Fitness apps keep goal setting fun
Health goals are easier to meet if you use tools to track your progress. Fitness apps make it possible to keep your fitness at your fingertips. Meals, workouts and even sleep can be tracked, logged and referenced while you’re on the move this summer.
My Fitness Pal
Tracking what you eat has never been so simple. With an extensive database of food, plus the ability to scan package bar codes for nutrition information, My Fitness Pal is an easy, user-friendly way to track your food intake. Though the app bases its overall input on calories, it also tracks carbs, fat, protein, sodium, and sugar, so you can tailor your diet to specific health goals and plans. Your account can be used on the website or the app, so you can track everywhere — there’s even an option to input recipes directly from a URL, making it much easier to gauge homemade dishes. (Available for iOS and Android devices, free)
Couch to 5K
Beginning runners, or those who want to be beginning runnings, will love the Couch to 5K app. One of the most iconic programs for building fitness from sedentary to 5K ready, the app has features that help runners follow the program. The program takes beginners to the finish line of a 5K in 20-30 minutes a day, 3 days a week, for nine weeks. (iTunes store, $2)
Sleep is an underrated — but crucial — fitness component. Too little sleep will encourage your body to secrete hormones that make it more difficult to lose weight — not to mention how much more difficult it is to get up in the morning for your workout if you’re always exhausted. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app works in two ways. It analyzes sleep patterns, which can help you determine if your sleep is being interrupted during the night, even if you’re not fully waking. By analyzing your sleep cycle, it determines the ideal take to wake you — during a 30 minute, pre-determined window so you don’t miss your morning meeting. Waking at the right point during your sleep cycle will help you feel more alert and more ready to tackle your fitness plan. (iTunes store, $1)
RunKeeper is a powerhouse of a fitness app. It’s a GPS tracker, activity logger and personal trainer. RunKeeper integrates with your phone’s music to play in-app, so you can continue to receive real-time training updates about pace and timing. The app collects a bunch of data from your runs — and other activities like cycling and walking. You can also log workouts after the fact, follow training plans or design your own. Any level of fitness will benefit from this user-friendly, data-happy app. (iTunes store, free)
Toning up can happen at home, not just at the gym. Hot5 Fitness is a library of quick, effective toning workouts that you can customize to what you need from a fitness app. You can do a 5-minute workout every morning to work your abs or a 45-minute yoga routine to increase flexibility. All workouts are synchronized to music that will motivate you — and you can even have friendly competitions within the app to push you even harder. (iTunes store, free)
If competition keeps you on your toes, Pact: Earn Cash for Living Healthy is the app for you. The app itself is free, and the premise is that a group of people pledges a certain amount of money toward a goal each week. If every person hits their goal, everyone gets her money back. Unmet goals means forfeiting your pledge, with the money split between the people who did meet their goals. (iTunes store, free)
Do you have a favorite fitness app?
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