Spring is in the air and, let me tell you, it cannot come soon enough. I’ve very much been enjoying the odd bit of sun in between the bleak UK weather of late. It feels like it’s been a very long winter and I find that when spring hits and the sun stays out longer, I’m more inclined to reach my goals. I’ve worked towards my New Year’s resolution in the first quarter of the year but I haven’t quite been smashing it just yet. In our post on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions for good, I explain the research where you have to be ready to keep your goals before you actually reach them and that often isn’t on the first of January, but – for me – this time comes right around the time the sun comes out again. Let’s take a look at five helpful fitness and diet apps that can help you reach your health goals this year – now that we are all actually ready to hit the gym and eat a few more salads.
#1 Fabletics FIT
If you’re addicted to Fabletics, co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, like I am, then one of the perks of VIP membership (although, I spend most of the time skipping each month now because I have far too much activewear) is the Fabletics FIT app (the non-member price is a steep £14.49 per month).
This app has everything from one-off workouts to a series of classes (i.e. videos) from yoga to pilates to more active HIIT workouts. You can choose a workout program and some classes last two weeks and have, say, ten classes available and others vary and there’re also specific workouts and meditation sessions. They have Barre, boxing, cardio, dance, HIIT, pilates, recovery, strength, toning, and yoga and you can fit these workouts into your calendar in the app. I’ve done a yoga class and I found it really great. They also have self-guided workouts and one-offs but I’d recommend the programmes. The look and feel of the app is high end and you can set reminders for your workouts too.
#2 Couch to 5K
Although we have written about how to tone up whilst watching your favourite tv shows if you’re looking for something a little more active yet want something gentle and easy for beginners, so many people have had success with the NHS’s Couch to 5K app. The NHS says, “The programme is designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability so they can eventually run 5 km without stopping.”
You spend nine weeks working through the programme with three runs per week. You start off with a combination of walking and running and there’s a voice that guides you along. The best thing is that you can listen to your own music in between the audio cues. I have done similar apps where they make you listen to their stock music and that was torture! But if you want to be able to run for thirty minutes straight, then this is the app for you. Once you’ve conquered this one, you can try the Couch to 10K app.
There are many food tracking apps on the market but I always come back to MyFitnessPal. You can track your macros, exercise, steps, micronutrients, and so forth all through the app. It provides helpful tips as well. Some people do find it cumbersome to log foods but this app also has the ability to scan barcodes as well so you can scan, eat, and go.
What’s more, you can pair it with your smartwatch app too, so you can track all your steps and exercise activity in one app. You can do all this for free, but there is a premium option too with enhanced settings to help you achieve your goals; this currently costs around £40 per annum.
Other apps in this category like Carb Manager, Lose it, Noom, FitBit, and so forth may also work for you too so have a look at the pros and cons. The pros of MFP is that the database of foods is extensive and there’s a quick add feature where if you eat the food often, it’ll remember what foods you eat and you can swipe those in and go about your day. It also syncs with many fitness apps so your data can be shared as you want and need it.
If you’re a runner or even a walker, Runkeeper is a good app to help track your progress. I’ve always used the free version of the app and it tracks my weekly miles. It uses GPS technology so you can see your running routes. You can also connect with friends via the app too. The free version works perfectly well, but you can upgrade to the paid one for a more personalised training plan and in-depth insights.
After all that exercising and macro tracking, in the evening you might want to unwind with a bit of reading and/or meditation from your favourite celebs. The Calm app has it all from meditation to daily stretching to something to help you sleep – a sleep story by Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page anyone? Or Cillian Murphy or Matthew McConaughey? The downside of this app is that there’s no free version available and it’s £7.99 a month or £29.99 for the year. But it’s well worth it.
There are loads of food tracking, fitness, and meditation apps on the market but here are my recommendations for a better year ahead. Let us know on social media which apps you use to help you reach your goals.