Fitness and Health Apps to Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions
Happy 2018! A new year means a fresh start, and with that comes a new set of resolutions. One of the most common resolutions involves one’s health, whether that is to “eat better”, “lose weight”, or “get fit”. However, it’s a well known fact that most people fail to reach their new year goals.
What’s something that often stops projects–and resolutions–in their tracks is a lack of a clear plan. Getting healthier is always an admirable goal, but it also can be overwhelming for those that don’t quite know how to go about such goal. Thankfully, there are a number of apps to use that can help you get organized to make 2018 the year you hit that healthy resolution.
The key to losing weight is quite simple in theory–eat less calories, and you’ll burn fat. But, how much less food should you eat? Do you know how many calories that spaghetti you made is? Calorie counting can be really overwhelming, but MyFitnessPal can make it so much easier.
You simply plug in your stats and how many pounds you want to lose (or gain!) a week, and the app does the calculations for you. Then, you pick the foods you eat from its extensive database (the largest of all the apps of its ilk), and viola, you’ve taken the first step in getting your diet in shape!
There are dozens upon dozens of workout tracking apps, but MapMyFitness is one that gets a bit of a special mention. By the same makers as MyFitnessPal, syncing the two apps for accurate measurements of calories you burn is an immensely helpful feature for someone overwhelmed with the healthier lifestyle.
MapMyFitness tracks walks, runs, and cycling trips via GPS, giving you plenty of information about how far you went, how quickly, and how many calories you burned. Additionally, MapMyFitness has a datatbase for things like local trails and fitness events, to make sure you never run out of things to do.
If you’re not as worried about syncing your apps together, and like to ‘gamify’ things, then Fitocracy is right up your ally. Fitocracy has a nice database exercises that you can search, and as you do them you earn points.
Points level you up and earn achievements, adding a competitive element with friends if you so choose. It’s a bit of a more fun way to motivate yourself to work out.
All the fitness tracking apps are great, but they don’t help if you’re not sure what to do in the first place! If you’re interested in running and cardio, but don’t quite have the endurance yet, one of your best bets is the Couch to 5k (or C25K) program.
The program is designed to get completely sedentary people up and running a 5k in only 90 days, by a staggered run/walk program three days a week. It’s an extremely helpful program, and there is a whole slew of apps that can help you with this particular program. The one I chose for this list is both free and has a nice looking interface, though most of the apps do serve the same purpose.
If you’re not one for cardio, maybe weightlifting is more your cup of tea. One of the best beginners’ programs for lifting heavy things has to be the Stronglifts 5×5 program. It’s deceptively simple–you only need learn five exercises, and you’re only in the gym three times a week.
The app gives you all the information you need on what exercises to do and on what days, and there are many success stories out there with how much this program help others get stronger and lose weight. The creator of this program wanted all the information about Stronglifts to be free to all and easily accessible, and that extends to this official app.
People tend to not realize how important their mental health is to their physical health! Stress can cause hormone inbalances, to hold on to water weight, and even a terrifying smorgasbord of health issues. One of the simplest ways to set aside some time to yourself, a way to calm down and unwind from our busy lives.
This is where meditation comes into play. When meditation is properly practiced, it gives the mind time to slow down, unwind, and simply let thoughts slip by. But meditation is not always easily learned… but thankfully with meditation apps at our fingertips, there’s never a better time to try.
Headspace is my personal favorite–while it does require a monthly subscription, Headspace teaches you the foundations of meditation and how to practice it, as well as many different varieties of guided meditation. There are programs to help you sleep, deal with anxiety, and plenty of other series well worth the fee.