If ever there is a year when we want to create and inspire significant change, it’s this year. Remember: Change begins with you. How will you focus on improving yourself and your lifestyle to feel better, become more healthful, and maybe even inspire others to join you along the way?
We’ve researched some of the most popular health and fitness apps to give you some ideas:
Want a workout that is truly “free” in a timeframe that works for your schedule, whether you’re at the beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness level? The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout app stands out in the crowded fitness app field. While you can certainly take advantage of its namesake 7-minute workout, there are additional premade circuit-training workouts, including:
- a 9-minute Beginner Workout
- a 21-minute Cardio Blast
- a Core Workout
Want a longer workout? You can stitch together two or more workouts or create your own Smart Workout composed of specific exercises that you have “liked” within the app. You can even adjust your preferred number of reps or sets and rest time between them and use music from your phone to inspire you. All you need is a chair and some motivation to do triceps dips, wall chair sits, high-knee running, jumping jacks and other high-intensity moves.
Looking to start a workout regimen and need some support and inspiration? For all of your general and specific fitness activities – from vacuuming to taking the stairs to going for a planned and mapped outdoor run – MapMyFitness is a great fitness starter to motivate you to keep moving. The app monitors your movement in real-time, calculating your calorie burn. You can log activities through MapMyFitness and manually, and the app is compatible with Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch and even syncs with Under Armour’s smart shoes! You can join group challenges in the app, or challenge your friends to complete a unique workout you create. And of course it wouldn’t be called MapMyFitness if it didn’t offer great running, hiking, cycling and walking trails in cities across the country and around the world.
Cost: Free; with paid premium membership available
Here’s an app that can help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions! An Apple Design Award-winning app, Streaks is the go-to app to help you form and stick to good habits. It reinforces good habits through a to-do list function that essentially holds you accountable for the new habits you want to form. Simply input up to 12 habits you want to practice each day, and Streaks will keep you accountable for doing that task each day to help you form good habits. When you complete the task each day, you build a “streak” of consecutive days. If you miss a day, it resets to zero days. Whether you want to increase the number of days you stretch, call your Mom, do yoga, floss, eat more salads or walk the dog, Streaks will keep track and motivate you to build these life-affirming habits.
If you’ve set an intention to do more yoga, pilates or meditation in the New Year, check out Glo. The app offers unlimited access to more than 4,000 fitness classes on-demand, helping to improve your flexibility, balance and relaxation. The app will ask you a few simple assessment questions and then recommend classes and teachers that are ideally suited to your goals and level of fitness. There are live classes you can join with friends and teachers from around the world. Whether you prefer Vinyasa flow, prenatal yoga, meditation or Hatha, Glo has a class and a teacher to help you feel your best this year.
Cost: Free 15-day trial; $18.99/month
Are you charity-minded, want to increase your activity level, and tolerant of some marketing activity within your app? Then Charity Miles might be just right for you. When you use the app to log your walking, running or cycling miles, a few cents per mile is donated by corporate sponsors to an organization You choose for every mile tracked in the app. (And you get to see their corporate branding in the app – that’s the trade-off.) An in-app calculator can help you tally how much you want to raise by yourself or through a pledge drive, and you can even get friends to sponsor you per-mile for specific challenges. This app is ideal for those who need an extra incentive to get moving. It supports many organizations including Unicef, ASPCA, Wounded Warriors, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and Habitat for Humanity.