Getting Healthier; “There’s an app for that!” Part Two: Fitness

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

October 8, 2013

As promised, here are my picks for some of the best free apps available for tracking your physical activity as you “move” toward better health.

  1. Run Keeper – Although its name implies running, this app will also keep track of your walking, hiking, or cross-country skiing activities. Using the GPS on your phone, it tracks your route as you move. RunKeeper calculates the duration and length of your activity, your average pace and time, and the number of calories burned to help motivate you toward your fitness goals.
    • Features: Includes motivational prompts to keep you on track, encouragement when you reach or achieve a new level of fitness, the ability to share your workouts on social media, and detailed training plans for achieving specific fitness goals such as running a marathon. Free and available for iOS and Android.
  2. Nike Training Club – This is a full-body training app that will work for any level of fitness. It includes more than 115 workouts designed to increase strength, cardio, and core power.
    • Features: Allows users to choose 15, 30, or 45 minute workouts, “star” encouragement (Serena Williams, Hope Solo, Paula Radcliffe) to keep you on track, and the ability to set your own music. Basically, this app is like having a personal trainer at your fingertips. Free and available for iOS and Android.
  3. Couch to 5K – This app can transform you from a total couch potato to a 5K (3.1 miles) runner in just eight short weeks!
    • Features: A step-by-step manageable plan provides guidance as you gradually build up strength and endurance to run a 5K within two months time. Three, 30-40 minute sessions a week are all you need to invest time-wise. Motivating virtual coaches, the ability to add your own music, and share your progress with others via social media are other key features. Free and available for iOS and Android.
  4. Office Fitness Free – If your day is spent sitting behind a computer, this app provides simple exercises you can perform at your desk. The stretching and core-based movements are designed by a team of osteopaths, physical therapists, and yoga instructors.
    • Features: Only minutes of your time are needed, the exercises stimulate joints, improve posture, and relieve stress. Users have the ability to set reminders and save their favorite moves. Free and available for iOS and Android.
  5. Hot Yoga Body – Want to “tone your body, tame your mind, and fry fat on the mat?” this Women’s Health app (don’t worry guys, you can use it too) claims you can do all three! Yoga experts present sequences with audio cues to help you perform the moves correctly.
    • Features: Choose from 12 different yoga workouts to help you de-stress, get fit, burn calories, improve posture, and more. Individual poses are described with written instructions and include a visual demonstration. Choose from beginner, intermediate, or advanced workouts, and track your progress. Free and available for iOS and Android.

Keep in mind there are numerous apps available, and these are a few that I have tried and found helpful. I selected free ones, some of which offer an upgrade for a minimal fee. Give them a try and feel free to send me your thoughts and findings!

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here.

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