As Christmas passes and the new year comes, so too do the resolutions and promises of a new year/new you! The #1 new year resolution that is made every year (and almost always broken) is to exercise more, and to be healthier in general.
For people in the tech world, it is definitely hard to find the time to exercise or eat healthy. The fact that a lot of us are sedentary for long periods of time in front of multiple computer screens, means that not only can a healthier lifestyle improve productivity at work, it can also help you feel better all round.
So here are the coolest and most useful fitness and health apps and websites to help motivate, get the ball rolling or just keep that New Years’ resolution.
1. My Fitness Pal
Myfitnesspal is a great app and website where you enter in your daily food, water and exercise. It’s free, easy to use, and should definitely be top of the list in terms of health apps to download and use.
When you setup your profile you add your weight, height and a goal of how much you want to lose per week. From there you are given a calorie “goal” that you want to get somewhat close too, but not exceed. This app is also pretty powerful, allowing you to connect with lots of the other popular health and fitness apps, to give you a great overview of your daily progress.
- Add your friends and/or follow the community for motivation and support from others.
- Barcode scanner. This makes entering your food so much quicker. Simply click on the barcode icon within the app and use your phone camera to take a photo of the barcode.
- You can configure the app to send you reminders. Great for those who get too busy and forget!
- Connects with other apps so that exercise, weight, and other stats can be added or deducted.
- Along with a calorie goal, there are also nutrient goals like fat, sugar and sodium etc to try and keep under each day
- You can add a website URL that contains a recipe, and it will decipher the portions and ingredients so that you know how many calories your recipes really are.
2. FitStar and FitStar Yoga – for iPhone and iPad
Both FitStar apps work on a rating system. When you complete a workout, you have the ability to rate how easy or hard a particular move was, and the programme will adapt over time. By using special algorithms the programme is designed so that you are always pushed a little further each time, but ensure that it’s not something that will completely destroy your body and motivation.
The videos are very clear and the voices give good details and encouragement to help you get through the workout. It also works as a great alternative for people that want to be able to exercise in the comfort of their own home, or for people who travel a lot.
There are a few workouts that are free, but to get the full benefits of the apps you do need to upgrade. Upgrading to premium is about $39.00 USD, and gives you unlimited access to both FitStar and FitStar Yoga programmes. At the moment you are only able to do the workouts on iPhone and iPad, but there is a web dashboard and Android version coming soon, so keep an eye out.
3. Zombies, Run! 3
This app is great for all the gamers out there to get off the couch and into your runners!
Zombies, Run! is a great interactive app where you build a base, complete missions, collect supplies, and stay alive.
Complete missions by listening to characters tell you whats going on while you run. You can check your stats once you are done and continue to build your base every time you run. On top of the standard missions, there is also an interval mode to get your blood pumping. With this feature of the app, if you the zombies are chasing you, you better run fast enough to escape or risk being eaten, and game over.
A fun and addictive way to run by turning something that is tedious to some into a game!
4. C25k – Couch potato to 5k runner
There are plenty of running applications out there, and I have found this app to be one of the best. C25k is great for people who have never run before, or might be getting back into it after taking a break for some time. You start off really basic and ease into the running, and over the course of 8 weeks you will be able to run 5km straight.
The interface on this app is clean and clear. You can see your progress and understand how the day’s run is going to be, and music can be played from any platform while the app will run in the background. You can also share on social media once your run is complete. A great simple app to assist in improving your running at any stage.
They also have other apps, including a 10k version for those looking to really build their running skills even further
5. Nerd Fitness
Although this isn’t an app, this full fledged website has a really fun and geeky theme towards exercise and healthy eating.
Nerd Fitness is a paid programme where you complete “quests”, like running a mile for under 9 minutes. Completing tasks – the harder they are the more experience points you’ll get, boosts you up to the next level. They have a lot of different exercise types and it looks like it would be a fun way to really motivate you to get moving.
If the thought of paying for a programme isn’t you, they also have a resources page, with blogs and free workout programmes, like the Angry Birds workout, so there are still some really fun and great tools, advice and videos on their website to get you started or keep you motivated.
We all know that a healthy diet and regular exercise can really improve your way of life. If these apps can’t get you moving, here are some quick motivational benefits that may help:
- Weight loss
- Decreased stress and assist in anxiety and depression
- Happier, positive mood with increased confidence
- Increased quality of sleep
- More productivity
- Increased concentration and relaxation
- Decreased risk of health-related diseases