Spring is the perfect time of year to give a boost to your workout schedule, in preparation for the summer months of trips to the beach and outdoor sports. These days, you don’t even need a gym membership in order to get fit – in the age of the smartphone there is a countless number of apps available to help you get fit and eat better. Here are just a few:
1. Ab Trainer (iPhone)
Abdominal muscles are a goal for almost everyone who is serious about their workouts. While pretty to look at, they also help stabilize the body and strengthen your core for many other types of athletic movement. This app offers you more than 70 different types of ab exercises, organized by category: equipment exercises, dumbbell exercises, and resistance-band exercises. Each one is displayed with helpful photos and animation – taking the guesswork out of the equation.
2. Pilates Core (iPhone)
Pilates exercises are basically a series of slow controlled movements and stretches that build strength, balance and flexibility in the body. This app can tecah you a few of the more basic Pilates moves in workouts of varying length and intensity. You are guided through with cool morphing visuals. The complete version is available for purchase ($6.99) but the free app includes plenty of material to start off with, before making a commitment.
3. MyFitnessPal (iPhone)
Your fitness pal starts off by getting all of your relevant information: age, weight, etc. It then asks you about your goals and time frame. After that, it starts tracking everything you eat from then on. Every time you eat something, you add it to your food diary in the app, by looking it up in the vast database it contains. When you add a food item to your diary, the associated calories are subtracted from your daily allowance. Of course, you also you can get credit for physical activity.
4. Eat This, Not That! The Game (iPhone)
Men’s Health magazine brings you this app that encourages healthy food choices with a dose of fun.While the idea might seem obvious – it’s more complex than just telling you to eat a carrot instead of a hot dog. The app provides unexpected insights like: it’s better to eat an A&W Coney Chili Cheese Dog than one of their Crispy Chicken Sandwiches. The app is divided by meal categories: breakfast, lunch and snacks. You then begin playing the food choice game, in which you get points for making the right “healthy” choices. The app is both fun and informational.
5. Relax Melodies (iPhone)
Part of improving your overall health is improving the quality of your sleep. This app helps you get better, deeper sleep by creating a conducive atmosphere using a collection of 46 different sounds that you can mix & match to create a noise that will relax you and distract you from food cravings. Sounds like “white noise,” “underwater,” “winds,” “flute,” and “rain” are available for re-mixing in all kind of ways and volumes – to get the mix that works best for you. The app also has a few pre-chosen options.
6. Podrunner (iPhone)
Music is an important part of any serious, ongoing workout regimen. It both inspires movement and distracts you from the more boring moments of a long session. Podrunner provides a series of music mixes created by a professional DJ, organized according to BPM (beats per minute). So, you select the best BPM rate for your workout or fitness level and then just go! If you’re starting slow, you can choose the “Soloist” mix at 131 BPM. For a fast-paced, more intense workout, the “Racers Edge” mix at 181 BPM will be perfect. Some mixes also increase BPM with time, as you intensify your run or cardio session.