While technology can’t actually do the exercise for me, these five handy apps and gadgets are a fantastic way to help keep me motivated, eating right, and working out. And maybe even making me feel bad for cheating.
1. My Fitness Pal
These days, food journals have gone digital, and apps like My Fitness Pal make keeping track so ridiculously easy. Search for your foods (and corresponding calories) in their huge database, or figure it out using their handy calculator. Being able to see what you’re eating (or in some cases, not eating), is essential to any weight loss program, but having it on your smart phone or tablet means you won’t be trying to remember what you ate at the end of the day.
Music can be such a huge motivator when it comes to exercise, but it can be tough to find just the right stuff to keep you going, especially if you’re getting a little tired of your regular rotation of tunes. Jog.fm is a free site that will match your running or workout pace to BPM (beats per minute), giving you a slew of awesome song choices in tons of genres that match perfectly.
3. C25K app
I started running just over two years ago and a few half-marathons later, I’ve actually come to really enjoy it. And not just because it’s 30 plus minutes of just “me” time almost every day. But we all have to start somewhere, and if you were like me and never ran before, I strongly suggest the Couch to 5K app, that will get you from no running experience to finishing a 5K in 8 weeks.
4. Fit Bit Ultra
This handy little gadget tracks everything from your sleep to your daily activity, giving you insight into your overall health and well-being and what might need some attention and improvement with cool graphs and read-outs via their website. And now that they’ve added a clock and stopwatch, it’s become a bit more of an actual exercise tool, even giving you how many calories you’ve burned.
Whether you’re just starting on your exercise journey or you’re looking to get more serious and train for something specific, a splurgey Garmin exercise watch can be an invaluable tool. I purchased one for myself as a Christmas gift and now understand why everyone fawns over them. Aside from the super easy set up, I’m geeking out over all the post-run information it spits out on the Garmin Connect site. And if you’re not a runner, they’ve got excellent fitness watches as well as ones specifically for triathletes.