Trying to keep that New Year's resolution to stay fit?
You'll be pleased to learn that technology can help
you far more than it may distract you, if you use it
right. Whether you want to stick to a fitness regimen,
eat healthier, manage your weight, sleep better, or
improve your overall wellness, there is, as they say,
an app for that.
If you need some encouragement to stick to your workout
routine, your smart phone's got you covered. Apps such
as RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, and Fitocracy provide structure,
incentive, and motivation by tracking your workouts.
Tracking or logging workouts serves as an extra push
to work out in the first place by making your adherence
to your routine and your progress visible. And what's
more encouraging than watching yourself improve?
Still need a little more motivation? Several apps,
like Runtastic Pro, The Walk, and Zombies, Run!, offer
a fun and encouraging twist to cardio by adding a story
to your workout. Applications like these make you the
protagonist in tales like an adventure to save the world
or an epic flight from zombies, making workouts more
interesting and providing a little more motivation to
finish that run.
If you don't know where even to start when it comes
to working out, fear not. Applications including Fitness
Fast, FitStar, and NIKE Training Club offer instructions
on how to perform various exercises, recommendations
for optimal numbers of reps and sets, and even full-length
workouts at the tips of your fingers. Being clueless
when it comes to the gym is no longer an excuse!
Your smart phone is also an indispensable tool if your
goal is to lose or even to gain weight. Weight management
apps like MyFitnessPal, Noom, and LoseIt! can serve
as personal guides, creating a custom plan for you to
achieve your goals and even letting you track your adherence
to the plan. By setting concrete goals and granting
you the ability to keep track of them wherever you are,
these apps make weight management a much less daunting
If you'd rather focus just on healthy eating, you
guessed it: your phone is there to help. Apps like Fooducate
and Shopwell are designed to help you shop smartly,
telling you which groceries fit your dietary goals and
needs and offering a myriad of information about the
groceries you're interested in. One grocery application,
Zipongo, even alerts you of deals on and coupons for
healthful foods, as well as providing tips and recipes
for healthful eating.
When you're not shopping for food, apps like Fitocracy
Macros and MyFitnessPal help you track what you eat
in a day. These apps create a custom allowance of calories
and various nutrients based on you and your goals, and,
as you log what you eat, show you how much of each category
you have consumed versus their suggested value.
While some people seek wellness through diet and exercise,
others just need a good night's sleep. For those struggling
to get those precious eight hours, a variety of applications
exist to help. Apps including Sleep, Insomnia Cure,
Relax & Sleep, Sleepmaker Rain, and many others offer
soothing sounds, music, and even self-hypnosis tracks
to aid those who struggle falling asleep. Also to the
aid of insomniacs are apps like SleepBot that offer
abundant resources to help those who struggle to fall
asleep in their efforts to get some-shut eye.
Also popular are sleep tracking apps, including Sleep
Cycle Alarm Clock and SleepBot. These apps are helpful
to those who wish for better sleep that leaves them
feeling rested; by tracking small motions made during
sleep, these apps are able to determine when you are
in your lightest stages of sleep and wake you in a light
stage near a designated alarm time. By waking you during
light sleep rather than deep, restorative REM, these
apps allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and awake.
Sleep tracking apps also chart and analyze your sleep
and sleep quality.
For the caffeine addicts there is yet another app that
may help you score some extra sleep. UP Coffee, available
on iOS, is an application intended for those of us who
enjoy their daily dose of caffeine. It allows users
to input any caffeinated items they consume in a day,
from coffee to chocolate, and tells them when they can
hit the sack without the caffeine's affecting their
sleep. Not only does UP Coffee let its users plan around
getting quality sleep, but keeps them conscious of their
caffeine consumption and its impact on their sleep and
Finally, apps intended to improve general wellness
are great resources for your health. If you're looking
to explore meditation or yoga, simply searching those
keywords on your phone's app store will yield a myriad
of applications that can guide you through practicing
these healthful activities. If you seek other means
of coping with stress, apps like Mindshift are there
to tackle anxiety and offer general stress relief. Lastly,
Withings is an overall health and wellness app that
has all the bases covered, helping you be healthier
and happier from every angle.
The apps you can use to help you boost your health
are almost endless; the several we have listed here
are only the beginning of a great range of apps that
can help make your health and wellness goals a reality.
So hesitate no longer: get downloading and get healthy!
About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage,
Inc. a software company for communication software solutions.