Weight a minute! Shed some pounds with these free fitness-themed smartphone apps.
Perhaps this is the season you finally lose the spare tire or kick the smoking habit. Or maybe it’s to better manage your finances.
Regardless of what your goal is, as the expression goes, there’s an app for that.
If weight loss or a more active lifestyle is your goal, the following are a few recommended fitness-themed smartphone apps that could make your self-improvement efforts less arduous.
1. MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android)
A popular calorie-counting tool, the free MyFitnessPal lets you log the food you eat throughout the day, whether you want to scan barcodes with your phone or manually type in what you’ve eaten from the app’s huge library of more than six million foods in its database. As you might expect, the apps lets you know how much more you can eat during the day based on your caloric intake (and yes, if you exercise, it frees up more to eat). Does it work? According to MyFitnessPal, medical studies show that keeping a food journal doubles your weight loss.
2. Fitness Blender (iOS, Android)
As expert say, half of weight loss is what you put in (your mouth) and the other half is what you put out (i.e., exercise). With the latter, Fitness Blender is a free app and website that dishes up thousands of fitness videos you can easily browse and watch, divided into areas for strengthening, weight loss, equipment and so on. The vibrant Fitness Blender community can be equally as motivating, where you can post your goals, ask questions and share progress and tips with other like-minded individuals.
3. RunKeeper (iOS, Android)
Sometimes we need a bit of a push to get off our tush. With RunKeeper, you can join a community that helps each other get out the door – to go for a run, jog or bike ride – and the app then helps you set goals, track progress and remain motivated. This free app leverages the GPS chip in your smartphone (or smartwatch) to monitor your activity in real-time and with personalized routines to help you reach your fitness or weight targets. Join challenges, earn rewards and share achievements with friends. While optional, a RunKeeper Pro subscription ($14/month) gives you a weekly workout schedule, progress insights, weather data and more.
4. MoveWith (iOS)
One of the newest self-improvement apps is MoveWith (from $13/month after free trial), which takes a bit of a different spin on motivating you – using audio – to help your “body, mind and soul,” says the company. From high-intensity cardio, strength and running workouts to mindfulness, yoga and meditation, this app gives you all the benefits of a motivating and instructional coach in your ear and with relevant music to get you in the zone. Simply choose what you want to work on, select your personal coach and away you go – wherever life takes you.
5. Simple Habit (iOS, Android)
Too busy to feel relaxed or sharpen your mental acuity? Available as a free download, Simple Habit is an on-demand platform that offers simple five-minute lessons, featuring more than 1,000 meditations guided by mindfulness teachers from around the world. You can also pick a lesson by series (Drift to Sleep, Sharpen Focus, Meditate in Nature) and by Teacher of your choice (check out Australia’s Kate James with her soothing voice and helpful instruction). A premium edition is also available ($12/month), which adds many additional features.
A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 29, 2018.