Written with love, by Nikki Lian
Not too long ago I can remember food journaling in an actual journal, trying to figure out how many laps around the block was a mile and thumbing through fitness magazines, clipping and saving articles to put together workouts. Who needs a pen and paper anymore when we have smartphones! Here are three of my favorite apps that I always take along with me to reach mine (and my clients') fitness goals:
My Fitness Pal
My fitness pal is a website/app that aids in tracking your caloric intake. Not only does it help you journal how many calories you eat in a day, but it breaks down the ratio of carbs vs. fat vs. protein you intake in a pie chart. You start by typing in a fitness goal (let's say I want to lose 15 pounds by October 15th) and some other information such as your current weight, height and age and it will tell you how many calories you should be eating per day in order to reach your goal. It has a huge database of different foods as well as restaurant foods and pre-packaged foods. You can also track your calories burned during exercise and it will factor in your intake for that day. It sounds like a lot, but My Fitness Pal makes it easy to input and keep track of all your info.
I started using Run Keeper to track my marathon training last year. It's an app that tracks the distance you've ran, the calories you've burned, your time and your pace using the GPS system in your phone. It also displays an outline on a map of the route you just ran and saves it if you want. And just like My Fitness Pal you can connect with your friends and running partners to track your progress or to help keep each other accountable. I also like to use this app for hikes as well, and it also connects to your Facebook (what doesn't these days) so you can announce to your friends how you just busted your butt on a 8-mile run.
Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club or as the app calls itself "Your Personal Trainer--Anytime, Anywhere" is an app that puts together workouts for you using a couple of dumbbells or sometimes no equipment at all. The great thing about this app is that there are videos that are a few seconds long that show you how to do one or two repetitions of the exercise -- so you're not planted in front of a screen trying to keep up with anyone. You learn the exercises in the workout and get them done at your pace. Exercises are grouped together by body parts or mixed in for a full body workout and can be done at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level. Workouts range from 15 to 45 minutes.
Fitness journeys can be fun, but we can always use that extra help. This best thing to do is to try these three apps for yourselves to decide whether they would aid in your regimen. They are all free of charge, ready to download, and easy to navigate.