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!

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.


Steps Toward Healthier Eating

Pay close attention to your meals this week.  Commit to making fresh produce the largest portion on your plate.  Your meat and starches should be secondary to fruits and vegetables.  If you like fruits and vegetables this shouldn’t be a problem.  Load up!  Just make sure you’re eating a smaller portion of proteins and starches.

Being Consistent

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives.  It’s what we do consistently.”  – Anthony Robbins

Consistency is the key factor in the achievement of any long term goal.  Unfortunately, it often proves to be the toughest challenge we have to overcome.  Here are a few tips that may help hold you accountable to a workout and/or nutrition program so that you can achieve the healthy feeling and image you’ve been striving for.

  • Find a partner to diet and exercise with
  • Reward yourself after reaching a weekly or monthly consistency goal
  • Deny yourself of a guilty pleasure unless you have worked out that day
  • Create realistic short term goals so that you can see improvements over a short amount of time
  • HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER! 🙂 (I know a great one)

No-Carb Challenge

Take the no-carb challenge and finish out this week by just saying “no” to carbs after dinner!  Save your carbohydrate intake for earlier in the day and focus on getting more “healthy” or complex carbs that are high in fiber than “bad” or simple carbs that are high in sugar and have a lot of white flour.

Healthy Ideas

Next time you’re hungry but don’t have a ton of calories to spare consider vegetable rolls from your favorite sushi bar.  Five pieces have about 140 calories.  Try ordering brown rice rather than white to cut down on simple carbs.

One tablespoon of peanut butter and a medium sized apple total up at just over 160 calories.  Look for a peanut butter that’s low in sugar and saturated fat to go the even healthier route.

An ounce of pretzels and a teaspoon of honey mustard is only 120 calories.  Look for pretzels that are low in sodium and have some fiber content.  Those couple of things can make this snack an even better choice.

Easy & Healthy Dinner Choices

Easy…Healthy….What more could you ask for?  Use what you’ve got in your kitchen to your advantage.  The last thing most of us want to do after working all day is come home and start cooking a meal.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the meal was waiting on us as we walked through the door?  It can be!  Throw a few chicken breasts in the crock pot with a low sodium marinade before you leave for work in the morning.  You’ll be coming home to a delicious smelling house and a ready-to-eat main course.  Heat up some veggies or cut up some fruit and dinner is served.  Simple storage for leftovers and easy clean up are two more reasons to give this method a shot.  Find more healthy slow cooker recipes here and stop making things harder than they need to be!

1400 Calorie Meal Plan

If weight loss is one of your goals in 2012 keep in mind the importance of logging your food and keeping track of your calories.  I have yet to see this plan fail!  Stay consistent with your logging and you WILL lose weight.  It’s just a matter of how bad you want it!  Below is an example of a 1400 calorie meal plan.  Email me today at for a free workout and to see how many calories YOU should be eating daily to reach your goal weight! 

¾ cup (C) cantaloupe cubes
¾ C 2% cottage cheese
5 whole-wheat crackers
Calorie-free beverage of choice
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (2 slices wheat bread with 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) natural, chunky peanut butter and 1 Tbsp all-fruit spread
1 medium apple
Calorie-free beverage of choice
3 ounce (oz) broiled or grilled boneless chicken breast
5″ baked sweet potato, topped with 1 teaspoon (tsp) unsalted butter
Salad (2 C tossed field greens, topped with 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, ¼ C grated carrots, and ¼ C sun-dried tomatoes), drizzled with 2 Tbsp fat-free vinaigrette dressing
Calorie-free beverage of choice
8 oz low-fat yogurt, favorite flavor, topped with 1 Tbsp wheat germ
Calorie-free beverage of choice
Find more meal plans at

1200 Calorie Meal Plan Ideas

Struggling to make your calories last all day?  Check out this website for meal plan ideas.  Below is an example of a 1200 calorie meal plan that won’t leave you starving.
3/4 Cup Bran Flakes
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Whole Wheat English Muffin
1 tsp Almond Butter
2oz Turkey Breast
1oz Whole Wheat Pita Bread
1/2 Cup Alfalfa Sprouts
3 Slices Tomato
2tsp Mustard
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
1oz Roasted Macadamia Nuts
4oz Whole Wheat Pasta
1/2 Cup Marinara Sauce
1/2 Cup Eggplant
2tsp Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Mixed Salad Greens
2tsp Olive Oil
1tsp Vinegar
Calories: 1143
Fiber: 22.1g

Nutrition Tips and Tools

If you’re having trouble sticking to your allotted amount of calories each day consider checking this website out.  Not only can you obtain helpful nutrition tips on the site, but it offers free meal plans for 1200 – 1800 calorie per day diets!  Check it out for new ideas and make your calorie counting even easier this week.