There’s an app for everything these days, and your workout regime is no exception! From simple exercise planners to wearable tech which monitors your vital stats, mobile technology is increasing getting in on the exercise game. What’s more, studies show that people who use these apps tend to be more motivated and generally more active than those who do not – got to be worth it! Here, we run through a few of the best and most popular exercise apps around…
You’ve almost certainly seen updates from this neat little app on social media by now. MyFitnessPal aims to provide the whole package. It’s a step-counter, a calorie calculator, and a repository of handy advice. Its database contains the calorific details of over five million foodstuffs, and it’s pretty good at calculating how much you’re burning with certain exercises (based on personal data you enter). This is more aimed at people wanting to lose weight than people wanting to ‘bulk up’ or increase their fitness, but watching the calories tumble off onscreen is a fantastic motivator for pretty much anyone!
PEAR Personal Coach
PEAR Personal Coach is, as the name suggests, a digital coaching app. Its main selling point is its audio-instructed workouts, which talk you through various exercises, or simply provide motivation and guidance as you ad-hoc. The library of coaches and workouts is extensive, and well-varied. As a nice touch, if you’re able to link the app to a heart rate monitor and do a simple running test, it will calculate your VO2Max – the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen while exercising – for you. Your VO2Max is a great indicator of your cardiovascular fitness level. The app is also pretty good at reacting in the moment to what you’re doing – but do remember that it’s on your mobile device, so if you’re wearing it while working out to intensity, remember to either secure your device tightly, or have it well covered for accidental damage!
Pocket Yoga is nice in that it has elements of ‘play’ in it – users progress through ‘levels’ and unlock ‘rewards’ should they so wish. Alternatively, you can simply work your way through the enormous library of yoga poses and routines in your own way.There are some very professional and well-respected yogic names behind this app, and as a consequence you’ll find that Pocket Yoga offers a comprehensive, helpful, and beautifully formulated experience.
Couch To 5K
The ‘Couch To 5K’ movement has become pretty famous of late, with big names enthusiastically encouraging people to participate. The basic aim is to transform anyone from a couch potato to a reasonably proficient runner over a matter of time, with the hoped end result being a generally more active lifestyle for thousands of otherwise sedentary individuals. The Couch To 5K app runs for you a program of training consisting of 30 minutes training a day, every three days, for nine weeks. The sessions gain in intensity, as you’d expect, but the program is designed so slickly that many people don’t realise just how fit they’re getting – and the ease with which they complete the ultimate 5K comes as a pleasant shock!
BurnThis is for those who find motivation through others. BurnThis provides users with fitness and dietary goals to accomplish – but its main selling point is the huge community behind it. The app is set up to allow users to easily share their progress and receive encouragement and advice from other community members. It’s a lot like a social media for dieters and exercisers – you can upload photos, share your triumphs, get consolation for your slip-ups, and more. It also lets users search through recipes, workout ideas, and motivational quotes to give inspiration and a boost.
MapMyWalk/MapMyRun does pretty much what it says on the tin – it maps the course of your walk or run via GPS. It also calculates your average speed, and the calories you’ve burned (based on statistics entered by yourself at set up). This is a great app for those who do their workouts out in the world rather than at the gym, as it not only lets you know where you’ve been and the distance you’ve covered (something which isn’t always obvious on the ground!), but it can suggest alternate, more pedestrian-friendly routes, and let you know of local resources (water fountains, for example) which may help your progress!
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