If your New Year’s goals include improving your fitness game, you don’t need to shell out hundreds on a personal trainer or a membership to that fancy gym in your neighborhood that provides all the bells and whistles. Sometimes the simplest routines are the most effective. If you own a smartphone you already have nearly everything you need (not counting some resistance bands, weights, and a good pair of sneakers) to hit the ground running. Your iPhone is the ideal task manager when it comes to keeping track of what you eat, when and how you exercise, and even the quality of your sleep. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to turn your iPhone into your very own personal trainer.
Running & Cardio Training
Love it or hate it, cardio training like running or biking will get your heart rate up and help you burn calories faster. Some apps that will make cardio that much more fun include:
Runkeeper: This GPS fitness-tracking app tracks your running, walking, hiking, and biking routines by carefully monitoring your pace, distance, exercise time, and the calories you burned. This app allows you to easily measure your progress and helpful reminders and games keep you motivated the entire time.
Strava: Strava is a favorite app among runners and bikers who value community and the boost that other like-minded athletes provide. In addition to tracking your cardio metrics like distance and speed, Strava connects you with people you know so that you can track each other’s progress — there are even options to set up group challenges.
NHS CouchTo 5K: Just starting your fitness journey? Don’t be discouraged — apps like Couch to 5K are designed specifically for newcomers and will provide guided routines and prompts that slowly but surely take you from walking and running to a full-out marathon (if that’s your goal).
Squad: If you prefer running indoors on a treadmill, check out the Peloton app, which can be used with all treadmills and includes things like on-demand and live classes, motivational trainers, and great music. This is the perfect app for anyone who prefers the convenience of treadmill running, but finds it just a little bit boring.
Don’t sleep on weight training. By now we’ve all (hopefully) been abolished of the old myth that lifting weights creates bulk and should be avoided at all costs. In fact, weight training is super important for bone health and helps build muscle tissue, which burns more fat. Grab a set of weights and/or resistance bands and download a few of these iPhone apps to help keep you motivated:
AloMoves: This fab app allows you to weight train on your own time by offering in-demand streaming workouts. Whether you’re just starting out or have been lifting for years, there’s a class and instructor for you — with workouts that target every muscle in your body. Best of all: some routines are longer (90 minutes) while others are just 10 minutes, which lets you pick and choose based on how much time you have that day to work out.
fitbod: Fitbod is great for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want to tailor a plan for themselves and enjoys having more workout guidance. It will ask you to plug in some info initially, before creating a program for you to follow and track your progress. Best of all: there are plenty of demos provided to ensure you are performing the moves correctly.
Future: Want to work out with a real, live personal trainer from the comfort of your home gym? The Future app matches you with the best coach for your weight training level, needs, and goals, and then that coach provides 1:1 coaching and feedback.
If keeping track of what you eat is part of your health and fitness goals, these are some of the top apps that will make that a cinch to do:
MyPlate Calorie Counter: MyPlate doesn’t just tally up the calories and nutrients in your food, it also offers recipes, meal plans, and even workout ideas, making it one of the best well-rounded nutrition apps. If you get a boost from the community, enjoy peer support from MyPlate’s ever-growing community of members.
MyFitnessPal: This app is celebrated for its large data base of foods, a recipe importer, and even a restaurant logger that makes logging your food simpler.
Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools: Restriction is no one’s idea of a good time. But keeping track of your nutrition goals can be fun and inspiring, as this app proves. Yummly offer more than 2 million recipes that are conveniently organized by cuisine, diet plan, or the ingredients that you have in your fridge and pantry. The app even allows you to add ingredients you need to your shopping list.