Smart Apps For Your Post Holiday Fitness Routine
For most people, finding the time, money, and motivation to lose weight is often a struggle. After a busy day, it’s just easier to order a pizza and watch a movie instead of cooking a healthy dinner or going out for a jog. This cycle can be broken, and your smartphone can be the key. Especially now, when the holiday season is wrapping up, and your bathroom scale is being honest about your indulgences, the following apps will help you get back on track and stay healthy in the coming year. These apps will help your body and heart stay fit without costing you an arm and a leg in gym memberships.
An app so good that your insurance company wants to know if you use it. EveryMove is a solid moral boosting app, great for your health and your budget because many insurance providers offer discounts or rewards for using it.
All you have to do is log your workouts and watch the reward points build. You can also connect with friends and compete in challenges to keep yourself motivated. It even hooks up to most wearable trackers.
Fitocracy is one of the best apps around to help track your workouts. Its free, and offers brief videos to help you learn basic workouts. Also, there’s a large community on Fitocracy, which means that there’s lots of support to help keep you on top of your game.
If you feel like spending a few dollars, they also offer fitness coaching. The fitness coaches will tailor a nutritious meal plan and design workouts just for you.
As a bonus, Fitocracy offers a separate app to monitor your macronutrients — if you count macros instead of calories, that is.
MyFitnessPal is another popular calorie counter that helps you connect with friends and family to stay motivated on your weight-loss journey. The food database is easy to use and allows you to add your own recipes. In addition to monitoring your weight, you can track your neck, waist, and hip size.
Feeling worn out? The app also keeps track of your nutritional information, so you can check your protein or carbohydrate intake and see if that might be the problem.
4. Sleep Cycle
You know that feeling when the alarm clock goes off but you still feel like you haven’t slept in days? Sleep Cycle helps you fix that. This free app monitors your REM cycle, and ties in with your alarm clock so that it wakes you up during a light sleep phase instead of a deep phase that leaves you feeling like a monster for the rest of the day.
The hardest part of starting a new way of eating is often re-learning how to navigate the grocery store. Shopwell allows you to scan product barcodes and compare the nutritional information between multiple products. It’s sort of like having a nutritionist in your pocket.
It’ll even help you steer clear of foods that interfer with dietary restrictions. So, if you’re avoiding gluten, this app will give you strong hand. With brands going out of their way to try and appear more nutritious than they really are (saying “less salt!” doesn’t mean it’s healthy), Shopwell makes it easy to get the facts.
Color-coded food tracking is Noom’s unique feature. When you log your food, Noom uses different colors to teach — and gently remind you — what foods are healthy. There’s a free and a pro version of Noom.
This cheerful app is known for its motivational messages and the brightly colored butterfly that shows the user just how healthy they are at any given time. Withings wearable trackers monitor blood pressure, activity, weight loss, and even your sleep cycle, and combine all this data in the app to help you stay healthy.
LoseIt! feels that connection and calorie tracking are the keys to weight loss. The app helps you set manageable goals for everything from weight loss to blood pressure and sleep. In place of manually tracking food from a database, you have an option to scan the barcode on the food’s package and add it to your log.
Moves is a simple app that focuses on (surprise!) your daily movement. What’s special about this app, though, is that it not only automatically tracks any movement, including cycling, running and walking, but tells you how many calories you burned for each activity.
Nearly the Superman of the app world, Argus tracks your sleep cycle and quality, offers a way to link with friends and family, tracks your weight and ties in with fitness wearables. It even helps you keep track of your caffeine intake. There are free and paid versions of this app.
Get off of the sofa and back on your feet! The above apps will help you monitor your health without breaking the bank. No need to wait until the New Year! Start now and fend off the last few pounds of the holidays.
Scott Huntington is a health enthusiast and writer for the Oxford University Press. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington