Fitness: There’s an app for that

Fitness is one of those things that most people struggle with, and between well meaning friends and the boo-hockey you find online, it is sometimes feels like the blind leading the blind. Thankfully these days there is an app for everything and fitness apps are on the up. So we decided to peel ourselves off the sofa and find those abs under the flab using some different apps. Here are some of our favourite free apps that can get you moving in the right direction without needing a personal trainer.

1) Nike running

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I originally downloaded this app so I would know how far I had walked the dogs but it has become a firm favorite with me. It can be used outside for a road run or inside the gym on the treadmill. There is a coach section which is really useful for people who starting out with running. The coach section will tell you how far to run and when to take a break over a eight week period. If you have a Nike fitness band, it will sync with the app

and keep track of your activity during the day. When you are good and break any milestones, such as running more than 15 miles in a month, you get a virtual trophy to call your own. Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?

2) 30 day squat challenge

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This is a really simple app to use and it’s free to download. Over the course of 30 days it will tell you how many squats you will need to do. It starts off easy and everyday it adds more squats to do. It will even tell you when you have a rest day. If you aren’t sure how to do a squat, it shows you in the exercise section. When you complete a day you have the option to save it or share it on Facebook to show everyone how awesome you are.

 

3) 5 Min Plank

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I hated this when I first got it but that is what happens when you have no stomach muscles and you try to exercise them. I’m a busy person so having a quick workout to target my core on a daily basis is a must for me. It’s tough when you first get started but the results after a few weeks are great. This is really simple app to follow but it does move quickly. After a few times of using it, you get into a great rhythm and know what position is coming next. I didn’t realise that there was so many different types of plank positions until I started using this.

4) Seven

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This is no ordinary app, this tracks you for seven months. You can choose what area you want to target but you have to start with full body and unlock the other workouts by working out. Cheeky! It’s a great free app that encourages you to work out every day. Every time you work out, you can unlock an achievement. Every achievement adds up and then unlocks a new workout. Then only thing we could find to buy on this app is a different instructor voice to cheer you on as you work out.

5) My fitness pal

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I’m one of those naughty people that either eats too much or too little. My eyes have been opened since I started using just app as to messed up my eating habits were. One day I would eat 1,000 calories too much, the next day it was 1,000 too little, very swings and roundabouts! This app allows you to track what you have eaten during the day so that you get the right amount of nutrition. There is even a handy bar code scanner so you can scan the food directly in and log it. If you are looking to lose or gain weight, you can tailor it to your needs. Definitely a great app for people who are unsure about their eating habits.

6) Work out

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This is a basic video app that will take you through different workouts. We think this is great! When you are new to working out some of the names for moves can be really confusing. These little videos show you exactly what movement you need to do. Each exercise lasts 30 seconds before moving on to another exercise, but there is a small break in between so you can watch the instructor and see what it is you are doing next. This is perfect if you are new to working out.

7) Pacer

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This app works with My Fitness Pal and tracks your steps during the day. The only problem I have with this is that you have to have your phone in your pocket all day, otherwise you could be running about the place and not logging your movement. I’ve done that a few times and I was disappointed with myself for not getting the steps logged. The goal is to hit 10,000 steps a day in order to be active enough to burn some fat cells. One thing I noticed was how much I sit on my bum during the working day. I may need to start working at a treadmill to get my steps up to any decent level. You also need to be careful about what pocket you carry it in. My mum has this as well and discovered it wasn’t logging her steps properly when she carried it in her tunic pocket. The back pocket of your jeans seems to be the best place for it.

8) 30 day abs challenge

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This app comes from the same people who do 30 day squat. This free app tracks you over a 30 day period to make sure you get rock hard abs. It’s not all sit ups. You will be doing planks, leg raises and crunches. And it is not as easy as it looks. every time you complete a day you can share on Facebook or just save your progress on the app.

9) Fitness Buddy

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This app is different from the others. It is a free app to download and there is a ton of free exercises but to get the most out of it you can download a plan. The plans aren’t too expensive and work out cheaper than the gym. But if you don’t want to download a plan there is still plenty to do with it. There are exercises to target different areas so if you want to target your arms or legs, simply click on those options under the “exercise” button.

10) Food switch

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Do you ever think that what you are eating might not be the best option? Try the food switch app. Simply scan the bar code of any food and it will get you a healthy alternative. This works on every food, and if they don’t have that item in their database you can help them update it by taking photos of the packaging. They will then update their data so the food item will appear for you the next time. You may be surprised at how many of the “healthy” options that you are eating are packed full of salt and carbs!

Image sources- Screen shots from Lindsay’s iPhone

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