Now that I’ve graduated from college, it’s time to really get rid of the “freshman 15” I’ve accumulated throughout my time there. Rather than sitting on my couch eating Cheetos for two hours (guilty), technology has been helping me get my butt off the couch and into the gym.
Here are 14 apps that can help you track your exercise plan and eating habits.
1. RunKeeper – RunKeeper is a great tool to keep track of your running. The free version of the app tracks how far you run, how quickly you do it, your changes in elevation, and your average pace. This is a great tool to map your runs, see how much you’ve progressed over time, and compare your stats to your friends’ (if you choose to do so).
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2. Map My Run – If you’re not in the RunKeeper camp, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Map My Run before. Similar to RunKeeper, Map My Run maps the routes you run. Visually seeing how far you’ve gone can help you push yourself further and burn those extra calories. Map My Run also helps you keep track of your food, which is another important part of losing weight.
3. Nike + – Nike + has a beautiful interface that has features similar to RunKeeper and Map My Run. This app lets you map out your run, rate your workouts with emoticons, and gives audio feedback as you run. Nike also integrated advice from top-level athletes to help motivate you during your workouts.
4. Your Local Gym’s App – I recently joined Crunch gym this summer, and they have an app that lets me sign up for classes on the go. Other useful information about the gym and its locations are also listed on the app. If you have a gym membership, it’s worth checking out their technology.
5. Sworkit – A great way to lose weight is circuit training, but it can be difficult to compile a list of different exercises to boost the heartbeat. Sworkit is a great app that lets you target different areas of your body with a list of different workouts to try. The app can also guide you through proper stretching and yoga.
6. Abs Trainer – Claim you have abs that are just hiding behind fat? Get rid of that fat with abs trainer, a great app that provides over a hundred different exercises that you can work with on your abs. The app will help you with sets and reps, and even show you how to do the exercise correctly.
7. Fitocracy – Fitocracy can put the fun back into working out. By working your way through levels and unlocking achievements, getting back in shape has never been easier. Comparing your progress to your friends can only help you push past the competition.
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8. Couch To 5k (C25K) – Are you a couch potato? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I was too, but I used this app to help train for my first 5k. (I crossed the finish line!) By easing you into long distance running with walking, running, and jogging intervals, you’ll want to be outside running more often that you’ll like to admit.
9. My Fitness Pal – My Fitness Pal is a great way to track what you’re eating (trust me, it can make all the difference). By writing journal entries and graphically tracking your progress, it’s easy to see how well you’re doing on your weight loss journey.
10. Strava for Cycling/Running – Are you a runner and/or cyclist? Then Strava is perfect for you. This app uses GPS to track you as you exercise, then posts your information online for you to view later. Viewing different statistics about your runs and rides can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your workouts.
11. Fitbit/Withings – Fitbit is a mobile app and website that allows you to track your food intake, workouts, and your sleep. As key components of being healthy, Fitbit helps you get and stay healthy through these different segments. A wristband can also be purchased to sync data with your mobile device.
12. Fooducate – I’ll admit it. When it comes to eating healthy foods, I’m no good at it. Fooducate is an app that will help you discover healthy foods with detailed product information about each one. With letter grades next to various types of foods, now there’s no excuse when determining what is and isn’t healthy for you.
13. Dietbet – Dietbet is a four-week social dieting game that allows you to bet money into a “pot.” People submit their starting weights and must drop 4% of their body weight by the end of the four weeks. If you win, you win the pot! Talk about motivation to lose weight!
14. CharityMiles – While you’re out running, you might as well save the world. This app lets you pick a charity that sponsors you as you run. Each mile you run/bike donates money to the cause of your choosing. Simple as that!
Note: Although many of these apps have the same features, it’s important to pick something you’re interested in and that you think will stick. Beginning to work out is hard! Make sure to find an app that motivates you and helps you best visualize your workout. (And remember to stay hydrated!)
What’s your favorite app to help you get in shape? Share in the comments so we can all benefit!