Committed to a fitter, better you? There’s an app for that

apps
Apps can be a tool to help you achieve your wellness goals. Stock photo

REGION – Although some might eschew the lack of personal connection in this day and age, when it comes to fitness, diet, mindfulness, and overall self-improvement, sometimes your best guidance can be found right in the palm of your hand.

Anyone embarking on a fitness and diet regimen can benefit from a personal coach, trainer, calorie counter, nutrition expert, cheering squad, goal setter, mindfulness guru, menu planner, and fitness class instructor. Not easily found at your local gym, you can find all that guidance at the app store.

There are now over 350,000 health and fitness apps available that can help guide you to your best self. Apps help people overcome barriers like a lack of organization or discipline, which can leads to better exercise habits.

The prices can vary from completely free, to free introductions, tiered pricing based on how many programs you want to access, to monthly and yearly fees. Most apps let you try them for a week or two for free to see what they offer and how they can benefit your overall goals.

  Nutrition/Calorie counters

MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular apps for counting calories, as well as figuring out how many calories you need to eat, balanced against calories expended, to reach your fitness goals. MyPlate, Noom, and 8fit are similar apps. They also encompass exercise logging, community support, and feedback on food consumption. Apps like Noom and 8fit also host personalized programs for people who are looking for a lot of guidance and reminders to stay on track with their health goals.

Workout plans

If you’re looking for an app that coaches you through specific workouts Wahoo’s 7-Minute Workout offers quick sets of exercises that can be used anywhere with no special equipment. This is a good tool for anyone trying to fit in a quick workout into a busy schedule. An app like NEOU might be more beneficial if you’re looking for on-demand workouts such as kickboxing or Pilates that can fit into your timeframe. If you do have time to hit the gym or go for a run but need a little guidance or inspiration, Jefit or the FIT Radio might be what you’re looking for. Jefit is an app that designs lifting exercise and routines and allows you to log how many repetitions you complete. FIT Radio is a music-streaming app that also includes guided sessions for stretching, abdominal work, meditative breathing, and recovery exercises.

Workout motivation

If you’re looking for a little more motivation to exercise, these apps might be what you’re looking for. Charity Miles donates money to the organization of your choice when you use the app to log miles running, walking, or bicycling. It’s a great fitness app for anyone who’s motivated by charitable causes. Runtastic Pro lets you measure and track your runs, walks, and other exercises, and it doubles as a coaching app to motivate you to keep working toward your fitness goals and train for races. RockMyRun is another music app. You can choose different playlists based on a beat you like, have the music in the app match the beat of your footfalls while you run, or connect the app to a heart rate monitor and have the tempo adjust automatically to your internal beat. Strava is a tracking app for runners and cyclists (and some swimmers) who are looking for a bit of competition, whether against their own personal records or against other people in the Strava community.

Meditation and relaxation

If mindfulness, meditation, and stress reduction, and improved sleep are what you seek, consider these apps that vary from guided meditation to tracking your sleep cycles. Sleep Cycle tracks sleep, including wake up phase, and helps you get the most out of your sleep. Aura offers meditations, sounds of nature, short stories, life coaching sessions, melodious music, and gratitude journal. Unplug also provides simple but powerful meditation videos to inspire and change your life, guided by our world famous teachers. Calm helps users sleep better, boost confidence, and reduce stress and anxiety, all with the help of guided meditations, soothing music, nature sounds, and bedtime stories.

Yoga

If you’re looking to add a little yoga, there are apps that can integrate meditation and movement or just add a little more instruction. Yoga Studio and Pocket Yoga hosts yoga and meditation classes with instruction. And an app like Yoga Wake Up is unique in that it is an alarm clock that wakes you up with a meditation and yoga session.

There are also many hydration apps will make remind you to drink enough water throughout the day including Quench, Daily Water, Waterlogged, and Hydro Coach.

This list is in no way an endorsement for the app listed, just a smattering of the types of apps that are available. Once you determine what kind of workouts, nutritional guidance, mindfulness or other disciplines you want to include into your routine, begin your research in your app store.

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