known since the beginning is that tracking works. If you set a goal and you can effectively track your progress to that goal and stick to it, you’re going to succeed,” said Albert Lee, co-founder of MyFitnessPal. “There are some really important aspects to changing your behavior that are necessary for you to succeed: motivation, knowledge, inspiration, and importantly, accountability. That’s where social connections, the community, and the content they’re creating can be really helpful.”
Elliptical Reviews recently surveyed 1,000 people about their exercise habits and found that those who use exercise apps work out more consistently than those who don’t use them. About 40% of the people using fitness apps worked out at least five days per week, while more than half of those who didn’t use a fitness app worked out three days per week or less. In addition, 73% of women and 66% of men reported increased levels of confidence from using these apps.
Combining Apps with Personal Training
Although exercise apps can be a great addition to your fitness plan useful, it’s they’re not a full complete substitute for workouts with a personal trainer. We recommend using fitness apps to remain motivated with your workout goals, stay on target with your nutrition, and get in workouts at times when you can’t make it to the gym
A fitness app can’t spot when you’re doing an exercise incorrectly. The staff at TTP Training can correct any improper form that could lead to injuries and modify workouts to address any existing injuries in a way that an app isn’t capable of. Our clients also enjoy the rapport and encouragement they get during training sessions get from their trainer. Social networks are useful, but an online connection isn’t the same as an in-person connection.
We recommend using fitness apps to remain motivated with your workout goals, stay on target with your nutrition, and get in workouts at times when you can’t make it to the gym
After a lot of trial and error, there are 15 fitness apps that I highly recommend to all of my clients. Although many of them require a monthly subscription, you’ll have the money for it just by cutting out one trip to Starbucks every month. Below are 15 of the best fitness apps on the market to help get you started.
This app lets you customize a wide range of workouts but is primarily geared toward strength training. Looking to hit a specific muscle group? Jefit has a wealth ton of exercises to explore for each body part and pre-made routines that can be varied based on how much time you have. The app also logs how many reps you do so that you can easily track your progress. Jefit’s in-app calendar conveniently plans your workout and rest days, in addition to previewing what to expect in the coming days. Splurging on the Elite plan will unlock advanced features including charts and video-based exercise instruction.
Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to work out. Charity Miles will donate to a worthy organization of your choice for every mile you walk, run or bike. Walking and running raised $0.25 per mile and biking raised $0.10 per mile. Charity options include Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, ASPCA and the Wounded Warrior Project (a personal favorite of mine). The app enables you to run pledge drives and an online calculator helps you tally up how much money you could raise. If you can get 50 people to sponsor you at $0.30 per mile, each five-mile run you complete will raise $75!
The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout
Let’s be honest. A seven-minute workout isn’t going to be a complete substitute for your regular workout, but it’s better than nothing. All you need is a chair and seven free minutes. This is a e medium-intensity workout that takes you through a series of exercises including high knees, tricep dips, jumping jacks, and wall chair sits. Video instructions are available to take you through any exercises that you’re unfamiliar with. The app also has you covered if you have extra time with longer workouts such as 16-Minute Intermediate and Core Workout and First Timer.
Few things are more painful than running on a treadmill without music! Five minutes can feel like an eternity.
Fit Radio is a music streaming app that lets you pick songs by genre, tempo, or the type of workout that you have in mind. It’s even possible to skip the tunes and just have the voice of a trainer barking in your ear (in case you haven’t had enough of me!). Not sure what type of music will work best for you? Sample some of the curated playlists from world-renowned DJs. As you use the app more frequently and select the type of music you like, Fit Radio will start to put together playlists more in line with your preferences.
Need a reflexologist or a yoga class in your neighborhood? Mindbody is a one-stop shop for fitness, wellness, and beauty that lets you. Their wide-ranging database helps you find options based on preferences and availability, such as a massage appointment on Wednesday nights. It’s possible to book most appointments and classes directly through the app. There are even options to pick up classes and appointments at reduced prices due to low turnout or last-minute cancellations.
Some people are competitive with themselves, but I get a lot more out of being. For those who prefer being competitive with other people, Strava is the perfect fitness-tracking app for runners, swimmers and cyclists. It uses the app from your phone or another connected device to track how far you go and at what pace. The app then analyzes your data and everyone else’s who biked, ran or swam the same amount to see where you overlapped and compute a segment leaderboard. Strava even serves as a social has its own community by letting that lets you connect with other athletes, follow each other’s progress and cheer each other on.
MyFitness Pal was one of the first apps ever launched for counting calories. I added it to my phone when it first came out and still think it’s the best one out there. and it remains the best one out there.
Once you provide your height, weight and level of physical activity, the app counts your calories and tracks how many you should eat per day to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Typing in the food you’re eating and the serving size will pull up its nutritional information. If it’s not easily searchable, it can usually be pulled up by scanning the barcode through the app.
Tools are included in the app to track your weight and body changes or offer recipe recommendation. You can even connect with other users through its social community. The paid subscription is a small monthly fee and includes additional features such as a breakdown of macronutrients. As you progress in your fitness goals, it’s the little details that will make a big difference.
If you can’t make it to the gym one day or maintain fitness while you’re on the road, Sworkit specializes in workouts with minimal gym equipment and body weight. Choose your workout goals from options including increasing flexibility, losing weight, and building strength. Once you answer a few other fitness-related questions, SworkIt recommends a fitness level for you that determines how complex the workouts will be.
The app populates pre-made workouts to tackle or you can select the daily workout from their monthly challenge. SworkIt’s Workout Essentials also includes 5-10 pre-made workouts from five broad categories: Cardio, Strength, Yoga, Stretching, and Kid Workouts. Best of all, the app is free!
No equipment? No problem! This is essentially the app version of the book from Paul Wade, who spent 19 years in prison before being released and revealing his workouts and developed an incredible workout program from inside his cell. There are no frills with these workouts and they stick to the four basics: Push-ups, pull-ups, leg raises, and squats. Handstands and bridges are also part of the problem. Each of these exercises goes through 10 levels of progression, with Level 1 being a standard push-up and Level 10 being a one-armed push-up. Each progression is also accompanied by a set of pictures to help remind you how to perform it.
If you only have seven minutes, Seven is the app you want. The free version is pretty minimal in its offerings, but the paid version ($9.99/month) provides access to more than 200 speedy and pre-made workouts. You can also use the Freestyle button to generate a completely random workout. Upping the intensity is as simple as doing five rounds of each exercise to increase your workout time to 40 minutes. All of the workouts in Seven don’t require gym equipment and can be done anywhere at home.
Many people either don’t stretch after workouts or do a 30-second session before leaving the gym. Stretching is an essential part of any workout in order to reduce muscle soreness and prevent injuries. There are few things more frustrating than having to rest for a month or longer due to injury and seeing your hard-earned gains slip away. Trust me, I know!
Enter RomWOD. “Rom” stands for “range of motion” and “WOD” stands for “workout of the day.” Although it’s rooted in Crossfit, this app is specifically geared toward stretching and flexibility exercises. RomWOD lets you target specific muscles to either gear up for or recover from a workout around that body part. These stretches are a more passive practice and definitely won’t leave you drenched in sweat, but your muscles are guaranteed to feel looser after a couple of weeks of dedicated use. Looser hips will also lead to lower squats and being able to lift more weight. Who doesn’t want that?!
Achieving any goal is all about the choices you make. Asana Rebel has helped me make helps in making lifestyle changes through taking by encouraging me to take small and achievable actions throughout the day. From eating healthier to avoiding caffeine after 2:00 pm, regular reminders and calming instructions help keep you on track.
Asana Rebel’s workouts are lower intensity and only last 20 minutes, but new workouts are uploaded weekly and instructional videos make the app a more interactive experience. Asana Rebel also covers diet and mental health through delicious recipes and calming meditation sessions, making it one of the most holistic apps available.
Don’t let the name fool you. MapMyRun isn’t just limited to running. This app helps track your hiking, cycling, and interval training activity. You can select routes based on ones you’ve created and saved or try something new by sampling routes that other MapMyRun users have uploaded. The paid version of the app ($5.99/month or $29.99/per year) includes a wide range of additional features such as audio coaching, accessing heart rate settings and connecting with other members of the app community.
Do you like working out more than zombies? This fun app game lets you pick from 23 missions as you play the hero of the game, Runner 5. Once you make it to town, you meet a diverse cast of characters, and you “interact” with them throughout the 8-week plan. Your main interaction is with Maxine, the town doctor who doubles as your training coach. The final mission to save the day is a 5K run and race around the clock.
The tasks throughout the game, such as performing 10 squats, are simple enough to be ideal for beginners or those returning to working out after a long period away. Having this game sync to your music playlist can also make playing more enjoyable, but that feature can be turned off if you prefer.
Couch to 5K
The name of this app says it all. It’s designed for beginners who rarely leave their couch to have them running a 5K at the end of a nine-week program. The first week starts out slowly with several one-minute jogs and the pace quickly picks up from there. Busy professionals and parents will find this app useful as it only requires three sessions per week. The workouts are typically performed outdoors, but a treadmill option is available for rainy days.
Because it’s geared toward newbies, the workouts aren’t particularly intense and only burn an average of 250 calories per session. But we all have to start somewhere and Couch to 5K is a great option to kickstart your fitness journey.