We all know that exercise is good for you, physically and mentally. But acting on what we know isn’t as easy as we’d like. And going to the gym or taking your workout outside may not be as doable as social media makes it out to be. Life happens, and we end up feeling guilty for not taking care of ourselves as we’d hoped.
The good news is that technology has come to the rescue in a big way. It’s big things bigger and easier. Fitness apps that give you a measure of your fitness achievements have been gaining popularity lately because they’re easy to access and provide a wide range of fitness levels; from the beginner to the more advanced.
They also allow you to choose the duration of your workout so that if you have a busy schedule you can fit in 7 minutes of exercising that actually make a difference in the long run.
Here are a few other benefits of health apps:
– Make it easy to create an account which is crucial for when you have to change phones
– You can easily sync all your devices, as smart watches, tablets, laptops, etc.
– Makes way for some healthy competition with fellow app members
– Provide you with notifications to keep you motivated and ready for your next workout
– Adding your personal information like your gender, age, weight, and height allows the app to provide you with personalized workouts
– Help you set up goals and work with you step- by-step to achieve them
Each app is unique in the way it delivers fitness right to your doorstep. Yet they have features that aim to please and make your life easier while providing you with the fitness you need.
Some of these features are:
– Exercise routines that are already set up; some are customizable, others are only differentiated by fitness levels
– Activity tracking to keep track of your activities from walking to cycling, running to swimming
– Geolocation helps you plan their running routes, record the locations and track your runs
– Food logging makes it easy to keep a log of your food
– Barcode scanners which provides you with all the necessary information just with the click of a button
Now that we’ve read about the benefits and features of health apps, let’s consider the top 10 for the upcoming year.
1. Couch to 5K
The great thing about this app is that it’s designed to help beginners reach that 5K goal. It takes about 20 minutes 3 times a week for 9 weeks. There are virtual coaches who help you along with your workouts and track your progress. Another great feature of this app is that once you’ve accomplished your goal, you can take it a step further and download the 5K to 10K app.
2. 7-minute Workout
Some days are so hectic you don’t have an entire half an hour to spare for exercising. This app fixes that problem with workouts lasting only 7 minutes, they target each muscle group. You can choose from individual body-part workouts or workouts for your entire body. They’re quick, easy, efficient, and most importantly, make a difference.
This one has been around for some time, but it’s chock full of user-friendly, smart options which make it a success. It has a huge food database, diet trackers where you can keep a dieting journal, create healthy meals, and provide you with nutritional tips and advice. Plus, it has a calorie counter and personalized workouts according to your body type and diet.
Just as your body needs a good workout, your mind needs one too. This app demonstrates how to practice mindfulness to boost focus and concentration levels while regulating your sleep cycle.
Some of its features are guided breathing, meditation techniques, soothing music and calming bedtime stories. A great feature of this app is that it meets every level of meditator out there from the beginner to the pro.
A unique app on its own, it consists of over 2500 audio workout sessions with 15 trainers who create new ones on a weekly basis. The app also provides accompanying music to boost your motivation level and get you moving.
This app is ideal for cyclists and runners who prefer to take their workouts outside. Strava helps you track your speed, pace, distance and how many calories you’ve burned. It has personalized workout plans, live feedback during your activities as well as even provides you with more detailed evaluation after you’ve finished which allows you to view certain points in your workout.
Another great perk is that it includes a social network where you can join clubs, meet fellow members and share your stats.
Qinetic is a video service which lets you stream workout classes so you can enjoy your favorite workout whenever you have the time. The top professionals in the fitness industry provide fitness classes that cover everything, from yoga to Zumba to an intense cardio workout. They also stream nutrition classes to cater to every lifestyle and dietary needs. The best part? They can all be streamed on your Apple Watch.
8. Freeletics Bodyweight
A great app that gets you fit, healthy and energized by working on toning your body and building your muscles. You’ll take a fitness test before you start so they can individualize a weekly exercise routine that’s specific only to your body type and needs.
Another great plus is that it makes it easy to do the workouts in a small space if your apartment is cramped or you don’t have lots of room to move around.
Sworkit stands for ‘Simply Work It’ and it lives up to its name. With lots of professional trainers, 200 different types of exercises, and the perks of either choosing from pre-set routines or customizing your own, this app has it all. It’s so resourceful, it also has a kids’ app.
When you first start, you set your current fitness level and you’ll get a 6-week program with tailored weekly workout routines. It comes with video demos of how each exercise should be done and has a variety of intensity levels to meet all fitness level needs.
Providing quick, fast-paced, fun HIIT workouts, this app is quick and effective. It also comes with bodyweight and equipment workouts for a more intense calorie burn. All workouts are between 7 and 20 minutes, and it provides you with a virtual coach who gives you feedback and answers any questions you may have.