Love it or hate it, we truly are living in the age of technology as we make our way further into the 21st century. The internet, and all the information it contains, is available to almost everyone. Want to learn how to braid hair? Youtube can help. Need interior decorating ideas? Hit up Pinterest for inspiration. And these days, you don’t even have to sit at the computer to access the internet. You can be online on your smartphone practically anywhere, even without a Wi-Fi connection. Being constantly “plugged in” may have its downsides, but technology is a tool, and you can choose to use it to your advantage. Believe it or not, you can even use your smartphone to help you exercise and build fitness. This is great news as we’re hearing more and more about the harms of prolonged sitting. Check out these great apps to get you off the couch and out the door.
You will need a Fitbit device in order to use this app, but it’s still well worth including here. Fitbit has a range of wearable devices that count your steps, with the fancier models also measuring heartrate and more. In addition to interfacing with the device, the Fitbit app lets you log exercise, food and water intake, and more. If you want to map your fitness and see your progress, Fitbit is a great choice. Available on the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store.
Couch to 5K
If you’re new to running or coming back to exercise after a long break, you might feel like you need some guidance. Couch to 5K is a great choice for this. The app lays out an 8-week program to do what it says on the tin. The workouts start easy and short and slowly ramp up the distance and intensity. If you need some motivation, sign yourself up for a 5K race that you can take part in once you finish the program. Free on the App Store and Google Play.
If you’re a bit of a nerd, or just want your workout to include an element of fun, Zombies, Run! is a fun app to try. The app gives you missions to complete In a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Periodically, you’ll get “chased” by zombies, and you’ll have to increase your pace to avoid getting eaten. As a bonus, the app works in tandem with your own music, so you can choose some great motivational tunes to go along with fleeing from zombies. The basic version is free in the App Store and Google Play.
If you’re looking for a customized workout, Sworkit is the app for you. Tell the app what kind of workout you want to do: cardio, strength, yoga, or stretching. Then input how much time you have for your workout. The app will give you a customized workout with moves demonstrated by trainers. The app is free, but you can opt for the premium version for $4.99 per month. Premium allows you even more custom options for the perfect workout.
This entry is a bit of a dark horse, since it’s not technically a fitness app. However, this is a great option if you want exercise to happen almost by accident. The latest release in the popular Pokemon franchise, brings the “pocket monsters” out into the real world. Using GPS technology, the app requires you to walk to real-world locations to catch Pokemon and to acquire various supplies you need for the game. You also have to log walking distance to hatch eggs that you may come across in your travels, anywhere from 2 to 10 km. You’ll find you’re walked quite a distance without even realizing it. Pair with your Fitbit (see above) or a pedometer to keep an accurate count of all those steps. Pokemon GO is free on the App Store and Google Play.
How do you get up and go? Don’t forget to share with friends and family!