Sometimes trying to get healthy can be intimidating. You look around the gym and see it packed with people targeting a specific muscle lifting three times as much as you can. It seems as if they know exactly what they are doing.
Meanwhile, you stare at your treadmill and just hope that you don’t fall off while you run. You want to tone your arms but don’t know how so you settle for a cardio machine. If only you were like those people who knew exactly what to do to target those problem areas.
You are not alone. Those people who seem to know what they are doing had to start somewhere. People who have been in the same boat came up with the genius idea of utilizing technology to improve fitness and health. There are many apps that can be downloaded that will tell you exactly what to do and for how long.
Try these apps out and trust me when I say that your daily routine will never be the same.
Nike+ Training was one of the best things to happen to my fitness routine. What is so nice about this app is there are so many different settings for all different skill levels. It allows you to customize your training plan based on your needs and what you want to accomplish. There are even different workouts so you can choose what you want to work on that day, such as core or arms.
Your plan is customized and can constantly change so no more punishing yourself and going back to square one when you skip a couple days. If you don’t know what a move is, you can watch a short video from the trainers themselves teaching you how to do it using proper form. A lot of these exercises are dumbbells or body weight exercises, so you can do them in the comfort of your own home. You can even connect the app to Nike+ Run Club and incorporate that to your weekly plan.
2. Lose It
This app isn’t just for people who want to lose weight. While it is very helpful if that is your goal, it has other features too. It just makes you conscious on what you are putting in your body each day and how much exercise you are actually getting. Especially as a college student, it is easy to underestimate how much time you spend sitting in a day while studying.
Tracking this makes you aware of what you are doing and even how much water you are consuming. After just a few days using this app I quickly realized I needed to put the Diet Coke away and start drinking way more water. I also realized that eating macaroni and cheese 3 times a week wasn’t getting me anywhere and I should probably start eating something with more nutrients.
3. Couch to 5k
Who says that you can’t become a runner? I wanted to start running because I have been told multiple times that it reduces stress because of endorphins. The problem was, I hated running. I had the tennis shoes. I had the playlist. I even had the Fitbit. I just didn’t like it and pushed myself too hard too fast and ended up quitting and going home feeling defeated because of how worn out I was. The problem was that I wasn’t taking the correct approach. Couch to 5k is again an app that can be customized to your needs.
I started on the beginner plan and rolled my eyes because I thought it was way too easy so I bumped it up. Big mistake. I was sore for like 4 days then I just missed more workouts. Even if you think it’s too easy at first, it may be, but don’t overdo it. Maybe you can handle a little step up but going easy at first isn’t bad. It gets your body used to it and even if you think you already have endurance built up, the slow pace really gets you ready for what is to come. You’ll be running that 5k in no time!
I know many of the fitness trackers are similar and have similar apps, I’m just partial to Fitbit. I think it’s easy to use and has many wonderful features. Yes this does require you to have a Fitbit to get the full benefits, but I think it’s worth the price you pay.
For me, I knew I was always tired and not sleeping well. However, my Fitbit proved to me that I was really not sleeping well and needed to do something about it. I actually showed my doctor my charts that it tracked and we worked out a plan. By no means is my sleep schedule perfect, but it has improved tremendously. I think that tracking your sleep is an amazing feature and us college students underestimate how important a good night sleep is to our health.
Along with the sleep tracker, you can track your food, steps, stairs, physical activity, etc. Some Fitbits even calculate your heart rate which is awesome. Another cool thing about this app is you can connect it with other apps as well such as Lose It and Weight Watchers. There’s also a feature that allows for friendly competition with your friends and family to see who took the most steps in a day. Talk about motivation!
MyPlate is another one of those tracker apps. It helps you set goals, gives you healthy recipes by the website, and gives you exercises if you are unsure what to do. It helps you know what to change based on the information you put in such as height, weight, physical activity, diet, and water intake. This app focuses on customized plans whether it’s to lose weight, gain weight, be fit, or lower your blood pressure for better cardiovascular health.
This app also has a community feature which is my favorite thing and it’s where people in the same situation can chat and I find it really motivating.
Headspace is an app that walks you through guided meditations and claims to improve focus, relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and help exercise mindfulness. It claims that another benefit of meditation is an improvement in training, eating, sleeping, focus, and relationships. I figured it was worth a shot.
I first heard about Headspace through my aunt. I have been lectured time and time again about how beneficial yoga and meditation is for your health because of how much it reduces stress. I never listened because I thought that meditation could never help me. I didn’t feel like I had the time or patience.
However, when I logged on and saw that there were over 43,000 people meditating at that moment using the app and the fact that it had 5 stars and praise from celebrities and trustworthy companies, I started getting excited.
This app is incredible. They have so many sessions for everything you could ever need in life. They are broken down into series or single sessions. Some of the topics include sports, foundation, beginning, health, relationships, commuting, eating, walking, cooking, sleeping, fear of flying, sos (which is if you are in dire need right then), running, and the list goes on and on. There’s even a section for kids!
Some of them do cost extra, but I recommend downloading and see what route you decide to take. It has saved my sleep and I really do see a difference in how stressed I get about school and my study habits and I haven’t even been using it that long. I’m excited to try out more sessions and see what happens.
With all of these resources plus many more out there, there is no more “I don’t know what to do” excuse that is valid! You can finally achieve your goals and the best part is, you can do so on the go.
Download these as a start, get out there, and start working on becoming the best you that you can possibly be.