Cool fitness apps that really work
Most people find it hard to stay focused on their fitness goals on their own — they need a little external help. Apps can be just the thing.
Whatever kind of fitness activity you may need help with, there’s probably an app to inspire you and help you. The following selection of apps should get you started. Not only are they innovative, high-quality and free, they are available both on iOS and Android.
1. Gym Pact
Sometimes referred to as “Pact”, this free app works on a reward-penalty system. To get started, you first need to commit to a certain amount of exercise each week. If you keep to your commitment, you get a small cash reward – under $5.
If you come up short, you pledge to pay a penalty. It’s these penalties that help pay for the rewards that others get. The idea that you can lose money for falling behind can be a great incentive – even if it isn’t much.
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It’s enough to get most people moving. Pact knows if you work out or not by following you run through GPS. To help it track other workouts, you need to supply photos.
The Nike Training Club app comes with dozens of workouts that range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes each in duration. Each workout offers the full experience — video demonstrations and step-by-step instructions.
All demonstrations are done by celebrities, celebrity trainers and top athletes from around the world. Whatever your fitness aims may be, such as losing weight, getting toned or building muscle, Nike Training Club gives you the choice of multiple workouts.
You get far more than simply a bunch of videos. The app helps you measure the number of minutes that you work out and keeps track of the calories you burn
If you mostly love running, rather than mixed workouts, the Nike+ Running app is a dedicated runner’s tool that you should check out. It allows you to track the distance you run, the pace you maintain, the number of minutes you run, the calories you burn and so on.
You get to share everything you do with your friends, too. If you have a running event to train for — a 5K run or a half-marathon, for instance — the app comes with richly featured training programs and training tips to help you get there.
For runners, the RunKeeper and Runtastic Pro apps are other excellent choices.
3. Runtastic Six-Pack Abs
As is evident from the name, this app is all about your abs. You get a wide variety of workouts right from 7-minute ones to ones that last 10 weeks — all help you get closer to the six-pack of your dreams.
All the workouts included are in full HD and you get to share the results you achieve with your friends, too.
The workouts included in Runtastic go far beyond the ordinary trainer videos that other apps offer – what this one does is to show you high-definition images of the muscle groups that you target with each exercise that you go for.
This way, you know where exactly you need to feel what you’re doing. Whatever kind of workout you’re doing, it comes with great music to go along with it, too.
Fitocracy is a kind of social network for fitness fans. The network has more than half a million fitness trainers and nutrition experts from around the world on board.
Whatever exercises and workouts you sign up for, you win points and then badges when you keep to your commitment. You can get competitive, connect with other workout partners and do other fun, group fitness stuff.
If staying fit is all about the camaraderieto you, Fitocracy is for you.
5. Boston Marathon World Run
If the Boston Marathon inspires you, you can be a part of it even if you’re nowhere near Boston. You can get involved by pledging to run or walk a certain distance over a certain period of time — whatever you wish to commit to.
You can then share what you’ve done with the best Boston Marathon athletes and receive Facebook medals and certificates for your trouble. See link.
While workouts are important to your fitness and weight loss plans, watching what you eat can help you ensure that you don’t slide back on the gains you make with unnecessary calories in your diet.
Many people are careful enough about their home-cooked meals. Where they slip up is in buying packaged foods at the supermarket.
This is where Fooducate helps. It lets you scan the barcode on every item that you’re considering buying at the supermarket, to learn how healthy the food is — whether the calories it gives you are nutritious or empty ones.
The app also gives you a list of alternatives that you can consider.
HealthyOut takes care of the other way of putting unplanned calories into your system. Yep, I’m talking about eating out.
While restaurant meals don’t come with nutrition labels, this app does the next best thing. Once you key in information about what your nutritional needs are (low carb, low fat, low sodium, South Beach or anything else), HealthyOut suggests a restaurant in your town that has meals that will work for you.
If you are worried about fat and calorie content when dining out, this is a must have app to call upon.