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4 Fitness Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve made getting more fit and losing weight your New Year’s resolution to kick off 2017. But we know how challenging it can be to stick by them. The good news is that there are several smartphone apps that may be able to help you reach your goals. If you’re looking to get (or stay) in shape, load your phone with these apps that can motivate you, coach you, help you track your progress, or just power your exercise with great music.
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve made getting more fit and losing weight your New Year’s resolution to kick off 2017. But we know how challenging it can be to stick by them. The good news is that there are several smartphone apps that may be able to help you reach your goals. If you’re looking to get (or stay) in shape, load your phone with these apps that can motivate you, coach you, help you track your progress, or just power your exercise with great music.

Mobile apps are ideal assistants for health, fitness, and weight-loss because they are always with us, and they’re quite personal. Maintaining fitness requires daily habits and lifestyle changes, and a few little nudges in the right direction from your mobile phone might make all the difference. All of the following apps are available on iPhone and Android and are free, though some may have the options to upgrade for access to premium features for a small fee.

1. MyFitnessPal
Research shows that one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off is to simply keep track of the foods you eat. MyFitnessPal lets you count the calories that you consume everyday as well as tally up the calories you expend through exercise, and then see if they balance. MyFitnessPal has over 5 million foods in its database, which makes it nearly impossible to not find a food that you’re eating. There’s also a recipe counter, making it easy to track the nutrition in homemade meals and recipes as well. Simply scan barcodes to log foods or log menu items from your favorite restaurants--the app has 4+ million barcodes and 500,000 restaurants nationwide in its system. You can also create your own foods, recipes, and meals and save favorites. MyFitnessPal is also compatible with a number of fitness trackers, such as Apple Watch or FitBit. Whether you track your exercise via MyFitnessPal’s tools or integrate with a tracker, the app will help you become more aware of your eating habits and just how much exercise it takes to actually burn off the food you eat. If you enter your age, gender, current weight, activity level, and your goal weight, the app will even predict how long it will take you to reach your weight goals and keep you informed of your progress along the way.

2. Fooducate
Fooducate goes beyond simply counting calories and logging food. The app is like a nutritionist in your pocket, advising you how healthy foods are based on their nutrients AND ingredients, even suggesting healthier alternatives for every food item you add to your daily log. With a goal and theme of education, Fooducate gives foods a grade and provides in-depth explanations on why a food was graded a certain way. So if you’re wondering why the food you snacked on received an B-, Fooducate will let you know. The app even warns against artificial sweeteners, MSG, GMOs and other scary acronyms, that people may not know about. Just scan the product’s barcode at the grocery store, or type in the product name, and Fooducate analyzes information found in product nutrition panels and ingredient lists to inform you about things manufacturers may not want you to notice. Users can personalize the app with their age, gender, weight, height, activity level, weight loss goals, but can also indicate if they have any health conditions (such as high cholesterol, pregnancy, diabetes), are vegetarian or avoiding processed foods, and if they have any food allergies. Some personalization features may require users to upgrade to a premium account.

3. Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout helps anyone get some amount of exercise in a very short amount of time. The power of the J&J 7-minute workout is that it’s simple to do. Just watch it and do it. Follow along with Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, who will teach you the correct way to do each movement through high-definition video tutorials. With this app and Jordan, you’ll feel like you have a personal trainer—with guidance on proper form and motivation to keep you moving. There’s more than 70 exercises and workouts, and you can switch them up so you never get bored. It’s great for those with a busy lifestyle because it doesn’t require anything more than a chair and a wall (nearby) to complete the workout. Music is included and shoes are optional. The app allows provides motivational content, workout reminders, and achievement notifications to help you stay on track.

4. C25K
Do your friends call you a couch potato? Or do you want to burn a lot of calories very quickly while simultaneously working toward the goal of actually being able to complete a 5K race for your favorite cause or charity? Then try a C25k app. C25K, also known as Couch to 5K, make it surprisingly easy to work up your strength until you’re able to run for 30 minutes or more without taking a break. The idea is to transform you from couch potato to runner. Imagine having a coach running along side of you to encourage you to the finish line—that’s C25K. Specifically made for people just starting out, the app helps you alternate between walking and running until you build up strength. The audio coach guides you through telling you, for example, ”Begin running for 1 minute,” or “You’re almost there,” and “You did it. Now cool down and walk for two minutes.” Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week, which happens to be the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by numerous studies for optimum fitness. There are lots of c25k apps available, but two of our favorites are the official C25K app and Active.com’s C25K app.