12 Fitness Apps to Improve Your Workouts
Have you ever felt stuck or unmotivated in your workouts? Perhaps you have been searching for new ways to give you that extra push to make your exercise techniques more efficient. Well, according to many app companies, the answer to your problems may lie within your phone. Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in the world of fitness apps.
Now you can track your weight loss, exercise activity, or progress you have made through the convenience of apps on your phone. The best part is that these apps allow you to maintain a solid workout without even having to go to the gym. You can create and learn about effective techniques without having to pay big bucks for pricey personal trainers. These apps are also really cool because they promote sharing your success with others through social media. They can totally improve the way we monitor and achieve out fitness goals. Certain kinds of apps can even allow you to work out with the Basic Fitness Principles in mind.
Basic Fitness Principles
If you are looking for positive results in your work outs, it is important to abide by these basic principles (Dr. Case). They will ensure that you follow a healthy, balanced program.
Regularity. Having a strict plan in your schedule will make sure that you are implementing some element of exercise at least three times a week. Apps like GAIN Fitness have coaching elements that will keep you motivated to continue with the program. Keeping your eating and sleeping habits more consistent can help with this process as well.
Progression. It is essential that your progression inclines at a steady pace. The Map My Fitness app will document statistics such as maximum speeds and your pace to ensure that you are pushing your body just the right amount. This is the safest way to make improvements in your exercises. Before you add more weight or a faster speed, increase the reps or the distance in a pace that you are more comfortable with first.
Balance. When managing your workouts, you should cover all fitness elements throughout your program. For example, you shouldn’t focus only on cardio or only on lifting. Many apps have functions that cover a variety of activities you can do. The Edomondo Sports Tracker will track your daily movements whether you’re running, cycling, jogging, skating, or even dancing. Focusing on only one type of exercise weakens other muscles that your body is still reliant on.
Variety. Keeping a variety of elements in your workouts can also increase motivation and ensure that you don’t get bored with the program you create for yourself. There are even apps like Zombies, Run! that uses an audio, storytelling style to keep exercisers engaged. The app includes many activities or “missions” and will even alert you if a zombie is nearby.
Specificity. If the focus of your exercise is on specific activities like swim or basketball, you should enhance your skills by creating programs that train your body to excel in your field. Runtastic Six Pack Abs, for example, focuses primarily on tightening your tummy for those who want to spend extra time and energy on a particular muscle group.
Recovery. Taking a day off or dedicating a day for lighter exercise is actually incredibly beneficial because it lets your body recover. Alternating the muscle groups you focus on can also assist in the recovery process. The app Moves could be beneficial for days you want to take it easy with some light cardio. The device tracks your every movement including where you are going or how long it takes you to reach your destination through a GPS tracker device.
Overload. Pushing your body past its normal demands is necessary if you want to produce any results. Using the method of friendly competition might be a good way to ensure that you are pushing yourself. The app Strava Cycling allows you to do this by comparing your best cycling times against other bike riders with the app around your area. When implementing this strategy you should always remember the motto – No Pain, No Gain!
Top Fitness Apps
A good workout not only achieves all the Basic Fitness Principles, but it also ensures that your workout is fun and something you can enjoy. There are so many different apps that you can choose from, but here are some of the popular standouts:
Cyclemeter is one of the best apps out there for cyclists. It is packed with a variety bicycle data. Your iPhone becomes a complete fitness computer with features such as maps, graphs, splits, intervals, laps, announcements, zones, training plans, etc. (Jill Duffy).
Lose It! manages your food intake and the calories you consume to help with losing weight. It will suggest small, but manageable changes in your diet so that you can start to see results (Jill Duffy).
Charity Miles is a great motivational app that allows you to earn corporate sponsorships for each mile you walk or run. It might enhance your endurance if you know that you are exercising for a good cause (Drew Prindle).
Nike Training Club is one of the best apps with a coaching element involved. You are given specific 30-45 minute workouts based on your goals and fitness history. There are diagrams, pictures, and an audio voice to help you through each motion and exercise (Drew Prindle).
Fitbit is one of the most popular and highly recommended fitness apps out there. Yahoo claims that, “These things really do make you healthier, in my experience,” while Gigaom made the argument that, “While wearing the Fitbit Force, I actually found myself more motivated to get up and move around.” The app’s main function is to track your everyday steps, but you can now also log your food, weight, and measure your sleeping habits. It becomes easier to see your progress and ultimately achieve your fitness goals. For more information on how Fitbit is influencing people’s lives, there are many “how to” videos online that show you how easy it is to stay active through your everyday errands and activities.
Many of these apps include a multitude of features that promote a balanced workout, or allow you to focus on specific muscle groups that you want to work on. Adding elements of social support will drive you to continue your workouts on a more regular basis. Allowing users to compete with others is another element that ensures that you are pushing yourself so that you can see results materialize faster. If you need some variance or extra motivation to boost your morale, then using one of these fitness apps could be helpful to you!
Alexandra Zuccaro is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A in English. She a strong interest in journalism and hopes to pursue a career in the field.