By Chelsey Bowermaster, Lets Move Quad Cities
This summer, make technology your best fitness friend. Use your smart phone or tablet to stoke your motivation every day. Download one of the many free — and effective — fitness apps to fit your needs.
Here are a few of my favorites:
FitStar Personal Trainer
What: Personalized workout routines you can easily do from home. Manageable workouts and consistent progressions to help you get stronger and see results.
How to use: Download, answer some personalized questions regarding your routine, and let your app do the work. Videos of exercises are offered and best of all, it’s FREE!
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Notes: The app is VERY effective if you are a good self-motivator. Does not give the encouragement or accountability that others give. Very easy to use and syncs with Fitbits and MyFitnessPal to make it super user friendly.
Map My Run
What: Map My Run (or Walk or Ride) is a great way to connect to local runners/walkers to help motivate and show you routes near your neighborhood or bike routes, or when travelling out of town. Total distance and ease of routes always given.
How to use: Download, and check out the routes near you. You can also input your favorite trails or paths to help other health seekers on their journey to fitness. App includes log and recording for running, cycling, walking, gym workouts, cross training and yoga so you can keep up with all of your activities.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Notes: Easy to use, excellent source of data tracking for those training or needing to count their mileage. Syncs with Jawbone, Fitbit, Garmin, MyFitnessPal and AppleHealth.
What: If you don’t have a Fitbit or tracking device, your smart phone can be your next best tracker! Argus tracks change in elevation, speed, stairs, runs, walks, calories, etc. It will develop charts based on your data to keep you updated on your activity trends. You can also snap pictures of meals to track nutrition.
How to use: Download and input your information. The app runs in the background of your phone using a coprocessor support to save battery and data usage.
Rating: 3/5 stars. I would rate it a 5; however, my Android friends would not be able to use it — Apple and iPhone ONLY (iOs).
Notes: Extremely reliable data and also tracks sleep activity, which helps promote overall health. Worthwhile app if you don’t have another lifestyle tracker.
What: Need motivation to get moving? Couch to 5K planner provides an entire program also with several success stories to help motivate and keep you inspired to keep going!
How to use: Download and press start. Ideal for first-time runners. 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week for 8 weeks and you will be trained to complete a 5K.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Notes: Very easy to use. Listen to your music while you train. Compatible with MyFitnessPal and supports the National Breast Cancer Coalition — I am a big supporter of the C25K program!
Virtual Trainer Bodyweight: Home
What: 46 exercises show via photo and video what you can do at home with just your bodyweight.
How to use: Download and decide which type of workout you want to do, or mix them all for a creative, fun, challenging workout. TABATA, HIIT and circuit training all included.
Rating: 3/5 stars.
Notes: Exercises are often repeated, but the app is a great rainy day or stuck-at-home app so you don’t have room for excuses! A timer is included in the workout so you can just focus on form. Fun for kids, too!
Summary: All fitness apps have different purposes, and none are “all inclusive.” Decide what YOU need most to stay fit: motivation, community, variety, or tracking, then seek out what works best for you. Your phone can be a great tool in helping you stay fit this summer!
Read more about how the Quad Cities are staying healthy and active by visiting Let’s Move Quad Cities at www.letsmoveqc.com.