Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fitness at Your Fingertips

Looking for a way to track your progress, chart your runs or create individualized workouts? There's an iPhone app for that. Whether you consider yourself a fitness guru or you need a crane to lift you off the couch and take you to the gym, you possess the common knowledge that regular activity is essential. Especially when busy schedules get in the way, making the most of your limited time at the gym is crucial. Lucky for you, there are several resources that can make working out easier for everyone, and they're literally at our fingertips.  In fact, there are a countless number of apps that help you make the most of your workout. While no app can replace the motivation from a personal trainer, MDPR - with the help of A Mind and Body Total Fitness Founder Alex Vasileski - has done some research and chose a few of our favorite apps for every type of fitness lover.

1. Weightloss: Lose it! (free) 
Receiving first place in the United States Surgeon General Healthy Apps Challenge, Lose it! is a comprehensive app that allows users to track food intake and activity level for a customized weight loss plan. The app allows you to earn badges after reaching goals, back up your records and share food and recipes with your friends. Other features include sharing progress on social media and connecting with other fitness apps so you don’t have to spend time inputting data.

2. Running: RunKeeper Pro ($9.99)
Probably one of the most recognized fitness apps, RunKeeper Pro offers a variety of features to chart and monitor your runs, including an easy-to-view interface, which is perfect for a quick glance while jogging. An accurate built in GPS can help you keep track your pace, distance, time and calories for each run, which is saved so you can monitor your progress over time. You can also add your own playlists or choose one of three that the app provides to accompany your workouts.

3. Strength Training: FitnessBuddy ($1.99)
This is a great app for those of you who are looking to turn your iPhone into a personal trainer. Choose from 45 preset workouts or create your own with 1,000+ exercises the app stores for your fitness convenience. You can also add your own exercises that are not included with the app for a perfectly tailored fitness routine. Because you can browse exercises based on muscle group, it’s ideal for people who are looking to tone specific areas of their bodies. Once you have created your workouts, Fitness Buddy will store all the information in a calendar to help you track your progress and will create a workout playlist with the app’s music-player.

4. Circuit Training: NikeTraining Club (free) 
While this app is geared toward women, its customized workout features are perfect for anyone looking to get in shape. Like Fitness Buddy, Nike Training Club has a large database of exercises that target each muscle group, which you can group together to create a workout personalized to your fitness level. A short video even demonstrates how to correctly complete the exercise. The app times your workouts and signals you when to move on, a useful feature when you want to incorporate cardio. And, when you have achieved one of your goals, the app rewards you by unlocking badges, such as “Contender” and “Destroyer."

5. Flexibility: YOGA Free (free) 
There are not too many apps available that focus on flexibility, but YOGA Free provides more than 250 poses to complement your fitness routine. This app lets you customize your session from a variety of instructional images or choose from preset routines with the “My Programs” feature. You can also track your progress with a calendar and purchase additional packs after you become more seasoned with the exercises.  And, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the app has only a few buttons, which makes it easy to navigate.

It’s not too late to start working on that bikini body, so experiment with these apps to make your workouts more fun, effective and convenient. And don't forget to share your favorite fitness apps and workout tips with us at @monikadixonpr.

By Rebecca Taylor, MDPR Team Member

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