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Waistline Woes: There’s an App for That!

I’m starting a new health and fitness routine … again. It officially makes my third “fresh start” since my son was born, but THIS one is going to be the one that digs in deep – past the special places in my heart reserved for pinot noir and Cheez-Its – and hits the motivation switch. 

I know what you’re thinking, and I warn you not to doubt me. I have clawed my way to that switch before and achieved my goals. Sure, I’m seven years older and have about the third of the energy I did in my 20s. But still. I have confidence in my commitment.   

By Monday my refrigerator will be packed with only the best of what our natural world has to offer, each crown of broccoli waiting to join a perfectly portioned three ounces of lean meat on my plate. My workout routines will be overanalyzed and calculated, printed, and placed proudly in the kitchen. And I will be PUMPED.

This healthy dance will continue for a month or two, and then I will get BORED.

We have all been there. And if you haven’t… well, then you’re superhuman and I think you are amazing. (And I secretly dislike you a little bit.)

For most of us, if we aren’t training for something specific and our goal is something like, “I just want to lose 15 pounds” or “I want to be Jasmine for Halloween,” a deviation from the grand plan is almost guaranteed.

Boredom is often the culprit. Or just plain not knowing what to do. It can be a ton of work to prepare for a strict diet and plan great routines to meet your goals.

Lucky for us, technology offers more than just an abundance of sources to inspire personal body shaming. Our phones provide tons of super cool apps to assist our fitness and weight loss goals!

A recent study revealed that using exercise apps positively affects motivation and self-efficacy, resulting in increased exercise and lower body fat! Which is generally the goal, right?  

So this means that whether you get sick of counting calories or your same old exercise routines, there are a wide variety of apps at your fingertips to shake things up.

After digging around, I compiled a list of five major categories of awesome health and fitness apps.

Activity Trackers

Activity tracking apps can be fiercely useful in their ability to monitor almost anything, such as your distance, pace, and route. Couch to 5k and RunKeeper are two popular apps for tracking performance and progress for beginner to advanced runners. For those involved in competitive running and cycling, apps like Strava provide more sophisticated analytics to log and compare workouts. How exciting to have all your performance stats waiting to celebrate you after a great workout!  

Workout Routines

We are not all blessed with the gift of creating highly effective and fun exercise routines, so we can just sit back and let the apps do the work. You can literally roll out of bed and have a customized workout waiting for you, determined by practical variables like the amount of time you have and the area of the body you want to focus on working. Apps extend far beyond just weight-lifting and cardio routines, too. If you’re a yogi, apps like Pocket Yoga have you covered with a large database of routines designed by instructors. Love to Spin but can never get to the gym on time? CycleCast provides an interactive Spin class right on your phone. You can pop in your headphones, and select your instructor, music, and length! The Sworkit app even provides fun exercise routine videos for the kiddos!     

Calorie Counters and Meal Planning

Most will agree that diet is integral to any health and fitness goal, and often it’s the most difficult to keep on point. We can have a great workout, but if we follow up with a 600-calorie snack full of carbs, our sweat is for nothing. If learning all about the best recipes and diet plans is not your thing, apps like Athleats offer meal planning, grocery list building and an extensive recipe database. You can even scan barcodes at the grocery store and count your calories with apps like MyFitnessPal.

Community-Based Activity

A strong source of boredom can stem from working out on your own. A community of people striving to meet similar goals may be the motivating force you need! You can find your “pack” to train and celebrate your success through ACTIVEx, or gain support and inspiration for weight loss with the Fooducate app community.

Motivational Tools

A little encouragement and instruction can go a long way when you need to raise the bar! Music and coaching are two great forms of motivation during exercise, though techniques for boosting energy can vary significantly from person to person. Apps such as PEAR Personal Coach offer the benefits of a personal trainer without breaking the bank, with personalized routines and a massive database of videos. Also, you can find high tempo and DJ-created cardio mixes for FREE on apps like FIT Radio and RockMyRun.

Help a girl out.

Comment below if you have a tried and true app! 

 

 

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10 Responses to Waistline Woes: There’s an App for That!

  1. Steph Doehr September 9, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    I use mymacros+ for my macro counting. Love it!! Also has barcode scanner but breaks down macros better than MyFitnessPal. I prefer macro counting because if you tell me I have 1800 calories for the day-I’ll find an 1800 calorie pizza ❤️ Haha.

    I also use bodybuilding.com’s Body Space when I want to change things up for strength workouts outside of CrossFit. You can search for programs already developed or specific muscle groups for targeting. It’s great for variation!

    • Christina Carden
      Christina Carden September 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

      Those are great apps to try! Thanks, Steph!

  2. Faith September 9, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Great blog, Christina!! We’ve definitely all been there: again and again. I’m definitely going to check out some of those exercise apps you mentioned. One of my favorite apps is the Fitbit app. The steps keep me accountability and I love the community it provides! Counting calories, macros and food surfing is my new guilty pleasure!

    • Christina Carden
      Christina Carden September 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks, Faith! I recently got a FitBit and LOVE it! I haven’t used the trainer or app yet, just the tracking and logging features. Guilty pleasure away! 🙂

  3. Teresa September 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    I held off on getting an Apple Watch for a long time…I would hold other people’s, my mom even let me wear hers for a day, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on spending a few hundred dollars on a watch that wasn’t even fancy! I had a phone and I had an older Garmin watch and I had apps on each. But I finally did it when I moved here and decided I wanted to focus on being healthy and for me – the integrated activity and health apps have been amazing. I use Nike for running and My Fitness Pal for Food and Water, Glow for girly things…and they all feed into the Health app. The Watch and the Activity app is what rounds it out for me though – it’s not just about how far I run or how much food I’m putting it – it keeps at me all day, even when I put my phone down. It’s right on the face (at least the face I picked), reminding me to stand every hour, showing me how close I am to reaching my calorie or active move goals for the day, etc. It has been a little over two months now and I think it has really changed the way I go about my day and improved my habits overall!

    • Christina Carden
      Christina Carden September 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

      I need to check out this Glow! A couple of different people have brought that one up…

  4. Rachel Carpenter September 13, 2017 at 1:52 am #

    My nutritionist had me download Fooducate, an app that lets you scan items and see what they are “graded.” It helps me when I’m tempted to buy something that seems healthy. For example, Vitamin Water scores a D grade because of unnecessary sugar! Who would have thought?

    My biggest motivator has always been to have someone holding you accountable. Not a bully, not someone who will make you feel bad, and not someone who will put undue pressure on you – someone who can be gently honest and encouraging. The best thing I have done for myself is to consult a registered dietician who has helped me find better balance in my diet. Since I use one through my military clinic, it is FREE!

    • Christina Carden
      Christina Carden September 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

      Absolutely! Thank you for bringing that up – ALL of us military have access to a nutritionist!

  5. Ashley September 13, 2017 at 6:18 am #

    I love using Aaptiv! Although there is a monthly/yearly fee, the trainers are super motivational and have tons of programs to pick from!

    • Christina Carden
      Christina Carden September 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

      That’s a great one to try! I’ll have to check it out!

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