How I’ve Been Keeping Fit with Phone Apps

I’m the kind of person who hates to go to the gym, but I love to eat, so fitness has to find it’s way into my life. I don’t exercise to maintain a certain weight; rather I hear and read (and see) so much of the negative health effects of obesity as a public health issue that I have to do my part to keep fit. Once I got settled into my relatively new life in New York, I had to come into an exercise regimen that fit my schedule and lifestyle. Based on my efforts, In the past 6 or so months, I’ve dropped a full pant/dress size, and in the course of a year, have lost 10 pounds! Below are apps I’ve been using on my iPhone to get in tip top shape for Puerto Rico and beyond! I’m pretty sure they’re all available on Android devices as well, and are all free .

Couch 25K

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Couch 25k is the app that started my recent fitness commitments. Sometime last fall, my roommate decided to run a 5k for her 25th birthday, and we began training together using this app. We didn’t end up running a race, and I stopped running outside in early December when the temperatures dropped, but the app got me running outside several times a week. Now that I’ve been running with Nike+, I actually don’t think Couch 25k pushes you enough if you have just a basic or elementary sense of fitness, and only running without doing any plyometric or strength work makes your booty flat (talking from experience here)! This is definitely the least pretty of the apps (at least the free version) but there are several affordable versions if you’d like features like map tracking and reminders.

Nike+ Training Club

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Nike+ Training Club is a seasoned veteran in fitness apps and must have for any woman who wants to do workouts at home or without the help of a gym trainer. I started using the app sporadically in college and it has only continued to get better. One thing that’s super cool is the Get Toned celebrity workouts! They have an incredible range that includes stretches, kickboxing, yoga, and ab work. If you wanna know how Serena Williams or Gabby Douglas get their fit on, you can try to get through their workouts. And I say try because though they’re only 15 minutes long, these things ain’t easy. The absolute worst best is Jeanette Jenkin’s Hollywood Ab Blast. I can never get through it but I will one day! I’m currently doing the beginner version of the 4-week Get Lean program, which gives me workouts two times a week, two optional runs each week, and a yoga session.

Nike+ Running

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Nike+ running is great for two reasons: it maps your runs over time and integrates with several other apps including Nike+ Training Club MyFitnessPal if you’re counting calories (I also use that sporadically, but mostly for weight tracking). You can set a run both for time or distance, and can save the terrain (treadmill, track, or outdoor), the shoes you wore, and even how you felt after each run! You can anticipate announcements of mile splits while you’re running, and the app takes note of your records of furthest run, longest run, and fastest runs.

Sworkit

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If you like a bit more control over your workouts, Sworkit is for you. It has a slew of strength, cardio, and yoga workouts, and is customizable to the point where you can change how long you do each move in an exercise. Workout lengths can be set for either 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, or 60 minutes, so you have the ultimate flexibility to workout for as long or as short as you would like. You can also create custom routines, and video tutorials help guide you through any challenging moves. I use Sworkit the most for yoga right now, because I found other yoga apps very cheesy and complicated. This one is straightforward and easy to use.

So these are my free little secrets for how I try to keep in shape with no gym memberships or a home gym!

Do you use fitness apps to take control of your health? If so, which do you like?

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