Health and Fitness Apps

exercise app

 

As we head into March, now is the best time to think of some new ideas that hold your interest.  Don’t become one of the gym-goers that fizzle out by April.  The best way to keep motivated, aside from accountability, is to stay interested by changing things up.  If you feel as if your current gym routine is getting monotonous, consider checking out one of these fitness apps on your smart phone.  Whether it encourages you to try something new, takes some of the thought out of designing a fitness routine, or simply helps you track your progress, these apps can be a great addition to your current fitness plan!

1. C25K

This fitness app boasts an 8 week training program that will have you running a full 5k by the end of it!  For just 30 minutes a day, 3 times per week, it will guide you through walk/run intervals that work their way up to 3.1 miles.  This is the perfect app for a first time or inexperienced runner with a goal of improvement in mind.  Find a 5k race in your area this Spring and give this app a go!

2. Nike + Running

This app is for the more experienced runners who enjoy pushing themselves to do more.  It contains a GPS which allows you to map your route and log your distance.  You can begin each run with a goal of reaching a certain distance, time, or speed.  It also offers a “basic run” which is open ended with voice notifications each time you finish a mile.  This app has the ability to save your previous runs and compare your stats each time you workout.  It also allows you to challenge your friends to beat your time or distance on a run.  Finally, by keeping a constant tab of your distances, you are able to set and reach a major goal of running 100 or more miles in a fitting time frame, whether it be a month, a quarter, or a year!

3. iFitness

This fitness app is centered more around strength training and can be helpful in the gym.  You are able to choose exercises by muscle group to create your own, personalized lifting routine.  You can also choose from the app’s pre-written routines which include programs for everyone from beginners, to those wanting to lose weight or tone up in a certain area, to people wanting to build strength and muscle.  The app goes as far as creating routines for business travelers and athletes such as tennis players and golfers.  It allows you to record your progress in a daily log that can be emailed to yourself or a friend.  Other perks include a weight monitor, BMI calculator, and body measurements log.  The exercise library seems a bit limited, but you can add new exercises as you go and really make this app work for you!

4. Pocket WOD

The Pocket WOD app provides a Crossfit work out of the day library as well as a variety of workout timers and workout and lifting logs.  The workouts are usually high intensity and consist of just a few exercises that are often to be repeated several times.  If you’re not familiar with cross fit some of the terminology can be difficult or impossible to understand. These workouts, often times, require heavy weights and lifting and are many times best suited for a gym.  Whether or not the exercises suit your style or ability, this can be a good app to develop a format for your workout.  The timers that the app provides can also be extremely helpful.  Aside from the regular stopwatch there is a count down timer, an interval timer, and a tabata timer.  Lastly, the app provides a fitness news feed with some of the latest news in fitness and nutrition.  This app will make more sense to the more advanced fitness guru, but if you’re interested in Crossfit it could be a decent place to start.

5. Loseit!

Loseit! is an app that is designed to help you log your calories.  Based on your weight and weight loss goals it will give you a recommendation for the number of calories you should be eating daily.  It also allows you to log your exercise so that it can take into account any calories that you burn.  This is, scientifically, the most efficient way to safely lose weight.  The app is easy to use and even contains a barcode scanner with the ability to read the nutrition facts on almost any package.  It allows you to create and share recipes as well as search some major restaurant menus for calorie information.  Best of all, you are able to become “friends” with others for accountability and support!  If weight loss is one of your goals, I highly recommend utilizing Loseit! or something similar.  If you are able to stick with it, it will NOT disappoint.  The only downfall of the app is that the food library is fairly limited.  While it has a lot of entries, it has been described as “lacking” compared to that of the MyFitnessPal application.  Whether you have to google the occasional item to find it’s caloric content, or you just choose to try a different app, these types of programs are sure to boost your results if you’re trying to lose weight!

Focus on Today

today

 

“Nothing is worth more than this day.  You cannot relive yesterday.  Tomorrow is still beyond your reach.”  — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Congratulations to Lindsey Allen and Joe Adams who have both lost more than 3% of their bodyweight in just 6 weeks!  You guys are doing a phenomenal job taking everything one day at a time.  We’re halfway through the Napoletan Fitness weight loss challenge.  Keep it up!

Sustaining Progress

goals“Circumstances may cause interruptions or delays, but never lose sight of the goal..”  — Mario Andretti

Reaching your goals is important and it should be a priority.  Even though circumstances and interruptions will arise, always be sure that you’re moving toward your goal and not away from it.  Progress is the key to success!  No matter how long it may take for you to reach a specific goal, never lose sight of it until it’s behind you.

Getting (Back) Into A Routine

If it were half as easy to get into a routine as it is to fall out of them we would all be right on track more often than not.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Listed below are a few tips to help you get back into a routine.  Let’s face it, whether it be exercise, work, or day-to-day life, being in a comfortable and productive routine makes us feel a whole lot better about what we are trying to accomplish.  Give it your best effort and get back on track!

Develop a plan.  Sit down and figure out what it is that needs to be accomplished.  Write your ideas down and look at them frequently to be sure that you’re doing your best to achieve them.

Work on one thing at a time.  Even though there may be a long list of goals that you wish to achieve just focus on one at a time.  This can help you avoid getting off track.  The only way to achieve everything is to get each goal knocked out individually.

Start small.  Instead of overwhelming yourself with your largest objectives, start small and work toward daily, weekly, and monthly goals.  Once you feel as if your daily goals are consistently being reached, move on to weekly goals.  Once you’ve got your weekly goals under control move on to monthly goals, etc.  This is how you build a routine.

Reward yourself.  As you begin to take back control not everything is going to go smoothly.  Avoid beating yourself up over the days and weeks that everything did not go as planned.  Getting discouraged will only delay your efforts.  Instead, celebrate and reward yourself when things are going right; this will encourage you to stay on track.  Just be careful not to reward yourself with things that are counterproductive to the goals you have in mind. (i.e. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds do not reward yourself with ice cream when you lose the first 5.)

Meditate on it.  Some people are comfortable with this and others are not.  Whether through meditation, prayer, or other means, we should always be conscious of the things we are trying to achieve.  This doesn’t mean dwell on the things we haven’t yet accomplished, but remind ourselves that our tasks are achievable and that we are in control of our own destiny.

 

A Helpful Tip to Keep You Accountable

If you’re struggling with accountability consider setting weekly goals for yourself in relation to your time spent in the gym.  I have recently set a goal of completing 90 minutes of cardio and 135 minutes of strength training each week.  Setting such a goal has helped hold me accountable by allowing me to make my workout routine a priority.  Whatever it takes, I make sure I reach my goal by week’s end, and even have incentive to finish it by Friday so I can take the weekends off.
In addition to this type of goal, I have set a physical goal of obtaining a lower body fat percentage.  While my physical goal may take several months to reach, it is nice to still feel accomplished each week by reaching smaller and simpler time oriented goals.  Take a look at your long term goals and consider developing an appropriate weekly plan.  Staying committed to a specific plan will help you achieve your goals without feeling like it’s taking an eternity.  Good luck!

The Importance of Goal Setting

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose– a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”  – Mary Shelley
If you’re struggling with motivation it may be time to reevaluate your goals.  Figure out what it is that you really want and go after it.  Having something to work toward will help you stay enthusiastic and on track.

Viewing "Failure" as a Necessary Part of Success

“In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail.”
– Anonymous

Whether you’ve been working toward your goals all year or you’re just getting started, it is important to remember that fitness goals are never attained over night.  Instead of getting discouraged because you haven’t lost twenty pounds or haven’t been able to run a consecutive mile, set a smaller goal you can accomplish in the meantime.  Before you can lose twenty pounds you’ve got to lose five.  Likewise, before you are able to complete a mile you’ve got to execute a quarter mile.

Use small goals to encourage yourself to stay on track.  When you’re developing timelines for your larger goals make sure they are realistic.  If you don’t lose twenty pounds in twenty weeks or less don’t look at it as complete failure.  Keep at it and the twenty pounds will come off.  The key to success is consistency.  Use your stumbling blocks as reason to keep going and you can achieve the impossible!

Using Goals as a Form of Motivation

Create a goal to keep yourself motivated and on track.  Consider creating a friendly competition with a friend or family member if you feel like that would help.  Whether on your own, or with a friend or small group of people, including a little competition and a goal specific timeline can really help you stick to your routine!