Can Your Smartphone Help You Get in Shape?

One of the best ways to commit to an exercise regime is to find a buddy to workout alongside you. The buddy system works because it provides you with someone who will both encourage you when you feel low and motivate you when you start to slack or if you try to skip out on your exercise goals.

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Unfortunately, not everybody has an in person buddy who is able to join them regularly for workouts. Or, even if you have a plethora of people waiting to give you the encouragement and motivation you need, you might work better on your own. This is when having a smartphone can be very helpful.

Now, look, we’re not suggesting that you build a Her-like relationship with Siri. Nothing creepy like that. What we do want to point out is that there are a multitude of smartphone apps and tools that you can use to keep yourself on track. Of course, before you start a downloading spree in the iTunes Store, you need to make sure you have all of the right gear.

For example, you’re going to need a good pair of shoes; yes, even if you plan on working out in your own home. You’ll want some good quality workout clothes. You’ll want to protect your smartphone during a workout, so make sure that you’ve chosen one of the iPhone cases that are built to absorb shock. Trust us, even if you’re very careful, the increased movement exercise requires increases your chances of dropping, stepping on, and accidentally flinging your phone across the room. You don’t want to accidentally destroy your phone trying to get healthy!

So once you’ve gotten all set up, you’re ready to start downloading, right? Not so fast!

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Being Choosy

One of the reasons that so many people fail at putting together a healthy workout regimen is that they go overboard during the exploration phase. They download every health-based app that seems even remotely usable and then feel overwhelmed by their volume of choices. So, before you start downloading, you need to figure out which kinds of apps you really need. Here are some of the general categories to consider:

Calorie Counting: finding a good calorie counter can be a godsend, especially if you are someone who likes to track details like calories in vs. calories burned.

Nutrition: Many of these apps will have calorie counters built into them. These apps are good if you’re trying to refine your diet along with getting in shape. Choose an app that can help you plan your meals and that will help you track your servings of each food group.

Working Out: On which type of workout do you want to focus? Strength training? Endurance training? Aerobic? Pilates? Running? If you’re not sure, there are a few really great general fitness apps like Gorilla Workout that will help you get in shape. Start with one or two of those.

Which Apps Are Best?

FitBit: Many people feel like the FitBit is obsolete now that the iWatch is so popular. But what if you can’t afford an iWatch? FitBit offers you step tracking, calorie counting, sleep tracking, water consumption, and even lets you link up with friends for challenges and encouragement. It also integrates with lots of other apps like RunKeeper, Pact, etc.

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Carrot: Carrot Fit is one of the better 7-minute workout apps out there because the makers take the motivation and accountability aspects of getting healthy very seriously. This is why they invented an app that will, effectively, yell at you if you try to slack off. Carrot Fit is part of a larger bundle (though you can download it independently) that includes an alarm clock, a to-do list, and even a weather app.

LifeSum: Lifesum is a fantastic app for helping you create and achieve your goals. The creators understand that “get healthy” is a large and vague goal so the first thing the app does is help you break that large idea down into smaller manageable chunks. It will help you track calories, plan your means and will even send you reminders to get up and move around, take a drink of water, etc.

Happify: While getting your physical self into better shape is important, taking care of your mental health shouldn’t be neglected. Happify is a great app for mental health goals and “tracks.” You’ll choose a track when you first sign in and then the app gives you daily “exercises” and regular evaluations so you can gauge your progress.

Getting healthy is an admirable goal. Work on it little by little using the tips we’ve shared here and we are confident that at this time next month or next year you will be feeling better physically and mentally.

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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