There are lots of fancy gadgets out there to help motivate people into exercising and living healthily. However, your smartphone may be the only tool you really need. With the help of apps, you can plan your workouts and record your progress. Here are just a few ways to use your smartphone to stay fit.
Count your steps
There are lots of apps out there that can count your steps (Stepz is a popular one). In fact, most modern smartphones have in-built step count features. These can encourage you to get your 10,000 steps per day in, which is the healthy amount to aim for if you want to beat heart disease and lose weight. Most of us live sedentary lifestyles nowadays and step counters can help to motivation we need to keep moving. It could inspire you to do more walking on your lunch break or to take less short car trips.
Track your runs
Whilst walking is a great way to stay fit, taking up running can speed up the calorie burning as well as boosting heart health. Finding the motivation to go jogging can be difficult, but with the help of apps like Runkeeper you may be more inclined to keep to a regular routine. Such apps can use GPS and timers to track your pace, distance, overall time and calories burnt, as well as many other stats. Some apps even allow you to record routes and discover new routes in your area. By giving you targets to beat and helping you to find exciting new routes, these apps can spur you to get your running shoes on and meet your fitness goals.
Plan HIIT workouts
Don’t have time to go on lengthy runs? What if a 7 minute workout was all you needed? HIIT (High intensity interval training) is a form of exercise that allows you to do just this – and there are a number of apps that can help you to come up with effective HIIT workouts. A great app to try is Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout, which contains 22 pre-designed interval workouts made up of a list of 72 exercises (the app is free!). This could allow you to get your morning workout in without having to get up earlier or it could be a great workout for the evening when you’re not up to an hour gym session.
Help pace your weight lifting
If you’ve started lifting weights and want to improve, there are apps that can also help you to get the best out of this type of exercise. Stronglifts 5×5 is a simple app that can help advice you which weight and sets to use based on your performance, whilst also recommending how long you should rest in between each set. This could help you to build your strength, whilst stopping you from getting injured.
Line up some motivational tunes
A lot of people listen to music whilst working out – it can help you set a pace and give you something else to focus on if you find exercise a littler repetitive. The likes of Spotify come in app form and have a number of workout playlists to choose from. Alternatively, you can handpick your own Spotify playlist to get you pumped.
Listen to audio workouts
An alternative to listening to music could be to listen to an audio workout. Aaptiv is the most popular app for such workouts, featuring an extensive range of instructional and motivational audio clips that you can listen to help you exercise. These audio workouts are available for everything from strength training to stretching to running on a treadmill. It could be just like having your own personal trainer. There are also apps that contain video workouts, but an audio workout could help you to stay hands-free.
Search for exercise classes in your area
Some people find it difficult to find the motivation to work out alone. If you don’t have an exercise buddy to rely, an exercise class can be the next best option giving you the camaraderie of working out with others. Apps like ClubPass can help you to find the best exercise classes in your local area. From spin classes to running clubs, you can find the type of club you’re looking for and reserve a place through the app. ClubPass can even save you discounts on classes, helping to make exercise cheaper.
Fix up your diet
There’s more to staying fit than exercise. When it comes to encouraging healthy eating, there are countless apps to choose from that can help you come up with meal plan ideas or help you to count calories. Apps like YAZIO are free and can sync up with other fitness apps, helping you to create meal plans around your individual goals whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle. You can also measure the nutritional element of every type of food you eat, helping you to gain a better understanding of what is healthy and what isn’t.
Improve your sleep quality
A good night’s sleep is also essential to a healthy lifestyle and could help you to repair muscles after a big workout. Apps like Sleep Cycle can monitor your movement overnight to determine your sleep quality (when you move in your sleep, you’re more likely to be in a lighter sleep). You can also set morning alarms using this app – by monitoring your sleep cycle, the app can wake you up around your target wake up time at the point in which you’re in your lightest sleep, so that you wake up feeling more refreshed.