The Best Health Apps for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
The first of the year marks a day of change across the country. As the fateful day approaches, Americans ready themselves for their New Year’s resolutions by making pledges to themselves and their friends to relinquish their addictions and weaknesses and invest in their health.
When that day arrives, we all hit the gym and the juice bar, our hearts and minds fully devoted to our resolutions. But unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions have the terrible habit of slipping through our eager fingers after the first day, week, or month. We helplessly slide back into our old, imbedded habits and promise ourselves that next time—next year—will be different.
This is that year. This year, we’re more committed than ever to our resolutions, and we’ve gathered information on the best health apps to help you stay steadfast, too. Whether you want to eat healthier, develop a fitness routine, or engage in a total lifestyle overhaul, these apps will help you get—and keep—the job done.
Apps for Fitness Newbies
Many Americans resolve to begin new workout routines on the first of the year. But for someone new to the gym, all those pulleys, wires, and buttons can seem more than a little intimidating. The following health apps can help even the least-experienced gym member glide through their workout like a pro.
Fitness Pro (Price: Free):Fitness Pro is the perfect health app for newbies and aficionados alike. If you’re new to the gym, the app provides you with guides and photographs explaining how to use each piece of equipment and how to safely complete corresponding exercises. When you open Fitness Pro, simply choose a target area—glutes, chest, arms— and the app supplies you with the appropriate exercise. Once you’ve discovered your favorites, you can save them into personalized routines that you can access at any time. Those perfect abs you’ve been dreaming of all year are only a finger tap away.
Nike Training Club (Price: Free): A long-time favorite of professional athletes and gym-goers alike, Nike Training Club is full of routines for all skill levels. The app provides users with free 30-40 minutes workouts, individual sets, or even a four-week program based on your personal goal and fitness level. Each exercise contains detailed photos, a step-by-step guide and even a video detailing the movements. Don’t worry about losing steam during your workout—the app provides audio encouragement along the way. And with celebrity workouts from the likes of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, you’ll never get bored.
Nexercise (Price: Free): If you need the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel to move a little closer, then Nexercise is the app for you. Described as an “exercise gamification app,” Nexercise awards the user with points for all physical activity, from walking your dog to biking to work to running sprints. Gather enough points and redeem them for gift cards or discounts at your favorite retailers. And since a little competition goes a long way, the app also allows you to compete against your friends. So sit back and enjoy that free latte - you’ve earned it.
Best Apps for Runners
Running has long been touted as one of the most beneficial, full-body workouts. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been jogging for years, there are plenty of apps to help you perfect your run.
C25K (Price: Free): The classic program for jump-starting your running is officially an app! For years, people have used the C25k app to transform themselves from couch-potatoes to 5K-ready runners. The app provides users with a daily list of workouts that mix running with walking to gradually build stamina. Follow the 8 week program of just 3 workouts weekly (each 30 minutes long) and you’ll be ready to run alongside your friends when that next 5K hits San Diego.
Map My Run (Price: Free): Although the app does live up to its namesake (itmapsyourrun-italsodoesalotmore) MapMy Run keeps track of your distance, calories burned, and route. Audio cues alert you when you’ve completed another mile, how long that mile took, and your average mile time. When you’ve finished, you can save and compare your current stats to previous runs. The app even allows you to track your diet and other workouts. Plus, with seamless integration of music programs, that killer Spotify soundtrack you perfected won’t be interrupted mid-mile.
Tempo Run (Price: $3): The right song can be the perfect motivator for pushing you through your last mile, while the wrong song can leave you breathless and paceless. With Tempo Run, at last, your music is perfectly organized for your runs. The app categorizes your iTunes music library based on the song’s tempo, which is translated into running speed. Even if your personal music library is lacking, the app can link with Sound Cloud and a boundless supply of new tunes.
Dietitians promise that 80% of a healthy lifestyle is dependent on diet. For many people, eating healthy is a difficult task, especially with a market dense in addictive, sugary snacks and calorie-dense convenience foods. These health apps help you form healthy eating habits and stick to them.
Lose It! (Price: Free): The premise of Lose It! is simple. Track your calories in versus your calories out. The app starts by asking you some simple questions about yourself like your age, weight, height, and how much weight you’d like to lose. Then it customizes a weight loss plan just for you. It accords the user a daily calorie budget and allows them to track their food and exercise. If your calories in are equal to or below your calories out, then you lose weight. The app also holds you accountable by allowing you to share with friends.
Rise (Price: Free download, $20/week or $60/ month subscription): For those of us who dream of having a personal nutritionist but are either lacking the funds or time, Rise is the perfect solution. Rise connects users with a registered dietitian for one-on-one guidance. Choose your objective—lose weight, learn to eat well, boost energy, prepare for a race, or look good for an event—and your preferred coaching style, then the app matches you with the perfect dietitian. Send photos or details of your food to your coach for approval or advice. Rise puts your own, personal nutritionist at your fingertips.
Healthy Out Healthy Food Finder (Price: Free): One of the most difficult tasks in trying to eat healthy is finding options when dining out, on the road or with friends. Healthy Out prevents the user from stumbling haphazardly into dangerous fast-food territory. Just set your location and the app helps you find healthy restaurants, meals or even prepared grocery items nearby. You can filter the search by diet, ingredients, restrictions, or type of cuisine. Never fall victim to the burger again.
Fooducate (Price: Free): The maze of grocery store aisles and nutrition labels can be daunting, but Fooducate simplifies the entire process. Use the app’s barcode scanner and Fooducate quickly provides you with a grade of the product, ranging from A+ to D. It translates nutritional jargon into layman’s terms so that the user can easily choose the best, healthiest products.