Fitness Apps: technology to improve your life, not consume it | #KellysCharlestonChallenge
Not everyone is a fan, but technology has come so far the last few years that what can be done now through the touchscreen on a watch, or by telling “Alexa” what to do is really amazing.
Those advances in technology have led to the growth of some smartphone applications that can be positive forces in helping improve people’s overall health and wellness each day.
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Below are a few of the most popular free applications that are available on most smartphones today. Try a few you think may fit you best. You have nothing to lose, and may even find they make it easier for you to live a healthier lifestyle.
(DISCLAIMER: Some of these apps require users to share their location for distance tracking and route mapping purposes).
- Map My Run
Map My Run is a running application that will track the following: route, speed, distance, elevation, and calories burned. Map My Run is a great app for any walking, hiking, running, biking, and movement or distance exercise. You are able to save each workout you complete as well.
- Map My Fitness
This app gives you examples of routes to run in your area with step by step directions and details as you go. Map My Fitness also gives you the freedom to make your own running or walking route. This application is very universal, it can also track your activity with any type of physical activity that is done, as well as tracking your food intake. This application gives you the ability to share all of the above tracked information with anyone who has the app, which helps you stay accountable.
- My Fitness Pal
This one of the most used applications for tracking and creating meal plans. Within this application you have the ability to log all food, drinks, etc with searching through their database to find the correct type or brand of what you are consuming. When found, you select the item, how much of it you are consuming, and determine if it is part of your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. It then creates a list of your daily meals including all of the nutrition facts. The application also has important health and fitness articles to browse through, a diary, progression chart, goal section, different challenges you can set up, and much more! Once again this app is great to help keep you on track with your nutrition, and education on what you are intaking!
- My Plate
My Plate is an app that is designed to help organize and produce healthy meal plans for someone who knows nothing about nutrition and food and to the level of a nutritionist themselves! This application also aids with daily tips, educational tools, and helps create your daily food journal. This app like others helps track weight and progress throughout your journey, 24 hour support is also available, and a big community sense for people who choose to within the app.
This application is very straight forward, it is specifically used for getting up, out, and being active through walking and running. It helps suggest different routes, lets you create your own, tracks progress, has motivational cues, coaching, and more!
- C25K 5K Trainer (Couch to 5K)
This is an app that is one of the best for beginning runners, or runner's that need motivation. This 5K running app is a 9 week program that takes you from your current ability to a new level where you are comfortable running a 5K in just 9 weeks! This application is for all levels, you set the pace to your own ability. If you are looking for a longer distance look into the 10K Trainer application.
- Nike Training Club
The Nike Training App is designed with over 100 workouts, all labeled and clear for you to choose whichever type of workout you are looking for! Whether it be legs, cardio, glutes, arms, the options are there and ready to visually and audibly walk you through a workout.
The challenge this week is to choose which application you think would work best with your goals and lifestyle. Are you looking for just nutritional help? A running guide with routes and distances? Or set exercises that you just press play and follow along? Go to your app store or Google and check them out! These seven health and fitness applications above are just a small list that can help with everyone’s health and fitness, no matter one's ability! Even better, they're user friendly, and free! Let these apps help jump start you to where you want to be both mentally and physically!
(Kelly Thompson is a certified personal trainer who writes a fitness blog, Kelly's Charleston Challenge, for ABC News 4. If you have any questions, or need any suggestions, reach her via email at email@example.com, or use the hashtag #KellysCharlestonChallenge on social media.)